All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;…
Job had lost almost everything else, but he still held fast his righteousness. His wealth and his honour, his flocks and his herds, his sons and his daughters, his health and his home, had all been lost, but still he retained his integrity.
I. RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A MAN'S TRUE TREASURE, AND HE SHOULD HOLD IT FAST AT ANY COST, AND NEVER LET IT GO. It is not the wealth which a man has, or the honour and greatness which he attains, or the success which he wins in business and professional life, which makes him truly rich, but the holy and Christlike character which he builds up. It is to the upright that there ariseth light in the darkness; it is those that have clean hands and a pure heart and that have not lifted up their soul unto vanity, that shall receive the blessing of the Lord. The promises of God and the blessings of His salvation are all attached to character, and not to the accident of birth or training, of position or wealth, so that character is the thing of value in the judgment of God. Nay, all other kinds of wealth will be left behind, and will find no place in the eternal world. For, as St. Paul reminds us, "We brought nothing into the world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." The gateway of death is so strait that before we can pass through we must be stripped of everything except our character.
II. But while righteousness is a man's true treasure, THIS TREASURE IS OFTEN ASSAILED AND PUT IN JEOPARDY.
1. The manifold trials of life make it difficult to hold fast one's righteousness.
2. Then, further, not only suffering but perplexity and doubt make it hard to hold fast our righteousness. These were the chief cause of difficulty in the case of Job. There are some who today find it hard to believe in God and freedom and immortality, and if these things be denied where is there any basis for righteousness of life?
3. Then, again, we must remember that there are manifold forms of temptation which assail men in their business and their pleasure, in their hours of leisure and their hours of toil, in the home and in the office, on Sundays and on weekdays.
III. But now let me remind you in closing that A MAN CAN HOLD FAST HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, however fiercely it may be assailed. We have heard so much in recent years of heredity and environment and solidarity that we are in danger of overlooking the power and prerogative of the individual will. We can abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good. We can resist the devil that he may flee from us; we can draw near to God that He may draw nigh unto us.
(G. Hunsworth, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;
WEB: (For the length of my life is still in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils);