And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day…
The father is the family priest. Job was an Arab chief. In that Arabian home there was, what there ought to be in every British home, a father who, as he sees his children about him, feels himself called to be a consecrated priest unto God, a priest ordained by the laying on of hands, the hands of his own little children.
1. The first, quality of a priest is sympathy. One who can "have compassion," because he knows life, and is able to sympathise. Sympathy means being able to know exactly what are the feelings of other people. Job had before him the question which comes to all parents, "How ought I to feel towards young people who are thirsting for pleasures which I have long lost the relish for?" Job's children were fond of feasts and holidays, and it is clear that their enjoyments caused him anxiety. He felt that there are times when young life needs a very watchful eye. Youth has its special temptations. What young life is really doing — its thoughts, its faults, its dangers — these are things that a parent wants to know. The Christian father would sit within the very soul of his child if he could, and keep the crooked serpent out of that new Eden. Feeling the limit of his own power, the good man kneels and prays. What he cannot do God can do.
2. A priest was a director. The education of a child is done by the schoolmaster, but it is directed from the home. What is it that makes or mars every life? It is personal character. This makes the man or woman, and it is Christ that makes character. Here is the sphere for the priest-like father. These young holiday-loving people in the land of Uz daily saw their model in their own father. They lived under the shadow of a sublime example.
3. Above all, a priest is an intercessor. There is one Mediator, and yet all are mediators. Every one is a bridge over which some benefit is conveyed to his fellows. And the most sacred of mediators are father and mother. On the priest-like father's heart are engraved the names of the household, for which he makes daily intercession. For these sacred home responsibilities, as for all other, the great preparation is the preparation of self. To give ourselves to God is the chief thing out of which all good influences come. Let us give ourselves to the habit of faithful prayer. The prayer and devotion of God's people ennobles and safeguards life.
Parallel VersesKJV: And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.