He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight - (Job 19:14).

With all that had happened to Job, there is little wonder that he felt a sense of being abandoned. Much of his family and many of his servants had died, and he had lost the majority of his earthly goods. His friends had no understanding of what was happening to him. Neither did they have any compassion for him.

From the words of this verse, it is obvious that Job feels he is alone when it comes to earthly companionship. In a time like this, some would make the assumption that the godly would encircle this man. It would seem Job would have a continual flow of those desiring to offer a prayer or word of encouragement. After all, this would be the Christ-like thing to do. However, this is many generations before Christ walked the earth.

It would be easy here to spend our time discussing all the scriptural reasons that Job should have had people trying to support him. There is certainly much to be found in the Word of God on the subject. There are many times in God's Word that we are instructed to look after one another's well being. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2). Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do (I Thes. 5:11).

There is another spiritual lesson that can be applied to our lives from this situation. It is true that Job was all but abandoned by those around him. Not only did he not receive support, his friends and even his family offered nothing but discouragement. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die (Job 2:9). Even with all this against him, God sustained him through these trials.

There may come a time in our lives where we have to stand alone. There may be a place where God takes us in our walk that requires this. Being in the majority is not always the right thing. God changed this world forever with a small number of people. So, if the circumstances get difficult and you feel alone, be encouraged. God is always on our side.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31).

Thought for Today:

As we patiently endure suffering, our testimony for Christ has greater impact on others.

Word Studies:

17:1 My 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, unseen state; our rest . . . is in the dust, we are buried; 18:9 gin, snare, trap; 18:20 day, fate; tragic end; 19:3 make yourselves strange to me, wrong me; 19:14 familiar, close; 19:17 strange, unbearable, repulsive; 19:19 inward, dearest, intimate; 19:27 reins, heart.

Christ Revealed:

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).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Judy McCrary • Government Official: Rep. Trent Franks (AZ) • Country: Lithuania (4 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Lithuanian and Russian • Limited religious freedom • 80% Roman Catholic; 5% Russian Orthodox; 1% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to bring our nation to repentance (I Kings 8:33-36).

Optional Reading: Ephesians 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 12:13