Job cries; “I am innocent! Even if I weren’t, that is between me and God. But still yet, my Redeemer lives and He will vindicate me against you.”
Bildad has just blasted Job. His newest assessment is that Job has always been wicked and has never known God. Those are HARSH words! It not only calls into question Job’s whole life but labels the three ‘friends’ as gullible idiots.
In their first round of answers to Job’s cries they spoke to him as one knowing God and as only having recently run afoul. They called for him to repent and be restored. Now Bildad says Job was a wicked man and that he had somehow skated through life without being caught until now. “Now you are receiving all that you have earned and falling into your own traps.”
Job is rightly hurt by his words. “How long will you torment me and break me in pieces with your words?” (verse 2). But Job will still not admit he has done anything wrong. He certainly won’t admit it to these men. They have used Job’s suffering as proof of his guilt and will accept no other option.
I find myself wondering about verse four. “And even if it be true that I have erred, my error remains with myself.” Here are my thoughts on it. One possibility is that Job is admitting that there is a slim chance that he is wrong in his assessment of his innocence. But if he IS wrong it is NOT in his assessment of God and His justice. It is in his own understanding of whatever it was he did and his sin would have affected no one else. This makes me think of the phrase; “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
Job lays the ultimate responsibility for his predicament at the feet of God. This is essentially true in that God took away Job’s protection but Satan did the ‘dirty work’ that has Job in this state.
The disasters brought on by Satan have made Job guilty in the eyes of ALL those around him. Not even his own family will stand up for him! “My breath is strange to my wife, and I am a stench to the children of my own mother” (verse 17). I have a large and close knit family. I cannot imagine this devastating loneliness!
Job pleads one more time with his friends. In his effort to have ANYONE believe in him or even speak kindly to him Job cries to the three men sitting with him. “Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends” (verse 21a). Even while saying this he knows they will show him none.
There is only One hope left for Job. And he clings to that hope for all he is worth. “For I KNOW that my Redeemer lives and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, het in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (verses 25-27).
This is the first place I have seen Job hope for something beyond the grave. Before, he always spoke as if he ended at death. Here he speaks of his flesh being destroyed but still seeing God. I don’t know if Job knew the Redeemer he was speaking of would one day stand on the earth in flesh and blood, but He did. And He will again. His name is Jesus and He is my Redeemer too! Like Job, I will also behold the face of God one day and NOT Satan. Life does NOT end at death. There is more and that ‘more’, for those who love God, is to spend eternity with Him. That is something I am looking forward to with ALL my heart!!! And it is only made possible by our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
Job ends his response to Bildad’s hateful and hurtful words by saying that God is the TRUE judge. Their judgment of him is harsh but they will receive judgment themselves for their judgment of him. “Judge not, least you be judged” (Matthew 7:1).
Jesus said these words LONG after his friends walked this earth no more, but they were just as true for Job’s friends as they are for us today. Jesus followed up those words with, “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2). I wonder if Jesus had Job and his friends in mind when He said these words.
First off Father God, THANK YOU for my Redeemer! I would be LOST without Him. Jesus work on the cross is the ONLY reason I can come to You. I certainly can’t do it on my own merits. I love that Job saw his true future, even when he was in the midst of the worst time in his life. He saw a glimmer of hope.
Second Father, help me to truly live by Jesus’ words regarding judgment. I try hard not to judge others but I find myself instead judging my husband at times. I’m not judging his eternal soul for I am pretty confident that it rests firmly in Your hands. But I am judging his motives for summoning me so many times. Thank You for the insight You have given me recently on the evening increase in summons. The fact that he is often confused himself in what he needs or wants has opened my eyes to other possibilities as to why so often. Help him Father with his thinking processes and help me with my patience. I do NOT want to be like Job’s friends, lobbing unfounded accusations because I am blind to the truth.