Powerful God, I thank you for your powerful, bold, reliable presence with me today and every day.
Read JOB 19
19 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.
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, ‘Violence!’ I get no response;
though I call for help, there is no justice.
8 He has blocked my way so I cannot pass;
he has shrouded my paths in darkness.
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and removed the crown from my head.
10 He tears me down on every side till I am gone;
he uproots my hope like a tree.
11 His anger burns against me;
he counts me among his enemies.
12 His troops advance in force;
they build a siege ramp against me
and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has alienated my family from me;
my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
14 My relatives have gone away;
my closest friends have forgotten me.
15 My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner;
they look on me as on a stranger.
16 I summon my servant, but he does not answer,
though I beg him with my own mouth.
17 My breath is offensive to my wife;
I am loathsome to my own family.
18 Even the little boys scorn me;
when I appear, they ridicule me.
19 All my intimate friends detest me;
those I love have turned against me.
20 I am nothing but skin and bones;
I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.[a]
21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity,
for the hand of God has struck me.
22 Why do you pursue me as God does?
Will you never get enough of my flesh?
23 “Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on[b] lead,
or engraved in rock forever!
25 I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[d]
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet[e] in[f] 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!
- Job 19:20 Or only by my gums
- Job 19:24 Or and
- Job 19:25 Or vindicator
- Job 19:25 Or on my grave
- Job 19:26 Or And after I awake, / though this body has been destroyed, / then
- Job 19:26 Or destroyed, / apart from
- Job 19:28 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts me
- Job 19:29 Or sword, / that you may come to know the Almighty
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWe have a promise that we will see Jesus and be made like him (1 John 3:2). What is your response?
Job is friendless. His closest mates are crushing him with their words (v 2). No longer for him, but now against him, God is on the attack in a ‘divine overkill’ that includes siege works against his tent (v 12)! And as if that were not enough, he laments over his family, his staff, little kids, and other friends who find him repulsive or funny (vs 14–20). They may have thought his wickedness dangerous to be associated with. ‘Thy hand, O God, has guided’ (EH Plumptre, 1821–1891) has become, ‘Thy hand has struck me’ (v 21). His relationships are in tatters and he does not even have his previous friendship with God to fall back on.
Then come the most famous verses in Job (vs 25–27), best known to us from Handel’s Messiah. We must take care not to read all our understanding about Jesus, his resurrection and his return, into Job’s words. For him, this is a yearning that is soon going to be followed again by despair (e.g. 23:1–4). But he is on the right track. His longing, like ours, is to see God and be like him. That alone is true satisfaction for the believer and the answer to all our woes.
How, in the midst of a troubled and painful world, does your church keep eternal hope alive, with hearts set on seeing Christ and being like him?
Lord Jesus, you conquered by dying, you led by serving, you lifted me up by lowering yourself. Hallelujah, what a Savior.