Read Job 17 -- 20
In Today's Reading:
Job's appeal to God; Bilbad's cruel accusation; Job's reaffirmation of faith in a living Redeemer; Zophar's reference to Job as a wicked man.
Verses for Today:
My days are extinct (life is almost gone); the graves are ready for me . . . all my members (of my body) are as a shadow (of my former self). . . . My days are past (life is almost over), my purposes (plans for the future) are broken off (have disappeared) (17:1,7,11). Then answered Bildad. . . . He is cast into a net by his own feet. . . . He shall be driven . . . into darkness, and chased out of the world (18:1,8,18).
God leads us to see, through Job, that we have no excuse for complaining about our suffering, material loss, or being misunderstood.
Bildad interrupted this suffering saint with words that were even more cruel and critical than his first speech. He assumed that Job's sufferings exposed him as a sinful hypocrite. Bildad bluntly concluded: Surely such are the dwellings (fate) of the wicked, and this is the place of him who knows not God (Job 18:21). Not only was Job facing death, but would die accused of being a hypocrite. This from his "friend" must have been a bitter blow.
Our hearts are deeply stirred with compassion for this pitiful, lonely man; but Job looked beyond his suffering, and received still greater spiritual insight. He foretold: I know that my Redeemer [lives], and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth . . . and [my] eyes shall behold, and not another (a stranger) (19:25-27). Friends had rejected him, but Job was confident that one day he would see his Living Redeemer.
Under the Old Testament Law, a redeemer was the next of kin who was responsible for redeeming (buying back) an enslaved relative or the relative's lost inheritance (Leviticus 25:25). The kinsman-redeemer foreshadowed the coming of Jesus Christ, our Savior-Redeemer.
The continuous harassment that Job suffered only drove him closer to the Lord. This revelation of life after death is one of the greatest in the Old Testament and has blessed millions of suffering people through the ages. Job uttered this magnificent revelation when his friends denounced him as "one who knows not God." Still worse, by all outward observation, it would appear that even God did not care about him.
In contrast to Job are those today with a negative outlook who, when things go wrong, think that nothing good ever happens to them and continue to focus on themselves and their "bad luck."
Even as God delivered Job from the bondage of misery at just the right time, Christ redeems all believers from the bondage of sin when they repent and receive Him as Savior and Lord of their lives (Romans 3:24; Galatians 3:13; 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:7). With the Apostle Paul, we also can say: Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
As the Redeemer (Job 19:25). Christ, our Redeemer, has redeemed (bought) us with His own blood on the cross. Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood (Revelation 5:9).
17:1 breath means spirit; 17:6 a tabret = an object of contempt, ridicule; 17:14 corruption = decay; 17:16 rest = burial; 18:9 gin = trap; 18:20 day = fate; 19:3 strange = alien; 19:14 familiar = close; 19:17 strange = repulsive; 19:19 inward = dearest, intimate; 19:27 reins = heart.
Government Official: Rep. James Walsh (NY) · Pray for your Pastor · Country: Japan (126 million) off the eastern coast of Asia · Major language: Japanese · Religious freedom · 57% Buddhist; 27% Shintoist and other Eastern religions; 3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to lead you in all that you do (Matthew 6:13).
Optional Reading: Ephesians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 3:17