Why Job 31?

Happy Birthday to You
Now there’s a song we all know by heart. Look it up on Wikipedia and you’ll find a lengthy and complicated history wrought with legal battles and large sums of money, not mention the 65 impressive footnotes at the end of the entry. The Happy Birthday Song is considered the highest earning single song in history, topping out at a whopping 50 million DOLLARS! What? Are you kidding me? And it’s all because of copyrights. According to the EU copyright laws, the owner’s rights expired on December 31st of 2015. I wonder if the people sang “Happy Birthday” instead of Auld Langsyne when Big Ben struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.

So…what’s that got to do with anything? Oh, how I love it when you ask that question.
One of the many hats I wear during the week designates me as a safe food handler. I work part-time in a busy cafeteria and if there’s one thing I’ve been trained to do: it’s washing my hands. Thoroughly, and often. It’s easy to come in contact with contaminants and it takes a deliberate effort on my part to avoid and/or destroy them.

Did you know that it takes at least 20 seconds to kill the germs on your hands? When my kids were little, I taught them to sing the Happy Birthday Song in order to pass the proper amount of time soaping and sudsing (yes, I know sudsing’s not a real word). But I had no idea I was breaking copyright laws when we sang it in public restrooms. Even now, I can’t help but hum the tune (under my breath of course) when I’m getting ready to glove up for my shift. It’s a good practice and I and the hundreds of people I serve, reap healthy benefits from this deeply ingrained habit.

And speaking of healthy habits; have you ever wondered how Job became a man like no other on earth? How did he keep himself pure? So pure that GOD himself described him as, “a blameless and upright man, who fears GOD and turns away from evil?” Job 31:8 ESV.

Most of us hear the name Job and think, “suffering”, but have you ever studied how he was able to earn such a great reputation and also endure so much? Tucked about ¾ of the way through the Book of Job is a chapter that reveals his personal standard. His plumb line. The deal he made with himself, his eyes, his feet, his heart, his hands and then threatened himself with severe consequences if he lowered his righteous standards.

Read it. And then read it again. Use different translations if you have to and then personalize it, commit to memory. It’s full of holy fear. Fear of what can happen when we sin. Don’t be tempted to cheapen GOD’s grace and forgiveness and redemption by living below the poverty line for holiness. The Holy Spirit fills us with the power to recognize sin, and then avoid it. Every day. Yes, the blood of Jesus has paid the price for our sins so we can spend eternity in heaven with Him. He did it once for all, but don’t forget to step up to the fountain throughout the day. Every day.

Nothing but the Blood,
Hymn by: Robert Lowry
“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow, no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

The Fear Factor
Oh sure, I fear getting caught doing something wrong by the health inspector. I dread audits, but I hate the idea of exposing people to life threatening, foodborne illness even more. So I follow good safety practices as a habit, avoid coming in contact with bacteria, and then willingly submit myself to rigorous safety checks in-between.

Bacteria is Invisible but Deadly
So is sin. So is lust. So is greed. Job 31 is written to help us find Job’s secret to living a pure life. It’s the song he hummed under his breath to keep himself clean.

Job 31: 7 ESV
“If my step has turned aside from my way
and my heart has gone after my eyes,
and if any spot has stuck to my hands”…
Read on brothers. Read on!


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About the author

Mary Kay was raised in a small town in Upstate New York where her homegrown roots are deeply intertwined in her newspaper column and as an educator, animal rescuer, conflict coach, and Elder Care provider…and that’s just on Mondays! This mother of four has been surfing seismic sized paradigm shifts since long before the term became popular. As a single mom and divorced woman of faith, she encourages others who find themselves outside the box, with a message of hope and restoration. Her early spiritual beliefs were dominated by fear and shame, but all that changed the day she embraced Jesus Christ and His magnificent, salvific death and resurrection. Sharing that is at the heart of everything she does and loves most. If you’ve ever wished you could understand the women in your life just a little bit better, put your thinking cap on and fasten your seatbelt! Mary Kay may take you places you’ve never been before. But have no fear, the Bible is her most trusted source of guidance and direction. Check her out on the web at www.homegrownheart.org

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