Job 31 … Consider Him Who Sees Our Ways and Numbers Our Steps

Does He not see my ways
And number all my steps?”
(31:4).

This is Job’s final speech, his last-ditch effort to get someone to listen to him.

…The words of Job are ended. (31:40).

And in this final discourse, Job reminds those who have tried and convicted him, as well as reminding himself, that one day, he will receive his just portion and heritage from the God he has committed to serve in faith and purity all his days.

“I have made a covenant with my eyes;
How then could I gaze at a virgin?
“And what is the portion of God from above
Or the heritage of the Almighty from on high?
“Is it not calamity to the unjust
And disaster to those who work iniquity?”
(31:1-3).

And in this entire chapter, he lays out his own defense; but in reality, counting on the only One Who really knows his heart, the One Who Sees Our Ways and Numbers Our Steps.

Consider Him Who Sees Our Ways and Numbers Our Steps

Ways: “1870. דֶּרֶךְ Derek: A masculine noun meaning path, journey, way. This common word is derived from the Hebrew verb dāraḵ (1869), meaning to walk or to tread, from which the basic idea of this word comes: the path that is traveled… is most often used metaphorically to refer to the pathways of one’s life, suggesting the pattern of life…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

He Sees Our Ways, the paths we travel and the pattern of our life; and there is nothing hidden.

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do, (Hebrews 4:13).

  • He Sees Our Ways that He may strongly support us.
    • For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His… (2 Chronicles 16:9).
  • He Sees Our Ways that we would be tried and purified.
    • “But He knows the way I take;
      When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold,”
      (Job 23:10).
  • He Sees Our Ways by His scrutiny and intimacy.
    • You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
      And are intimately acquainted with all my ways,
      (Psalm 139:3).
  • He Sees Our Ways to watch over our paths.
    • For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord,
      And He watches all his paths,
      (Proverbs 5:21).
  • He Sees Our Ways, the evil and the good.
    • The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
      Watching the evil and the good,
      (Proverbs 15:3).

Number: “5608. סָפַר sāp̱ar,  סֹפֵר sōp̱ēr,  סוֹפֵר sôp̱ēr: A verb meaning to number, to recount, to relate, to declare… God’s numbering of one’s steps is a sign of His care…”
Steps: “6806. צַעַד ṣaʿaḏ: A masculine noun referring to a step taken, a stride… It bears a figurative sense of success in life, prosperity… The Lord numbers the steps of persons, determining their extent and their path…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

He Numbers Our Steps to teach us and lead us in His way of success and prosperity.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you
, (Psalm 32:8).

  • He Numbers Our Steps to bring us to His provision for forgiveness.
    • “You will call, and I will answer You;
      You will long for the work of Your hands.
      16 “For now You number my steps,
      You do not observe my sin.
      17 “My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
      And You wrap up my iniquity,”
      (Job 14:15-17).
  • He Numbers Our Steps to walk in His freedom.
    • “You enlarge my steps under me,
      And my feet have not slipped,”
      (2 Samuel 11:37).
  • He Numbers Our Steps to accomplish His purpose.
    • The mind of man plans his way,
      But the Lord directs his steps,
      (Proverbs 16:9).
  • He Numbers Our Steps to teach us to walk by faith.
    • Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord,
      How then can man understand his way? (Proverbs 20:24).
  • He Numbers Our Steps as we submit to His will.
    • I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself,
      Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps, (Jeremiah 10:23).

How do we respond to Him Who Sees Our Ways and Numbers Our Steps?

As we contemplate the final words of Job’s defense, he held fast to his faith in God; but he was close to slipping in his confusion over how God seemed to be handling the affairs of man.

“And what is the portion of God from above
Or the heritage of the Almighty from on high?
“Is it not calamity to the unjust
And disaster to those who work iniquity?”
(31:2-3).

Asaph was also well acquainted with this struggle for balance.

But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked…
16 When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end,
(Psalm 73:2-3, 16-17).

If we will follow the example given in this Psalm of Asaph, we won’t waste time pondering the injustices of life or considering the prosperity of the wicked. Rather, let us come into His Presence to consider Him Who Sees Our Ways and Numbers Our Steps.

The Lord God is sovereign; yet He has given us free will. And how the two work together can be downright baffling to our finite mind. But His Word proclaims it to be so. This we know: His will and purpose will be fulfilled and accomplished. However, He has also delegated some responsibility to us.

And while it is a most honorable and desirable task to consider Him in His Word, the Lord of Hosts asks us to Consider something else as well; our own ways.

Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!(Haggai 1:5).

Yes, He will demonstrate His care as He Numbers our Steps, but He calls us to demonstrate our love through Our Ways of faith and obedience.

Let us obey Him and consider Our Ways, for He Sees and already knows. When His Word reveals something that is out of Step with His testimonies, let us confess our sins, repent and turn to Him,  trusting He will Number Our Steps according to His commands.

I considered my ways
And turned my feet to Your testimonies,
(Psalm 119:59).

In order for His Word to reveal our missteps, we need to spend time in His Holy Scriptures to Consider Him and Our Ways. In so doing, we can trust that He will establish Our Steps in His Word that will lead us to right living through faith in Him.

Establish my footsteps in Your word,
And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me, (Psalm 119:133).

As we live constantly mindful that He Sees Our Ways, we will grow in reverent fear to treasure His every command and be moved to walk in the Steps He Numbers for us.

I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies,
For all my ways are before You,
(Psalm 119:168).

Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You,
(Psalm 119:11).

The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip,
(Psalm 37:31).

Oh, that we would so consider Our Ways, that we might enjoy the privilege of bringing delight to Him Who Sees Our Ways and Numbers Our Steps. Now that is really something to consider!

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way,
(Psalm 37:23).

Let’s Grow Together!

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