The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Job 31

Job 31:1

I MADE A COVENANT WITH MY EYES NOT TO LOOK LUSTFULLY AT A GIRL: "The American male is led to believe that 'girl-watching' is just part of being a man. A lot of girls are all too aware that they are being watched -- and they're not all happy about how they're being watched. Like the young woman my wife and I saw recently at a festival. She was wearing a shirt with an arrow on the front that pointed up to her head. The shirt said just three little words by the arrow: 'I'm up here!'

"That teenage girl was sending a much-needed message: 'Keep your eyes where they belong! I'm a person, not a body, thank you!' It's actually a message the Creator of women would more than agree with. A woman may be depersonalized, sexualized, trivialized by the way men look at her -- and she's the creation of a holy God; a Father in heaven. And you know how fierce a father is about protecting his daughter!

"Job -- the man whose integrity God acclaimed -- understood that how a man looks at a woman is an important part of his integrity. And it matters to God. Job said, 'I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.' That's a covenant every man should make -- especially if he belongs to Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God.

"Today, the Biblical commandment to 'flee the evil desires of youth' (2Ti 2:22) is as hard to obey as it's ever been. Advertising, fashions, television, movies almost program a man to look at a woman sexually; focusing attention on that which is intended by God for only the man she's married to. But the fact that it's hard to have righteous eyes doesn't make it any less God's imperative.

"Men in Jesus' day -- even the very religious -- apparently thought they were doing okay if they didn't DO something immoral with a woman. Then Jesus introduced the radical idea that you can sin sexually without ever touching a woman -- just by the way you look at her. He said, 'You have heard that it was said, "Do not commit adultery." But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.' That makes far more of us men adulterers than we believed -- men in need of the forgiving and cleansing of Jesus the Savior.

"Unfortunately, too many women -- including Christian women -- have bought into a fashion culture that actually entices men to focus on a woman's body. God clearly commands women: 'Your beauty should not come from outward adornment... instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit' (1Pe 3:3,4). Many a woman who's disgusted with being looked at as a sex object is actually dressing in a way that encourages it.

"We men who want 'pure eyes' need the help of our spiritual sisters -- if what you're wearing is too short, too tight, too low, or not enough, you become part of the problem instead of part of the answer. And remember what every fisherman knows -- the bait determines the catch! Offer physical bait and you'll end up with men who only care about that, not men who care about you.

"Both men and women have fallen for a casualness about sex that robs it of its God-given beauty. Like snow, it's beautiful when it's fresh and clean, but it's ugly when it's trampled and soiled. Godly men, make that covenant with your eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. Godly women, dress for respect, not attention -- like the temple of God that you are" (Ron Hutchcraft).

Job 31:26

SUN... MOON: Referred to here as poss objects of worship.

Job 31:27

MY HAND OFFERED THEM A KISS OF HOMAGE: Lit, "my mouth hath kissed my hand" -- in assent to this sinful impulse, or (since kissing a god was a common act of worship (1Ki 19:18; Hos 13:2) in "throwing" a kiss!

Job 31:33

I HAVE CONCEALED MY SIN AS MEN DO: Or (NIV mg) "as Adam did" -- with ref to Gen 3:7,8: "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden." It appears that Job was familiar with the Creation narrative in Genesis.

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