Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
In this chapter, Job continues his defense that he is innocent. He begins by saying: “I made a covenant with mine eyes” (v. 1). Job says he would not sin with his eyes.
What covenant did Job make with his eyes? Job says:
1. He will never look upon a woman with lust (v. 1). He says adultery is a heinous crime and is a sin that burns until it destroys everything (v.11-12). He says adultery will be punished by God: “For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges” (v.11).
I wish that every married man and woman would be like Job and make a covenant with their eyes and aware that adultery is a heinous crime that burns and destroys everything and will be punished by God. Christ knows and warns against looking at a woman with lust: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Husbands and wives, make a covenant with your eyes.
2. He will not look upon his servants’ grievances and ignore them (V.13-15). He maintains he is a fair employer and treats his servants fairly. I like his attitude towards all men when he says all men are created by God and therefore are equal before God: “Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?” (v.15). We are all God’s creation and therefore, equal.
3. He will never look on a poor, or an orphan, or a widow in need and not offer help (v.16-23). He maintains he has been a benevolent person. He knows that God will judge the oppressor and it is this fear that keeps him on his toes: “For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure” (v.23).
4. He will not look upon his wealth and lust after it (v.24-28). He says though he was rich, he has never put his confidence in his wealth (v.24). He will not be overcome by pride because of his wealth (v.25). To him, covetousness is like idolatry; it would be amounting to denying his God: “This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above” (v.28).
Indeed, covetousness is idolatry (Colossians 3: 5) and the apostle Paul warns against trusting in wealth and becoming puff up: “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).
5. He will never look and rejoice over a fallen enemy (v.29-30). He has seen their destruction, and was far from rejoicing in it, and he has never wished a curse on their souls. Solomon says: “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth” (Proverbs 24:17). The Christian attitude towards our enemies should be the same: “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink” (Romans 12:20).
6. He will never look upon a stranger and deny hospitality to him (v.31-32). He maintains he has been very hospitable even to strangers. Do we do good only to those whom we love? The word of God says: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).
7. He will never look on his sins and try to hide them (v.33-37). He says he will not be as Adam who tried to hide his sins from God (v.33). But he says he will lay his sins before God: “I would give him an account of all my steps” (v.37).
Likewise, as Christians, we are to be honest before God in confessing our sins so that we can receive forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
8. Lastly, he will never look upon somebody’s land and take it by force or deceit (v.38-40). He will not be like Jezebel who took the land of Naboth by deceit and murder (1 Kings 21:1-16). Job has been honest in his business dealings.
Have you made a covenant with your eyes? Our Lord says: “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (Mark 9: 47).
If you have an eye that is filled with adultery, idolatry, hatred, covetousness, wickedness, or any such sins, you have to pluck it off. You need to be like Job: make a covenant with your eyes.
Psa 119:97 Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.