Job 27:3-4 “As long as I have life within me,
the breath of God in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak wickedness,
and my tongue will utter no deceit.
The Japanese translators made an interesting choice here. The Hebrew word ruach means, in different context, spirit, breath, wind, and the H sound. That’s why it was so meaningful when God renamed Abram to Abraham, because He added ruach to his name. In this passage, where the NIV says “the breath of God,” the Japanese says, “the Spirit of God.” When it specifies, “in my nostrils,” I personally think “breath” makes more sense than “Spirit.” In any case, the point is that Job is absolutely committed to honesty, to speaking truth. Throughout this story it would have been easier for Job to agree with his friends, if only to shut them up. Even his own wife had advised him to “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9) However, Job steadfastly refuses to take the easy way out. We may or may not be tempted to actual suicide, but we are certainly tempted to say the politically correct thing even when we know it not to be true. It has been fascinating in recent weeks to learn that a number of things that the “mainstream media” had denounced as “conspiracy theories” were actually all too true. Truth isn’t likely to prevail if we won’t stand up for it! The entire justice system is supposed to be a search for truth, to establish what has actually happened so that perpetrators may be appropriately punished, but we are finding that at times the system has actively protected the guilty and advanced lies. The Bible is consistent in condemning that. Being committed to the truth doesn’t necessarily mean saying everything you know, but it does mean refusing to accept falsehood.
I was raised by a father who held absolute honesty as one of his foundational principles, and I have always delighted in knowing facts. However, my family has a history of realizing that “experts” and “authorities” don’t always have their facts straight. Around the time I was born, my mother was homeschooling my oldest sister. One of her textbooks said something about “pine trees always grow straight and tall,” when our house was surrounded by twisted pine trees! I don’t think my sister ever fully trusted a textbook again, and she was in the 2nd grade at the time. I have been saddened in the past few years to see how easily the general public has swallowed the line that was fed them about a number of things, and how some people have reacted against me when I have been skeptical. Supposedly intelligent, even scientific people have forgotten that the foundation of genuine science is a constant search for truth, not accepting a narrative. I am not to reject them in turn, but I am to stand on truth as firmly as Job did, knowing that in the end I will be vindicated. That’s not to say that I won’t be open to correction, because only God has all the facts, but I am to pray that He would keep my eyes open.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for some of the sources of information You have led me to. I pray that I would always walk in Your truth, not just in temporal things but especially in the things of Your kingdom, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!