What a debate! Is Job innocent before God? Job continues to defend himself (chap. 17). Bildad jumps in using proverbs (chap. 18). Read what Job knows — the greatest expression of faith in the Old Testament (Job 19:23-27). Zophar won't quit —he expounds on what happens to the wicked (chap. 20).
Job assumed all hope of recovery was gone when he said: My breath (spirit) is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me. . . . all my members are as a shadow. . . . My days are past, my purposes are broken off (Job 17:1,7,11).
Bildad interrupted this suffering saint with scathing words that were even more cruel and critical than his first speech. He assumed that Job's sufferings exposed him as a sinful hypocrite who was hopelessly condemned: For he is cast into a net by his own feet. . . . He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world (18:8,18). Bildad went on to say: Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God (18:21). This mistaken accusation from Job's "friend" must have been a bitter blow. Not only was Job facing death, but to die misjudged as a hypocrite when he knew his heart was right with God must have been heartbreaking.
Our hearts are deeply stirred with compassion as this pitiful, lonely, suffering saint looked beyond his "friends." With great spiritual discernment and assurance, Job said: I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth . . . shall I see God (19:25-26). This revelation of life after death is one of the greatest in the Old Testament. God leads us to see, through Job, that we have no valid excuse for complaining about our suffering, material loss, or being misunderstood by others.
According to the Law, a redeemer was the next of kin who was responsible for redeeming (buying back) an enslaved kinsman or his lost inheritance (Lev. 25:25). The kinsman-redeemer foreshadowed the coming of Jesus Christ, our Savior-Redeemer. We were hopeless, lost sinners condemned to die and to be cast into eternal hell. By the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh (body) be justified in His sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the Law is manifested. . . . by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe. . . . Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:20-22,24).
Thought for Today:
Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works (Heb. 10:24).
As the Redeemer (Job 19:25). Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. By His death, He provided the required sacrifice to pay for our sins (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:13-14; Rev. 5:9). Our Saviour Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity (Titus 2:13-14).
17:1 breath is corrupt =my life is ruined; 17:6 a tabret =an object of contempt, ridicule; 17:14 corruption =decay; 17:16 bars of the pit =descend with me into the unseen state; rest =burial; 18:9 gin =snare, trap; 18:20 day =fate; tragic end; 19:3 strange to me =wronging me; 19:14 familiar =close; 19:17 strange =unbearable; 19:19 inward =dearest, intimate; 19:27 reins =heart.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Jim Cooper (TN) and Rep. Trent Franks (AZ) • Country: Netherlands (15.8 million) in northwestern Europe • Major language: Dutch • Religious freedom • 35% Catholic; 28% Protestant; 3% Muslim; 1% Hindu; .9% Buddhist; .1% Jewish; 2% Other; 30% Unaffiliated • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in such a manner that others would be encouraged to praise and glorify God also (Jude 1:24-25).
Optional Reading: Ephesians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:9