Job 19:1-4 (NIV) 1 Then Job replied: 2 “How long will you torment me and crush me with words? 3 Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me. 4 If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone.
On verses 1-4: Job continues to fight against his friends’ persistent and hurtful attacks. At the end of this chapter, Job will have a stern warning for his friends.
Job 19:5-7 (NIV) 5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me, 6 then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me. 7 “Though I cry, ‘I’ve been wronged!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice.
On verses 5-22: Job believes that God is against him. “His anger burns against me; he counts me among his enemies”, Job says in verse 11. Job’s theory is that because God is against Him, God has blocked his way, darkened his path (v8), stripped him of honor (v9), torn him down, uprooted his hope (v10), advanced against him military-style (v12), alienated him from his family, friends and former employees (v13-19), and left him with nothing but skin and bones (v20). Because Job believes that God is against him, he looks to his friends for pity and comfort (v21) and asks them not to pursue his life the way he believes God has pursued his life (v22).
What can we learn form this? When we find things in our lives turning for the worse, we can be tempted to think that God is against us. That is because we do not see the end of the story God is writing with our lives. Because we “cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11b), we look at the painful middle part that we are going through and think that that is the end of our story. We fail to see that the painful season we are going through is just that – a season, and only one part of a much greater and good story that God is writing with our lives. If we could see everything that God is doing from beginning to end, we would conclude that “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a), and that God is not against us but very much for us (Romans 8:31). Job would find this out for himself in time.
Job 19:23-24 (NIV) 23 “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, 24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!
On verses 23-24: Job certainly got his wish. His words, as well as his friends’ words, are now an integral part of the Old Testament, engraved in the rock of God’s Scriptures forever.
Job 19:25-27 (NIV) 25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
On verses 25-27: Previously in Job 14, Job seems to be wrestling with whether his hope of resurrection is real. We don’t know how much time has passed between Job 14 and Job 19, but here in these verses Job’s faith is now strong. Job has faith that God is His Redeemer (the One who will buy back his life and rescue him) and that one day after Job dies (“after my skin has been destroyed” (v26)), he will in his own flesh (i.e. in a new body) see God with his own eyes (v27).
What can we learn from this? Like Job, our faith in God may waver, but God always remains faithful. 2 Timothy 2:13 even says, “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
Job 19:28-29 (NIV) 28 “If you say, ‘How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him,’ 29 you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring punishment by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment.”
On verses 28-29: Believing that his suffering is definitely not due to his sin, Job warns his friends that if they keep on hounding him and insisting that that “the root of the trouble lies in him” (v28), God will judge them. Like Job, when you are falsely accused or unfairly attacked by others, know that God is just and will avenge you(Romans 12:19-21).
God, thank You that You are very much for me and not against me. Thank You that no matter how bad or difficult things may seem, the story You are writing with me life is not over. The best is yet to come. Thank You that You do not attack me, but You defend me, and that when others accuse me or unfairly attack me, You are my justifier and avenger. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!