I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look lustfully at a young woman.

So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

Job 31:1 & JOB 32:1

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Matthew 5:27-29

What is the gap between the declaration from Job that he was not a sinner in sexual desire and the command of Jesus to resist the temptation of sexual desire?

Job spends much time in the eponymous book trying to convince his friends that he is innocent, righteous, free of blame. He makes a great appeal, based on his total lack of guilt in his own eyes and he swears to all kinds of consequences if he is lying. But he does not speak to God. He speaks about God, defending God’s just nature and power but he does not pray or repent before him until God himself speaks first.

Jesus’ command assumes a posture of godliness. His violent, figurative speech of dismemberment is reflective of the severity of the temptation. “Remove the temptation at any cost! Stumbling is not worth your soul.” A godly person will commune with the Lord and recognize who he is and what he does for us, so that even entertaining temptation temporarily is incompatible with who we are. This is not because we have measured our own righteousness, but because we pursue a greater relationship with the Lord who has made us blameless through Christ’s sacrifice.

Ethan Kirl