Singing the Desert Blues (Job 30-31)

Heart of a Shepherd

Mar 28, 2023



Cantando o Desert Blues (Jó 30-31)


Cantando il Desert Blues (Giobbe 30-31)


Chanter le blues du désert (Job 30-31)


Пение пустынного блюза (Иов 30-31)


Den Desert Blues singen (Auftrag 30-31)


Cantando el blues del desierto (Job 30-31)


ڈیزرٹ بلوز گانا (جاب 30-31)

Singing the Desert Blues (Job 30-31)

Scripture reading - Job 30-31

Our previous devotional found Job recalling the way life used to be (Job 29). He had enjoyed the blessings of God’s favor, as well as the esteem from family, friends, and fellow citizens. In former years, young men shied from his company, while elders stood in his presence (Job 29:8). His counsel was valued (Job 29:7-17), and he supposed he might forever be the benefactor of God’s grace (Job 29:18-23). Of course, those were the “good old days,” before Job experienced catastrophic losses and afflictions

Job 30

Disdained by Lesser Men (Job 30:1-14)

Job’s circumstances were now changed, and instead of esteem, he was mocked by lesser men (Job 30:1-14). They were young men, whose fathers he would not have entrusted with the care of sheep dogs. Those men openly disdained Job (Job 30:1). They were slothful, and Job loathed them (Job 30:2-4). They were “children of fools” (Job 30:8), who sang ballads deriding his afflictions (30:9). They spat in his face (Job 30:10), and Job’s sorrows (Job 30:11) served as a “righteous reason” for them to treat him spitefully (Job 30:12-13).

Wrecked by Physical Disease (Job 30:16-18)

Grief took hold of Job (Job 30:16), as the toll and pain of his afflictions pierced him to the bone (Job 30:17a). His muscles ached (“my sinews take no rest”) beneath his skin, while open oozing sores exposed the extent of the infection above. Job felt as though his flesh had been exchanged – that he had swapped healthy flesh for loathsome (Job 30:17b-18). He was well-nigh hopeless, and felt God opposed him. When he prayed, it seemed God refused to hear his cry for pity and compassion (Job 30:19-20). He had come to a place he accused the LORD of cruelty (Job 30:21), and felt abandoned (Job 30:22-24).


Job complained, for the compassion he formerly extended to others was forgotten, and it seemed his good deeds were rewarded with evil (Job 30:25-26). He moaned and groaned (Job 30:27-30), and in the words of the late preacher J. Vernon McGee, sang “The Desert Blues”(Job 30:31).

Job 31 – Job’s Finale and Defense


Job 31 recorded the conclusion of Job’s deposition of his righteousness, and his assertion of innocence. I invite you to consider eleven virtues stated by Job in his defense.

Personal chastity is the first virtue. Declaring he was not guilty of lusts, Job stated, “I made a covenant [vow; agreement] with mine eyes; Why then should I think [i.e., lust after] upon a maid?” (Job 31:1)

The second virtue suggested was an assertion of innocence. Though his “friends” accused him of lies and deceit, Job demanded he be “weighed in an even balance.” He believed God would find him a man of integrity (Job 31:5-6).

Job’s commitment to purity and uprightness was his third virtue. He declared his hands were clean of wrongdoing. In fact, he suggested, should a stain be found on his life and character, he would relinquish the fruits of his labor (Job 31:7-8).


Marital fidelity was the fourth virtue claimed by Job. He professed he was innocent of adultery (Job 31:9-12).

A fifth virtue was a claim to have been a faithful master, and a kind employer. Believing all men are created in the image and likeness of God, Job believed he was no better than his servants. He understood God was Creator of both the servant and his master (Job 31:13-15).


Sixthly, Job declared he had been charitable to the poor, widows, and fatherless (Job 31:16-20). His friends accused him of being an oppressor and abuser of the less fortunate. Job, however, wished his arm would fall from his body, had he taken advantage of the less fortunate (Job 31:21-22).

Closing thoughts (Job 31:23-40) – In quick order, consider five remaining virtues claimed by Job as evidence of his righteous character. While he lived in the midst of an idolatrous people, Job declared he was innocent of idolatry, for his faith and trust were in God alone (Job 31:23-28). He had been kind to his enemies, and never took satisfaction in their misfortunes (Job 31:29-30). He was a man given to hospitality, and known for generosity to strangers (Job 31:31-32). Unlike Adam, the first man who sinned and sought to hide his transgressions from God (Job 31:33), Job declared he was innocent of hypocrisy, hiding no secret sins (Job 31:33-37). Finally, Job stated he was honest in business (Job 31:38-40). He had not leased another man’s field, and failed to pay him what was owed when harvest time came.


Job’s longest speech concluded (Job 31:40) with him being like most men: He boasted his virtues, but was blinded by pride, and unable or unwilling to see his flaws.


* Note – Our next devotion (Job 32) will introduce Elihu, a fourth “friend” of Job’s. His youthful zeal will heap upon Job sorrow upon sorrows.


Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith


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