Covenants of Victory
July 15-16, 2023
All right, as we've been reading through the Book of Job, of course when most people think about the Book of Job, they immediately think of Job's suffering. Of course, it's understandable because he certainly did suffer greatly, but as we have been seeing, there is so much more to the Book of Job than just job suffering. Although, obviously that's important, but it's one of the deepest books of the Bible and it speaks to some of the deepest issues of life.
Job, when you study it and see it, it will strengthen your faith. It will truly inspire your soul to desire more of God in your life. As we've seen the story unfolds, Job's three friends come to comfort him in his suffering. As I mentioned before, they are his friends, but they're terrible counselors and they're terrible comforters. In fact, some of Job's responses to their so-called comforters is quite interesting.
He said sarcastically to these comforters, "Oh, what a help you are to the weak. Oh, what helpful insight you have provided. Sorry comforters are you all." Now these are friends that can obviously talk very boldly with each other. "Is there no limit to your windy words?" Job's, friends, as we see in the story, they're convinced that Job deserves all that he is going through. All of this suffering, they're convinced you deserve it.
Now, they don't know why he deserves it, but they're convinced that he does. What they're convinced is they've come to the conclusion that if sin and wickedness and iniquity bring forth hardship and trouble and suffering, which it actually does, that is a principle of the Scriptures, sin and inequity and wickedness will be bringing troubles in a person's life.
We know that's true, but they have concluded that anyone then who is suffering or going through trouble must have done some sin or iniquity to deserve it, or they're harboring iniquity in their hearts. However, from the earliest chapter in the Book of Job, God declares that there is no one like Job in all of the earth, blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. In other words, Job is not suffering because he's wicked, he's suffering because he is righteous.
As I mentioned before, is it possible for a person to suffer for righteousness? Oh, it is. You just stand up for God in this old world and you'll find trouble more than you can handle. Yes, it's possible, but here's the thing, Job knows his own heart and Job is not going to relent. He will not give in to their relentless pressure. In fact, at one point he says, "Far be it from me that I should declare you right. Until I die, I will not put my integrity away from me." You've got to love Job.
Things like these, "Until I die, I will hold onto my integrity. I will hold fast to my righteousness and I will not let it go. My heart does not reproach, any of my days." Then he adds something interesting and very important.
In chapter 27, he says, "Will the wicked delight in the Almighty? Will the wicked call on God at all times?" Job does, its proof and evidence that their accusations are not true. Job does delight. "I delight in the Almighty." Do the wicked do that? Of course, they do not. They're offended at God. They want nothing to do with God. What a great answer to their accusations. If he were as wicked and evil as his friend suggests, would he delight in the Almighty?
No, but I do delight in the Almighty, he says, "I will let go. I will hold fast." That brings us to chapter 31, where we will be today. Chapter 31, Job goes even farther to describe his integrity, the heart of integrity he has, and he gives here one of the most quoted verses of the Book of Job here in chapter 31. That is this, "I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I gaze upon a maiden?" It is a verse that declares the integrity of Job's heart. It is a powerful verse.
I submit that there is far more to this than just a covenant with his eyes, which is of course amazing. It's a tremendous spiritual victory for one to have a covenant with his eyes and mean it is a great spiritual victory. Anybody agree with me? It's amazing, but I suggest that there's far more to it. The reason that Job made a covenant with his eyes is because he delights in the Almighty. That's what we're going to see, there is power to these verses and power to what God would have us to receive tonight in His words.
Let's just read the first eight verses. Of course, as many of you know, we are looking at the verses in and around this at the Wednesday verse by verse service, but tonight we're in chapter 31. We begin reading in verse 1. Again, he's refuting his friends and he's standing and he's holding on relentlessly. He says, "I will not let go. I have integrity in my heart." He goes and says, verse 1, "I have made a covenant with my eyes so then how can I gaze upon a maiden or a virgin?" He says, "What is the portion of God from above or the heritage of the Almighty from on high for the unjust? Is it not calamity on the unjust and disaster on those who work iniquity? We know that is the principle of the harvest. It is true."
I. Make a Covenant with Your Soul
He says, "Does God not see my ways?" Now remember, that's part of Job's dilemma. It is like I have been holding on to my integrity. Doesn't God see? That's his dilemma. Why does He not see? Now of course all of this is going to come out. God's going to speak before the book is over, but now he says, does he not see? Does he not number my steps if--
Then he says, "If I have walked in falsehood, if my foot has hastened after deceit, then let Him weigh me in accurate scales and let Him know my integrity." Then he says, "If my step has turned from the way or if my heart has followed my eyes, or if there is any spot that is stuck to my hands," in other words any impurity in my hands, "Then fine. Let me sow then and another eat and let my crops be uprooted. If that is, if I have done that, then I deserve it, but I haven't. I have been holding on." These are the verses that we want to look at.
I want to start with this understanding. This is about covenants of victory. Now he's mentions here that he makes a covenant with his eyes, but then I want to begin with this, make a covenant with your soul. Now we want to look of course, at this covenant that Job made, but we first must understand where the desire for such a covenant with his eyes, where did that come from?
Now, a covenant by the way, is one of the greatest defining concepts of commitment in the scriptures. For example, marriage is a covenant. The greatest commitment between a man and a woman. God's commitment to Israel is seen in a covenant that He made with them through Moses. In fact in the temple, in the holy of holy places, under the mercy seat was the Ark of the Covenant and the people of Israel are often called the people of the covenant.
A. Understand the value of your soul
It's one of the greatest understandings of commitment and dedication. In other words, before Job made a covenant with his eyes, he made a covenant with his soul. In other words, here's where we have to see the depth of this book. Understand the value of your soul. Understand the value. See, if people can only understand the value of their soul, it would completely transform how they live. See, these bodies of ours is just flesh. The Scripture says that this flesh of ours, these bodies, they're just temporary tents to dwell in. We're not taking these things with us, but our souls, they live forever. What then is the value of the soul?
Well, Jesus spoke to it in Mark 8:36-37. Jesus says, "What does it profit a man if he gained the whole world and forfeited his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Jesus is trying to declare, do you not understand the value of your soul? Job did understand, I submit, and he treasured what God was doing in his heart, in his soul. Job delighted in God and he treasured what God was doing in his soul.
Notice, for example, Job 23:11-12, "My foot has held fast to His path. I have kept His way. I have not turned aside. I have not departed from the command of His lips." Then he adds, "I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." Ah, there is a declaration. How he values the words of God. He understands, Job also understands the value of pouring wisdom into the soul, the wisdom that comes from God and God alone. He spoke about that in Chapter 28. Job 28:13-18 Job says, "Man does not know the value of wisdom."
Now, how valuable is wisdom? If you were given a choice between wisdom and great riches, which would you choose? Wisdom is more valuable than great riches. Anybody agree with me? In fact, he goes on to say, "Wisdom is not found in the land of the living. Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it. You cannot buy it. Silver cannot be weighed as a price for it. The acquisition of wisdom is far above that of Pearls." Job understands that the soul is made alive only with it delights in the Almighty. He wants that pour out what you are doing in my soul. I delight in you. I delight in the Almighty.
B. God delights in those who delight in Him
That reminds me so much of David. David, he understood this. David wrote this in Psalm 27. I love Psalm 27. The whole Psalm is amazing, but verse 4 he says, "One thing I've asked from the Lord, one." David's greatest desire, "One thing I've asked from the Lord and that I shall seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple." David understood that the presence of the Almighty was beautiful on the soul.
The presence of God is beautiful on the soul. Do you believe it? That is what God desires to show us in His word. That is revival. When the soul delights in the Almighty. When you desire to see the beauty of the presence of the Lord, that is revival. See, then we have to see this. That God delights in those who delight in Him. It goes also both ways. See, this is a theme of the Scriptures. It's a relationship. God wants a relationship. A relationship goes both ways. When you delight in God, God is well pleased. You feel His pleasure, it says, and He will build and construct in your soul that which gives him glory.
King David understood that. David was a young shepherd out there under the stars watching over the sheep. He was worshiping the Almighty, playing his harp, writing the Psalms, singing, making melody. He was worshiping. There was something beautiful that was happening in David. He was delighting in the Almighty, so God delighted in David.
Notice 1st Chronicles 28:4. David said, "God took pleasure in me and made me king over all Israel." It goes both ways. See, when I think of that, understanding that God delights in you when you delight in Him reminds me of the Eric Liddell or Liddell. You, no doubt, heard about the famous Olympian runner made famous by the movie Chariots of Fire. He was an Olympian runner and, of course, amazing. Many, of course, you saw the movie. There's that wonderful scene in the movie that shows not only his ability to run, but his grit of character.
This is early on in the movie and he's running. It's not even the Olympics, but he's running, I think it's in college, and somehow somebody hits him. His knee gets hit and he falls and he tumbles. Now he's like dead last and he's way behind everybody else. Most people would have quit. Then Eric Liddell gets up and then he starts running and that's when the music starts. [sings] Your heart swells within you because he turns the last corner. He's passing runner after runner after runner, and then he passes the whole field and he finishes first.
It's like--There's a grit of character in him. Interestingly, he had an urge, God called him to be a missionary. Very strong Christian. I think many of you know his story. A friend one time said, "If God called you to be a missionary, then why do you run?" I love his answer. He said, "I'd run because God made me fast, but when I run, I feel His pleasure." I thought, "I love that. To feel the pleasure God delights in you when you delight in Him." If I can I add a personal twist to that. God called me to be a pastor. When I teach His word, I feel His pleasure, I love-- Amen.
I love what God is doing here. God is doing something amazing. I'm still thankful for that. 2nd Corinthians 5:7,9, "We walk by faith and not by sight." Therefore, we have as our ambition to be pleasing to Him. See, chapter 29 is interesting. In chapter 29, Job remembers the life that he had before all of this suffering. Now, in chapter 29, we get a picture of Job's life that we don't read anywhere else in the Bible. It's very interesting. In chapter 29, he remembers, I'm just going to give you a snippet of it, but this is very important.
Job 29:2-5. "Oh, that I were as in days gone by or months gone by." You get a sense of the time, how long he's been suffering now. Notice he says, "Oh, that I were as in days gone by when friendship with God was over my tent, when the Almighty was with me." Now, of course, he does not understand what's happening and he thinks that God has withdrawn His hand. Now we know that's not true, but as Job sees it, that's his dilemma.
He remembers when the friendship of God was over my tent, when the Almighty was with me. See, Job knows. He looks back on months gone by, and he remembers what God had built when there was this relationship where he said, "The friendship of God was over my tent." Now, can we make it personal? Does God have a desire that life and relationship would be ours today? In the same way we can say the same, the friendship of God is over our tent. If you are a son or a daughter of the living God, then the friendship of God is over your tent. Do you believe that? Let's give the Lord praise. Absolutely right.
See, he remembers what God built. Job delighted in the Almighty. He treasured God's word more than his necessary food, and God was building in him the construct of integrity. God was building him the construct of wisdom and of stature. The posts, beams, the steel, the racks of the strength, of integrity and the character of soul, God built that. God built that in Job because Job delighted in the Almighty. Amen.
Let's give the Lord praise. Absolutely right. Here's what's interesting, everyone could see it, what God built. There was none like Him in all the earth and everyone could see it. Notice for example, Job 29:7-11 Job says, when I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the square, young men saw me and hid themselves. In other words, they were intimidated by Job.
Old men rose and stood on their feet. Imagine now it's such stature that when Job came and sat down in the square of the city, that old men would stand up out of respect. God built that. Princes would stop talking. The voice of nobles was hushed. When the ear heard, they called me blessed. Job, you are blessed with wisdom, man. Where did you get that wisdom? Job, you are blessed.
See, this is the value of the soul. When God builds in you that construct of integrity. Is integrity important? God will build in you the construct of integrity. He will pour wisdom and stature into your life and it will become the posts, beam, the steel, the rocks of the strength of integrity and the character of your soul. God will build that when you delight in the Almighty, when you delight in the Almighty, when your soul is made alive, God will build that.
See, this is the covenant God wants you to make with your soul. I submit that you start there, make a covenant with your soul, that you value what God is building in your soul, and that you treasure that beautiful work that God does on the soul more than your necessary food. That is when you'll be able to make a covenant with your eyes and mean it. That is when you can be victorious. This is about the covenants of victory.
II. Make a Covenant with Your Eyes
Make a covenant with your soul and then make a covenant with your eyes. Now that, making a covenant with your eyes not to look upon a young maiden, it means of course to not have lustfulness in the heart. That's what it means. If we can be specific, can we be specific? That's what it means. It is the very definition of spiritual victory, to make a covenant with your eyes. That is the very definition of victory.
Is it possible to have victory over the flesh? Does anybody believe it's possible to have victory over the flesh? Yes, it is. I also say that many people even now, are fighting this battle. They're fighting and they're not winning. God will show us how that victory is possible. You start with a covenant with the soul to delight in the Almighty. See, this is important because the eye is the lamp of the soul.
The Scripture says the eye is the lamp of the soul. There are more worldly things for the eyes to see today than ever before in the history of the world. Anybody agree with me? Today there's more things, more worldly things to see, for the eyes to see than ever before in the history of the world. Is it possible to have victory over the flesh in times like these? Is it possible? Yes, it is.
God wants that victory for you. God wants to open your eyes so that you can see that which is truly beautiful. See, in other words, you can only make a covenant with your eyes and be victorious when you have made a covenant with your soul. When you have come to see that what God is doing in the soul is of greater treasure than anything that the flesh desires. In fact, the things of the world and spiritual defeat will rob you blind. You know where that phrase rob you blind. You know what it means? It means that you will be robbed as if you were blind.
A. God builds – sins tears down
It will rob you blind and spiritually speaking, that person who is defeated is blind. This is what I want us to see. God builds, sin tears down. God builds, sin tears down. God wants to build. Anybody agree with me? God wants to build. God wants to build. God wants to build. Absolutely right. God wants to build, but sin will tear down. God wants to build, but sin will tear down.
See, Job made a covenant with his eyes to be spiritually victorious over his flesh because he wanted nothing to tear down that which God was building. God builds, sin tears down. What God had built into his soul, into his character was of such value to Job, the stature of integrity. The steel, the posts, the beams, the rocks. I want nothing to tear that down. God is building, sin will tear it down. I want nothing to tear down what my God is building. See, unrighteous, this will tear down your life.
God wants to open her eyes to see what God will build, is of greater treasure than anything the world has to offer. Value that, value that, let nothing stand in the way of that which God is building. Let me give you some examples. Sin will distort the mind and will affect your judgment. It will tear down your mind and will affect your judgment. You will become unwise. God builds wisdom. Sin will tear it down. You'll become unwise. Sin will blind you.
In other words, sin will hide from you the depths of the beauty of spiritual life. One thing I want, David said, to behold the beauty, how beautiful is the work of God on the soul? How beautiful is the almighty? Sin will tear down. Sin will tear down your finances. Can we get specific? I'll give you some verses. Job Chapter 20:12-15 Job. Oh, there's great wisdom in Job. "Though evil is weak in the mouth, in the stomach it is changed to the venom of cobras within him. He swallows riches but he will vomit them up. God will expel them from his belly."
This is in Job, this is amazing. This is great wisdom. This is great insight. Though evil is sweet in the mouth, oh, that is true in other Scriptures, "Stolen water is sweet, bread eaten in secret is pleasant." It's sweet in the mouth, oh, but it is yucky in the soul. That's a deep theological word, yucky, deep but it's true. If you've ever done the world, if you've ever done the world and the sin thing, it's ugly on the soul.
Anybody agree with me? It feels terrible inside, yes, let's give that a little praise, absolutely. Oh, here's another one. Proverbs 6:26, "On account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread." It reduces. It reduces. It reduces. God builds, sin tears down, God builds, sin tears down. God wants to build, to edify, to strengthen, to bless, to build the construct of integrity. When Job was thinking of the value of wisdom upon the soul he said this, Job 28:28, "And to men God said, behold to revere the Lord or to fear the Lord, that is wisdom."
Then he says, "To depart from evil, that is understanding." That's wisdom. That is understanding. That is understanding. See, in other words, those who partake of evil know nothing of the constructs of integrity, they know nothing of the value of the posts, the beam, the steel, the rocks of God, the strength of God, and the character. They know nothing of such things and they value them not at all, but there is joy in the construct of integrity. There is joy in the soul. It is pleasant to the soul when God is building the construct, the steel, the beam, the post, the stature, it's pleasant on the soul.
B. God wants to give you eyes to see
That's why Job remembers it with such fondness. Oh, it was such a wonderful time. Then I say this, God wants to give you eyes to see. See, sin will blind you, it will reduce you to a loaf of bread. Jesus said, "The enemy has come to steal, to kill, and to destroy." Job understood this. Oh, there is such great wisdom in this book. Job delighted in the Almighty. He treasured God's word more than his necessary food because he understood the beauty of what God was doing in the soul.
Therefore, those things of the world, he says, I had no appetite for those things. They had no flavor to me. Job 6:6-7 he says it in Hebrew poetry, it's very beautiful. The way he says it, he says, "Can something tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the white of an egg? My soul refuses to touch them. They are lonesome food to me." Now is there a taste in the white of an egg? The answer is no. There is no taste in the white of an egg. I should know, I am on a strict diet and I will often eat egg whites for breakfast.
To make them edible, I make them into French omelets with goat cheese. The point Job is making, I have no appetite for such things. Those things are loathsome to me. I will not touch them, I will not touch them, those things of the world like that, those things that poison. They are lonesome, I won't touch them. You know why? Because I don't want anything to tear down what God is building. What God is building is too precious to me. Amen. What God is building is too precious to me.
What God is building here is precious, let tear it down, let nothing tear it down. If you make a covenant with your eyes not to look upon that which is worldly, if you will make a covenant with your soul to delight in the Almighty, God will open your eyes. Your soul will have understanding, your soul will have wisdom, you will have a depth of understanding and insight to see. With spiritual eyes, you can see. You'll have a depth to see. 1st Corinthians 2:14-15, "A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to him, he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised, but he who is spiritual appraises all things."
God will give and construct in you the wisdom of understanding, spiritual insight. God is calling you to make a covenant with your soul to desire the construct of integrity that God would build in you, God will build this, God will build this, to build in you the construct of integrity, the posts, the beam, the steel, the rocks, the strength of God, the character, that is the value of the soul.
If you understand that, if you understand that, if you value that, then you will make a covenant with your eyes. You will make a covenant with your eyes and you’ll mean that because you want nothing to tear down on what God is building. Let nothing tear it down because it's too precious to me, it's too valuable to me, I don't want anything to tear down what God is building. Anybody agree with me? Is it possible to be spiritually victorious? Yes, it is. Let's give the Lord praise.
Absolutely. Amen. Amen. Amen. Lord, we honor you and thank you for such great wisdom found in such a wonderful book, and God, every one of us here in this room now can see with spiritual eyes what you are showing us in your word, that the value of the construct of integrity is precious. To desire that God would build something, that God would build the strength, the post, the beam, the steel, the rocks, build that, build that, and I don't want anything to tear it down. I will make a covenant with my soul, I'll make a covenant with my eyes, I want nothing to tear it down. I want God to build something.
How many would say to the Lord today, "Build something, build something in me, build something in me, God. I want that, that you would build, the strength of character, the posts, the beam, the steel, the rocks, build that, that's what I want. Build that." Will you just raise your hand if that's your heart to say that to the Lord, build that, that's what I want. Build that and I'll make a covenant with my eyes that nothing will tear it down. Oh Lord, we honor you, we thank you for how amazing you are. Thank you for meeting us in this place in Jesus's powerful name and everyone said, can we give the Lord praise.