Job 31:23

23 The fear of God has kept me from these things - how else could I ever face him? If Only Someone Would Give Me a Hearing!

Job 31:23 Meaning and Commentary

Job 31:23

For destruction [from] God [was] a terror to me
Though he feared not men, they being at his beck and command, ready to do any thing for him he should order, yet he feared God; and the dread of his resentment, and of destruction from him the lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy, had such an influence on him as to deter and keep him from all unkindness to the poor, and in justice to the fatherless; he dreaded the destruction of himself, his family, and substance in this world, and everlasting destruction of soul and body in the world to come; which of all things is to be feared, ( Matthew 10:28 ) ; and Old Testament saints were much under a spirit of bondage to fear, and were actuated thereby; and, though Job might not be under any dread of eternal damnation, knowing his interest in the living Redeemer; yet he might fear temporal destruction, as it is certain he did; which thing he feared came upon him, though not for any crime or crimes he was guilty of, see ( Job 30:25 ) ; he might fear, as a good man may, the chastisements and corrections of his heavenly Father:

and by reason of his highness I could not endure;
God is higher than the highest angels, or men; he is above all gods, so called; he is God over all, blessed for ever; and such is his height, his glory, and his majesty, that it is terrible, and the dread of them makes men afraid; nor can any sinner stand before him, nor withstand him, nor hope to prevail against him, nor flee from his presence, nor escape out of his hand, nor bear his wrath and indignation, and the coming down of his arm; for what hands can be strong, or heart endure, when the almighty God deals with them? or Job's sense may be, that such an awe of the divine Being was always upon him, that he could not do any unkind thing to the poor, or unjust one to the fatherless.

Job 31:23 In-Context

21 "If I've ever used my strength and influence to take advantage of the unfortunate,
22 Go ahead, break both my arms, cut off all my fingers!
23 The fear of God has kept me from these things - how else could I ever face him? If Only Someone Would Give Me a Hearing!
24 "Did I set my heart on making big money or worship at the bank?
25 Did I boast about my wealth, show off because I was well-off?
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.