-Job tell us that his spirit is broken and his days are extinguished as chapter 17 starts. The grave is for him; he truly believes this in his despair. The mockers were with him, and his eyes were gazing on their provocation (marah- to be contentious, be rebellious, be refractory, be disobedient towards, be rebellious against). He wanted to lay down a pledge at this point with the LORD. He asked painfully, “Who is there that will be my guarantor (surety, stand up for, security, literally ‘to shake hands with’)?” Job recognized that God was keeping his friends’ hearts from understanding, and that He was surely not going to exalt them in anything. I actually see Job’s confidence returning here in the passage. He provides a proverb, “He who informs against friends for a share of the spoil, the eyes of his children also will languish (Job 17:1-5).”
-God has made His servant “a byword” of the people. This is the same designation David one time used of himself for the zeal of the LORD’s House (Psalm 69:11). Derision has encompassed Job like it would one day be applied to Jesus as men spat at him (Matthew 26:67; 27:30). His eyes were growing dim from grief, and his body parts felt like a mere shadow of his former glory. He purported that the upright would be appalled at this, and that the innocent would stir up himself against the godless. But, not to worry, “Nonetheless the righteous will hold to his way, and he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.” Job couldn’t find a wise man among the crowd. His days were past, his plans torn apart, even the wishes of his heart. He digressed and scoffed at false hope that some were giving saying that his night would turn to day and that the “light is near” even when he was in the presence of darkness. He looked for Sheol to be his home. He made his bed in darkness during these days of torment. He called to the pit, “You are my father,” and to the worm of the ground, “My mother and my sister.” He wondered where hope was and who regarded his hope. It seemed to go to the grave with him, into the dust of the deceased (Job 17:6-16).
-*Application* Nobody likes to be the object of ridicule, or the proverbial punching bag. It’s tough to be a “byword” among men or the one being spit upon. When we follow Christ fully, this will inevitably happen though. This is the LORD’s testing ground, so be sure it is coming one way or the other. When this happens, we must hold our ground in righteousness, not departing to the right or to the left (Deuteronomy 5:32). The one who has clean hands by the blood of Jesus Christ will grow stronger and stronger in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16).
Verse to Memorize: Job 17:9