Job 19 has Job responding once again. He is fed up with his friends and their continual assault. They are unsympathetic tormentors of his soul. “These ten times you have cast reproach upon me; are you not ashamed to wrong me”? Job was steadfast in his refusal to agree with his friends that he had caused his crisis by some unspeakable sin and a refusal to repent. Job goes so far as to say “even if it be true that I have erred, my error remains with myself”. He didn’t feel he deserved the situation he was experiencing.
Job goes on to say “know then that God has put me in the wrong and closed his net about me”. Job had reason to think this, and poured out his honest feelings before God and his friends. He believes he is being mistreated by the God of the universe. Job then describes in detail how God has attacked him.
- “I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered
- I call for help, but there is no justice
- He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass
- he has set darkness upon my paths
- He has stripped from me my glory and taken the crown from my head
- He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone
- my hope has he pulled up like a tree
- He has kindled his wrath against me and counts me as his adversary
- His troops come on together
- they have cast up their siege ramp against me and encamp around my tent
- He has put my brothers far from me
- those who knew me are wholly estranged from me
- My relatives have failed me
- my close friends have forgotten me
- The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger
- I have become a foreigner in their eyes
- I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer
- I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy
- My breath is strange to my wife
- I am a stench to the children of my own mother
- Even young children despise me; when I rise they talk against me
- All my intimate friends abhor me
- those whom I loved have turned against me
- My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh
- I have escaped by the skin of my teeth”
What a list….
The crux of the issue is that Job is used to hearing from God, who seems to be silent. Job was accustomed to finding comfort and some sense of an answer from God in his previous trials. Yet now when he cried out to heaven he heard no reply. God put Job in a place where he was expected to believe despite what seemed to be unimaginable circumstances and personal feelings. Job’s response is to describe the bitter results of his situation. He is overwhelmed by what is happening.
Job calls upon his friends to pity him. Instead of joining against him in condemnation, they should have pity on him as one afflicted by the hand of God. “Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me”! But even as bad as it is, Job doesn’t lose sight of the reality of God. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth”. This is a brilliant flash of faith in Job’s otherwise dark and bleak background of crisis and suffering. A redeemer was a vindicator of one unjustly wronged. Job knows God will come!