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Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Job 19

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-29

Chapter 19

Then Job answered and said, How long will you vex my soul, and break me in pieces with your words? These ten times you have reproached me: and you're not ashamed that you made yourself like a stranger to me. And be it indeed that I have erred, my error remaineth with myself. If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach: Know now that God hath overthrown me, encompassed me in his net ( Job 19:1-6 ).

Now this is the thing that upsets them, that he is blaming God for the calamities. This is the thing that really ires his friends, but Job repeats it. "Look, I don't care what you say, fellas. God has overthrown me." Now God allowed Job to be overthrown. So Job doesn't understand it fully himself.

Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there's no judgment. He's fenced up my way, I cannot pass, he has set darkness in my paths. He's stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. He has destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and my hope hath he removed like a tree. He hath also kindled his wrath against me, he counts me unto him as one of his enemies. His troops have come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tent. He has put my brothers far from me, mine acquaintance are estranged from me. My kinsfolk [my family] have failed, and my familiar [close] friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in my house, and my maids, count me as a stranger: I am an alien in their sight. I called to my servant, and he doesn't even answer me; I beg with him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, though I begged her for the children's sake of my own body. Yea, the young children despise me; I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhor me: and they whom I have loved have turned against me. My bone cleaves to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped [I'm only living] by the skin of my teeth. Have pity on me, have pity on me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me. Why do you persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh? ( Job 19:7-22 )

So Job is, oh man, you talk about misery and you talk about everything going against you. Everybody turning against you. "My servants, they won't even listen to me. I call them and they won't even answer. I beg them to come and help me and they're my servants, but they won't even listen. My wife, the one who bore my children, she's turned against me. I beg her, and she doesn't even listen. My friends, my close friends, they've all turned. Here I am, all alone. Nobody understands me." Have you ever thought that? Nobody understands. Boy, Job was really in the pit.

Now, you can't get any lower than this. There's no way. I don't care how bad you've had it; you can't get any lower than Job was. I mean, he is at the bottom. But so many times it is when we get to the bottom that we look up. And Job can't go any lower than the cry that he's just made. I mean, this is it. This is bottoming out. And at this point of total despair, hopelessness, "God has turned against me, my family has turned against me, my friends have turned against me, my nephews have turned against me, the little kids hate me. Nobody loves me. I haven't a friend in the world left," yet Job said,

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! ( Job 19:23 )

Well, Job, they are.

That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! ( Job 19:24 )

"Oh, that I could carve these words in the rock." What words?

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin the worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me ( Job 19:25-27 ).

Out of the midst of the darkest despair, this cry of glorious victory. "I know." You see, I don't know much at this point, I don't understand anything at this point, but I do know this: the foundation upon which I stand. My Redeemer liveth.

Now remember that Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible. Job perhaps lived about the time of Abraham. At this point, they had not had the prophets to testify to the people of the coming Messiah, the Deliverer. Job's revelation was very limited, but yet he knew that his Redeemer lived. He believed in the Messiah. And in the latter days, He's going to stand upon the earth. And though the worms and all eat this body, yet I'm going to see Him. I'm going to see Him for myself. What a glorious hope. And this is the sustaining hope. Though I may not understand a lot of things, I know this: my Redeemer lives. Someday He's going to come again and establish His kingdom upon earth and I'm going to see Him. Peter said, "Whom having not seen, yet you love and even though you do not see Him now, still we rejoice with a joy unspeakable and full of glory" ( 1 Peter 1:8 ). I'm glad for the knowledge and the assurance that my Redeemer lives.

Now, Job has the capacity of coming out with these bright things and then jumping right back down in the pit.

But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me? Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment ( Job 19:28-29 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 19". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-19.html. 2014.
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