-Job, feeling isolated and insulted, speaks again of his terrible situation, which the LORD had allowed to infect his life. He begins with the torment he sustained from his friends due to their wounding words of condemnation. Crushing blow after crushing blow he had to hear and endure as they really thought he had done something to actually deserve this suffering. They were not ashamed to wrong him. This was Job’s opinion of them. The fellowship wasn’t exactly stellar we could say. Job appears to acknowledge, in his humility, that he could have erred, though he doesn’t particularly know what he did to deserve this fate. He can’t seem to find forgiveness even though he is willing to acknowledge any waywardness. He assured his counselors that, “If indeed you vaunt yourselves against me and prove my disgrace to me, know then that God has wronged me and has closed His net around me (Job 19:1-6).”
-*Application* This is the conflict we can all relate to during times of confusion and perplexity when things go against us. We have a tendency to feel God’s wrath and well as a ganging up on us from people that we used to count on and have comradery with.
-Job continues on with “everything is against me” mentality. He cries, “Violence!” but gets no answer; “he shouts for help, but there is no justice.” Job believed that God has walled him in so that he could not escape his situation of distress. The LORD had put darkness on all his paths. This is the lost feeling he grappled with during this season. His honor had been stripped. His crown of glory removed from his head (authority). He was broken down on every side. He was gone in his mind, uprooted by God with no hope of connection, just like a tree. Job knew in his heart, which was misguided, that the Almighty had kindled His anger against him. He reiterated from previous statements how He has considered him as His enemy (Job 10:16-17; 13:24). In Job’s way of thinking, God’s troops had come together and built their way against him, camping all around his tent (Job 19:7-12). Powerful, emotional language here to identify with in times of searching.
-Job also felt lonely as we can see from this next section. Distress can strain our relationships in so many ways. He believed his brothers had been removed far away from him. His acquaintances were completely estranged. His relatives had failed him, and his intimate friends had forgotten him. Even those who lived in his house and were his maids considered him a stranger. He felt like a foreigner in their sight. He got no answer when he called for his servants. He had to implore them with his mouth. No one wanted to be around him in his presence. His breath was offensive to his wife, and he was loathsome to his own brothers. Even young children fled from him, despising him and speaking against him. His business associates abhorred him, and the ones he loved turned against him. Just his bone clung to his teeth and flesh. He had no one to support and encourage. He asks for pity from his friends. He certainly wasn’t finding what he needed from them. The Hand of God had struck him, and he felt just as persecuted by those around him in the human element (Job 19:13-22).
-*Application* We have all heard the “misery loves company” mantra. Misery loves company, but company doesn’t love misery might be more apropos. We need to consider how we as Christians can be different in regard to attending people’s needs when they are suffering greatly. We must offer more than a superficial word or gesture in passing by. People who are despondent need our utmost and abiding attention. They need true friends and encouragement.
-Job ends the chapter with a bit of an uptick in his tone. He wants his words written down and inscribed in a book, which did happen by the way J. He wanted his message in “iron stylus” and “lead,” engraved in the rock forever. He then proclaims some forever prophetic truth in an anthem, “As for me, I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself will behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another.” Ironically, he turns back to the negative after this statement. He talks of his heart fainting within him and bemoans the feeling of persecution he is receiving from his friends. At last, he warned these counselors that they should be afraid of the sword themselves, “For wrath brings the punishment of the sword, so that you may know there is judgment (Job 19:23-29).”
-*Application* Let’s worship God today with this anthem ourselves. Our Redeemer does live. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow. We can have His victory in the eternal hope of resurrection to a new and perfect existence in the afterlife. Keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2, watch “Fix My Eyes” by King and Country at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM-Bf9gE0gw)
Verse to Memorize: Job 19:25