Job 29:2-5, "Oh that I were… in the days when God preserved me; when his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness… when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle, when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me…”
Job is going through his time of intense suffering and he thinks back to the days when God’s blessing was upon him. What a beautiful description he gives. There can be no greater blessing than to have our children about us and God’s presence filling our home. That sounds like heaven on earth, doesn’t it?
What is ‘the secret of God’? The Hebrew word for ‘secret’ is sod. It has different shades of meaning, but all similar—a group of intimate people who share confidential matters, a friendly conversation among friends, a cushion, a pillow, a couch, a familiar acquaintance, the counsel of the Lord. It is the same word used in Psalm 55:14, “We took sweet counsel (sod) together, and walked into the house of God in company.” From this we see that the ‘secret of God’ in Job’s home was nothing less that the intimate presence of God. It was like He was sitting on a cushion or low couch (as they did in those days) fellowshipping with Job, giving him counsel and telling him His secrets. It speaks of their intimate relationship.
Don’t you long for this? Job lost this for a time when God gave Satan permission to attack him, but it was not for long and all God’s blessings were restored double.
Let’s look at some other translations:
NIV, “When God’s intimate friendship blessed my house.”
The Message, “Oh how I miss those golden years when God’s friendship graced my home.” What blessing to have our precious children sitting around our table. What joy to have dear friends stay in our home and grace our table as we richly fellowship together. But oh how much more to have God’s presence grace our home.
NLT, “The friendship of God was felt in my home.” (RSV, NASB)
MLB, “the friendship of God lingered in my tent.” Oh how I love these words. We don’t want God to grace our home only on the odd occasion. We want His presence to linger in our homes. We want His presence to be felt in every room, by every person in the family, and everyone who comes into the home.
How does God come to our homes? By His Holy Spirit. But remember how easy it is to grieve the Holy Spirit? He is likened to the dove that is easily “frightened” and turned away by sin. God wants our homes to be an intimate secret place. To keep the preciousness of His lingering presence, we must protect our homes from the harshness of the world outside. We must guard our homes from the ugliness of sin, the rains of deception and vice, the biting winds of hardness and strife that would beat against us and the glitzy lightning of worldliness.
A home ceases to be a home when we allow the storms inside. It is a roof and some walls but cannot be called a home. A home is a haven, a hiding place from the storm, a sanctuary! And a place for the intimate friendship of God.
Perhaps you have allowed storms into your home. It’s never too late to repair the damage, build strong walls of protection and keep out the intruding elements. God loves to heal. God loves to restore. He wants to help you make your home a haven instead of being vulnerable to every outside influence.
Make your home a secret place from the world.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh Lord, long for your lingering presence in my life and in my home. Please come into my home and fill every room with your presence. I want you to be a familiar guest in my home. I welcome you to sit on a cushion and fellowship with me. I ask you to grace our table when we eat together. Amen.
I now see my home as a place of safety for my family. I will keep out every thing that will grieve the Spirit of God.
Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week.