Job 31:14 “what will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account?”
There is a response we must all consider when the day of reckoning arrives. Actions are not without consequence and for every word spoken, we will give an account.
I’ve heard on numerous occasions those who question whether someone like Job should be held accountable for sin since he lived prior to Moses and the impartation of the moral law. This argument extends to other people groups who have been isolated in jungles or islands, and have never heard a missionaries account of the gospel. What about those who don’t even have a written language or can’t read a Bible since it doesn’t exist in their culture?
The book of Job is considered the oldest book in the Bible. When examining the language, descriptions, and other forms of writing in this book, it becomes more evident Job probably live during the time of the patriarch’s.
According to Apologetic press, there is good evidence that this book was written after the flood ~2350 B.C., and before the time of Moses ~1750 B.C.
A. Eliphaz refers to the flood as being in the past in Job 22:16
B. Job sacrifices to God as head of his family (a practice of patriarchal times that stopped with Moses) Job 1:5
C. Job’s daughters received an inheritance along with his sons Job 42:15 a patriarchal practice that also stopped with Moses
D. Job’s wealth is determined by flocks rather than money that is also consistent with patriarchal times Job 1:3, 42:12
E. The kesitah or piece of money mentioned belongs to patriarchal times
F. The musical instruments (organ, harp, and timbrel) are the instruments of early Genesis
G. Job lived long enough to birth two families of ten children and raise them to adulthood then lived another 140 years. He lived at least 200 years and possibly longer. This is consistent with the ages of patriarchs prior to Abraham.
Why do I think this is significant? Consider what Job references in chapter 31 which for the sake of argument were written around 2000 B.C. and then look at the corresponding words of Moses 1750 B.C. and Jesus 31 A.D..
Job 31:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?”
Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.”
Matthew 5:27,28 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
The moral law of not committing adultery was expounded upon by Jesus in His sermon on the mount but was recognized by Job two thousand years earlier, before the law was given to Moses.
The moral law (10 commandments), is the defining measure by which we are held accountable for sin. (1 John 3:4) When we see the recognition of sin evident in the patriarch’s such as Job, we can assume that the standards of righteousness by which mankind has been held are known apart from the law defined.
Job 31:5,6 “If I have walked with falsehood,
Or if my foot has hastened to deceit,
Let me be weighed on honest scales,
That God may know my integrity.”
Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”–Jesus
Examine just this 31st chapter of Job and you will see the moral law being expressed throughout. From the breaking of the first commandment to not have other god’s before the One true God(1st and 2nd), to blasphemy (3rd), hatred of others (6th), adultery as mentioned (7th), theft (8th), covetousness (10th), the list goes on that Job clearly recognized the Moral law of God and knew it was his responsibility to observe it.
If Job knew he would be held accountable for how he kept these moral principles, what excuse do we have? What excuse does anyone have that chooses to rebuke their Creator and chooses to go their own way?
Paul made this reality evident to the Romans…
Romans 2:12-16 “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
Not one single person in history will have an excuse for sin.
We must guard our hearts daily. We have an advocate with the Father, it is Jesus His Son. Grace was retroactively passed back to the patriarch’s upon Jesus’ sacrifice upon the cross and it is passed down to us, for all who believe.
Our justification will be by Faith in Christ alone. We cannot stand on our own merit, no one will. Praise God, Jesus paid the price that we don’t have to pay. When we are brought to question for the wicked thoughts of our hearts or when we are judged for our actions our only answer will be….Jesus.