Exercise: Read Ch 19, see if you can answer the following;
1. What did Job’s friends torment him with? 2. What had his friends done ten times to him.? 3. What gave his friends the feeling that they were above him? 4. How did they manifest the fact that they felt superior to Job? 5. Was Job right in his allegation in v 6.? 6. Can you explain v 8. 7. In verse 9, which honour and which crown is he referring to? 8. Can you compare what he said about trees and hope in the last speech with the reference in v 10? 9. In verse 20 what do you think he had escaped from? 10. If you join verse 20-22, what do you think happened to his body when God pursued him and struck him, which made him think his friends wanted some of the same? 11 Why did Job want his words recorded on rock or lead forever.? 12. How do you think he could see God in his flesh if his skin had been destroyed? 13. v 27 He says “Oh how my heart yearns within me”. What does this suggest to you? 14. Why did Job’s friends hound him? 15. What prophesy did he make about them? 16. What is a redeemer? 17. Why did he need a redeemer if he was perfect blameless and righteous?
Study notes on Ch 19.
Friends; It is once more evident in verses 1 & 2, how disappointed Job was in his friends. His expressions such as “torment”, “crush”, and “attack” (ten times) no doubt would be resented by his friends. However, sometimes criticisms or insults from enemies are tolerable because one expects no less, and one can steel oneself against such attacks, but the wounds from a friend are more hurtful. They probably thought their accusations were as those described by Solomon, when he wrote “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” That’s fine if they are telling you that you have B.O. or something which no one else would tell you, but Job found his friends aligned themselves with his enemies, accusing him of guilt when he was innocent. It is significant in that Christ also felt such wounds from a friend in the betrayal kiss of Judas.
He states that because of God pursuing him, he was nothing but skin and bone. The inference is almost that of savage dogs chasing him to devour his flesh, for he accuses his friends of pursuing him for his flesh, and inferring that they were doing what God was doing. (ch.19:22.) Verses 28-29, use the word “hound”. Job says his friends are hounding him, determined to get to the root of the trouble, but Job knew that the root they were expecting to find, i.e. his guilt, was a non-entity. Like men digging up a flower bed looking for something, so their efforts would only be justified if the “treasure” was found, but if nothing was found, then all that would have been accomplished, would be a mess and destruction of a beautiful flower bed. Job tells his friends that such actions only put themselves in line for judgment, and the judgment equal to that of the wicked, at that.
God the Instigator: Job’s allegations against God reach higher levels in this chapter. To say that “God has wronged” him on the surface seems like a moral deficiency on God’s part. Of course, we know that Satan was the one causing all the trouble, but Job had no belief that there was any power greater than God, and therefore all that happened to him must have been originated by God, for his life was in God’s hands. Nor did Job believe that God would have a different standard of justice than he knew himself. He did not know anything about the “whys and wherefores” of God’s action but he knew without doubt that what was being done to him was not justice. Furthermore he also knew of a surety that he was blameless and upright according to the standard that God had revealed to him, to live up to. He could say nothing else except that God had wronged him. To say less would be almost an admission of guilt. Had he done so his likeness to Christ would have been destroyed. To say less would be to ascribe less power to God than was due. To say other than the truth, would be a lie and therefore wickedness. To seem to excuse God for this clear lapse in administering justice would have been to show partiality, and Job knew that in a court of law no right judgment could ever be made if the judge showed a preference or prejudice against one of the parties. Not only had God wronged him but also because of God’s greater power, Job had no defence against God, and therefore he could see no way out of his dilemma. The “net” was well and truly around him. God had blocked his path in the sense that there was no way forward, unless he confronted God, but without any knowledge of what was going on, he was in total darkness, for he had no points of reference, no landmarks, no written revelation, and certainly no previous experience or knowledge of anyone who had had such an experience as he was going through. Everything he had known as “light” in the past had been extinguished. Job’s reversal of his social position was as though God had removed his crown from his head, for he was once as a prince amongst his people, but not any longer. His hope had been uprooted. This is something he refers to in ch. 13. For a tree which is cut down has hope, because it might sprout shoots again, but if one uproots a tree then there will be no future life for the tree. Once while on holiday we saw a massive tree at the foot of a waterfall. Sadly the tree was dead, because it had been uprooted. Though surrounded by the very waters of life, it was dead. Job felt similarly that God had not just pruned him, or just cut off the dead branches, but that God had totally uprooted him, for he saw no future whatsoever. In this chapter we have a long list of all those who once had association with Job. Each one had severed his previous relationship with him because of the illness. Job laid the “blame” for this at God’s door. Verse 19 clearly says that the “hand of God” has struck him. He accuses his friends of “hounding” him. Metaphorically, it expresses very well what Job thought of their attitude towards him, for we know the character of hounds who chase after animals. Job moreover infers that it is God who has primarily been “after his flesh”, for he has only “escaped by the skin of his teeth”. Escaped from what? Apparently from the hounding of God who has been after his flesh, for he had been left with nothing but skin and bone. Job accuses his friends of having similar intentions. However, the great deterioration in his flesh, contrasts dramatically with what was happening to Job spiritually.
Spiritual Expression; We now come to the heart of the book. Ch 9 From verses 23 - 27, we have what must be the most remarkable if not the greatest statement of faith in the whole of scripture. David, Paul, and Peter all have recorded their confessions of faith, but surely none are as profound or more spiritually inspired. Peter was told that flesh and blood had not revealed unto him, what he was able to confess about Christ. When David spoke of his messiah, he spoke under the influence of the same Spirit. Jesus endorsed this fact quite plainly Matt 22:43-44 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” ‘ There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit spoke the words that Job uttered in these verses. Little wonder that afterwards, he sighed “Oh how my heart yearns within me.” The movement of the spirit within his heart, brought this tremendous expression of faith and hope. On the one hand his flesh is being eaten away, while at the same time his spiritual life is soaring to dizzy heights of understanding and revelation. This is the great truth revealed in this book.
Please note certain things about this confession. 1. His desire to have his words etched in lead or engraved in rock. Often in our own experience we might hear someone, usually our children, saying something which we are quite certain one day they will find to be utter foolishness. The temptation on such occasions is to ask them to put it in writing, for surely one day they may perhaps deny ever saying such foolish things. The reverse of that is true here. Job is surrounded by people who are convinced he is talking foolishness. He is equally convinced he is not. It is not the confession that he wishes to have engraved but rather his argument and his affirmation of his innocence. Perhaps uttered like a condemned man’s last words, who can only hope that one day, he will be proved innocent even after the execution. It seems that almost immediately his prayer is heard. Notice how often Job cried that God was not answering his prayers, but how often also do we see him speaking in the spirit, the very answers. At one point he cries for an advocate or ombudsman, then later he expresses in the spirit that his intercessor is in heaven. How often he asks that God would give him a chance to speak to him face to face, then in ch. 13 he expresses in the Spirit that God will indeed resurrect him from the dead. Here now in this confession he declares that He knows that his Redeemer is alive. The redeemer who will restore everything that has been lost. 2. Note the certainty of the statement. This is made more remarkable by the fact that he had no reason to believe such things. Nothing in his previous belief system or revelation could give him such assurances. 3. His redeemer would stand upon the earth. 4. That after his skin had disappeared he would see God in his flesh. 5. His Redeemer will stand on the last day; We must only judge wisdom by its fruits. We can only judge this great plan and the wisdom and greatness of its creator, by the final day, no matter how long it takes to get there or how torturous the path. - EVERY GOD HAS ITS DAY; The Last one standing will be the God of Jesus Christ- our Redeemer The rich and wealthy may wave their god mockingly in the face of the poor. The healthy may do so in the face of the sick and suffering, but the days of such false gods are numbered. If you read Romans chapter 8, you will see that the whole of nature longs for a certain day. The sons of God long for a certain day. This day, is the “day of redemption”. Paul uses the phrase “the redemption of the body” So we see that the work of the redeemer must affect the earth, (or nature) and the body as well as the sinful soul. For it is in each realm that Satan has had his dirty fingers and has so infiltrated his discord and deceit as to make none of these things glorifying to the creator. Before the creator can be glorified, all that has been sullied must be purified and restored, and in the case of the sinful flesh, replaced completely. Therefore, the soul of man, the body of man, and the very environment in which he lives must be restored. It is difficult for some who study various aspects of the natural world to believe that an all wise, all loving God created it. There is so much cruelty and destruction, in nature as to oppose any opinion that the maker was both good and great. Note that in Job’s case he sought to get Job to sin against God by destroying his environment. “What kind of a God would do this?” is his implied accusation. However, although he has been successful with almost everyone else in the world, he failed in the case of Job. So then he attacked Job himself. This leads us to a hypothetical question; If man had not sinned, would he still have needed a redeemer? It would seem that he would, if only to restore the natural world that had been affected, and to restore the body from the disorders that Satan would still have brought upon mankind. It is in this respect that the position of Job in terms of the revelation of God, really comes into his own. Redemption is for all the areas that Satan has taken over,- spirit, soul, body and nature. Some deny the physical resurrection of the body of Jesus. Here we should understand why it is almost essential that the body is resurrected for the victory to be complete. The plan was a plan of redemption before the clock of time was started. Someone has said that it is as though God had the remedy in the cupboard even before the sickness came to his offspring. It was not his will that mankind should “get sick”, but the medicine of the lamb slain, was ordained before the foundation of the world. Even if man had not sinned, Satan’s inevitable work in the bodies of men and in the natural world, would have needed to be destroyed. The redeemer died on a tree, in a human body, nailed with iron nails, and made his soul an offering for sin. All areas which were affected by the fall of man were represented in the death of Christ, namely animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. Just as an afterthought- Job longs for his words to be etched in stone- so that they will never be forgotten. Handel helped in that respect, did he not? His Integrity: In verse four, Job states that even if he had sinned, it was no concern of his friends. It could be argued that this is not true, on the basis that no man is an island etc. and all we do affects other people in one way or another. But what Job is stating here, is that his integrity is not based upon what his friends may think, or what affect it might have on his fellow man. Job’s righteousness was a personal commitment to God irrespective of what others thought or did. It was as though he was saying that if he was righteous, he was righteous unto God and if he had sinned he had sinned unto God. He certainly did not need them to tell him if he had sinned, and had he sinned, he would not be repenting because of their pressure. He had not chosen the way of uprightness because of their pressure or opinions. He did not worship God for social respectability or personal gain. He proved this in his worship of God after he lost all his earthly gains. So in this simple statement we see what real integrity is. This is the integrity to which God himself gave testimony.
His Position; It is obvious from this chapter that his earlier position had been a stately one. His crown, his relatives, servants, and friends etc. show once again his high standing in all aspects of life.
His Christ-likeness; Job as a king inferred by the crown, paints part of the picture of the prophet, priest and king, symbolism revealed through Job. His bearing of the effects of sin in his body, though not having sinned, are surely pointers to the work of Christ. His crown was removed. Philippians ch. 2:6. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7. but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11. and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.