“Or the moon going in splendor, And my heart became secretly enticed, And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth, That too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment, For I would have denied God above.”
“Satan has only a persuading sleight, not an enforcing might. He may tempt us, but without ourselves he cannot conquer us; he may entice us, but without ourselves he cannot hurt us. Our hearts carry the greatest stroke in every sin. Satan can never undo a man without himself; but a man may easily undo himself without Satan.1”
The book of Job grants to us an emotional and inspiring insight into the testing and struggle of one of God’s most faithful servants in a time in history that likely predated Abraham. It is safe to say that Job endured losses that few of us will likely ever experience, yet it does not exclude us from our own trials and temptations in this life.
When we arrive at chapter 31 of the book of Job, we come to a telling shift in Job’s response to his miserable comforters. Over the course of what may have been stretched out over a year,
Job had entered into dialogue with three men that had come as comforters to Job in his suffering but had turned out to be critics and accusers of Job’s moral integrity. Now Job summons his closing remarks, which reek of self-righteousness and arrogant boast in his own integrity. It is during the course of this dialogue that Job is conjecturing that if he had violated any of a list of sins, that God would surely have disciplined him for them and he would have indeed welcomed the discipline. In his list of conjectured violations, the above text; “Or the moon going in splendor, And my heart became secretly enticed, And my hand threw a kiss from my mouth, That too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment, For I would have denied God above,” is sighted as one of those potential violations.
The importance lies here in what Job is saying is a violation of the righteousness and holiness of the moral God. Job here is making reference to idolatry and that the ramifications of such practice suggests immediate judgment. We are accustom to allocating the practice of open idolatry to another period of human history when they were more barbaric and ignorant. Few recognize idolatry as the issue plaguing the lives of people today. Yet as one has suggested; “Anything placed between us and God is idolatry.” It is interesting here that Job uses the illustration of the mere gesture of blowing a kiss to the sun or moon is grounds for Divine judgment. He understood that if we, in any way, make an expression of confidence or security toward an object of God’s creation, we are carrying out an act of idolatry. Job goes on to point out that such an act is an act of denial of God.
We may make a critical application here to our own lives, that if our life is in the habit of throwing kisses to the moon; we are in violation of God’s holiness and a cosmic thief of the rightful glory due Him. The Prophet Isaiah reminded us of the Divine perspective when God, Himself said; “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.” (Isa. 42:8) In truth, Job is sighting the law and specifically Exodus 20:3; “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
If we are honest, the reality of most people today is that someone other than God is God in their life. We may attend church, say few spiritual things during crisis times or even have a habit of reading the Bible on occasion, but lurking in the spaces between us and God are a monopoly of other little gods that we often throw kisses to in acknowledgement that we are holding out a measure of trust and confidence in them in time of crisis. Job would experience perhaps the most brutally enduring struggle of any human being apart from Jesus Christ. But it was only Jesus Christ that remained fixed on the Father throughout, even Job could not boast in this. His confidence in the end was his own integrity and it cost him the rebuke of God. What are we throwing kisses to?
The Rev. Ray Druckenmiller is the Pastor at Manning Community Church.