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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

IF I KISS MY HAND

Job 31:24-28 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, thou art my confidence; if I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; if I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.

As Job is conversing with his friends, they continually accuse him of sinning against God, and this sinning is the cause of his disease and misfortune. However, Satan was punishing Job in an attempt to get him to deny God and turn away from following Him. Although God had allowed this punishment, He was confident that Job would remain faithful. God would not allow Satan to take his life, but He did allow Job to be physically afflicted with diseases and sores. He also allowed his wealth to be taken away from him; He allowed his wife, his children, and his workers to be slain. Job denied the accusations of his friends. In this chapter, Job steadfastly denied that his misfortune was the result of his sins.

In the chapter containing the subject text, Job indicated that he would be deserving of his punishment if he had sinned. He says that if he had kept all his wealth to himself and not shared it with others in need, then he deserved this punishment. If he had obtained his wealth by dealing dishonestly with others or causing others to lose their lives, then his punishment was deserved. However, Job stated that this was not the case. He was generous to others in need, and shared with them all things that he had. He was honest in all his dealings and was not guilty of taking the life of another.

Job also states that everything he had in his possession came from God. He did not take the credit for the wealth he had accumulated. As our text states, he did not make wealth his desire. When he was fortunate enough though his farming and business ventures to gain wealth, he did not take the credit for it and say, Look what I have done!" He did not kiss his hands, indicating that he became wealthy by his own labor and business skills. No, he gave the credit for his earthly success to his God.

As much as God had done for the nation of Israel, as much as God had given them, they continually failed to give God the credit for their blessings. Moses, in Deuteronomy 8:17-18, noted this in the teaching to Israel: And thou say in thine heart, my power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth.

Consider these hypothetical questions. How many men and women that have gained much wealth believe this text? How many "kiss their hands" and say "look what I have accomplished?" Like Job, how many that are rich in this world's goods will say that all things are gifts from the hand of God? How many will say that their opportunities, wisdom, skills, strength, and health came from God?

1 Timothy 6:17-19 summarizes this thought. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, not trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

All people are wealthy, and there are some that have become much wealthier than others. Whatever your wealth may be, you can be sure that everything you have in your possession came from God. Don't kiss your hands. They did not obtain the wealth that you have. Wealth is a gift from God, therefore, we are not to hoard it as if it is our own. We are to use it as God would have us use it. If kept for yourself, it only has value while you live here on earth. However, if it is used for good works; if it is shared with others that are in need, it is a treasure that is laid up in heaven and its value to you is preserved for eternity.