“Overcoming Bitterness: I Know that My Redeemer Liveth” (Job 19)

Heart of a Shepherd

Jan 29, 2023

Translations

Portuguese

“Vencendo a Amargura: Eu Sei que o Meu Redentor Vive” (Jó 19)

French

« Surmonter l'amertume : Je sais que mon Rédempteur est vivant » (Job 19)

Spanish

“Venciendo la Amargura: Yo Sé que Mi Redentor Vive” (Job 19)

Russian

«Победа над горечью: знаю, что Искупитель мой жив» (Иов 19)

Italian

"Vincere l'amarezza: so che il mio Redentore vive" (Giobbe 19)

German

„Bitterkeit überwinden: Ich weiß, dass mein Erlöser lebt“ (Hiob 19)

Urdu

’’تلخی پر قابو پانا: میں جانتا ہوں کہ میرا نجات دہندہ زندہ ہے‘‘ (ایوب 19)

“Overcoming Bitterness: I Know that My Redeemer Liveth” (Job 19) 

Scripture reading - Job 19

 

The sad drama between Job and his friends continued in Job 19, as he responded to the callous, unloving reproofs of Bildad the Shuhite (Job 18). Though Job might have anticipated his friends’ arrival would bring some comfort and pity, he soon realized they had come with one opinion – that Job’s afflictions were characteristic of the troubles that befall wicked men.

 

With that fabricated premise, Bildad assailed Job for being long-winded in his protests (Job 18:2), and too proud to receive counsel (Job 18:3). According to his estimation, the wicked have a hard life, characterized by calamity (Job 18:5-18), and go to their graves with none remembering them (Job 18:16-20). The implication was that Job’s troubles were such as should be expected of the wicked (Job 18:21).

Job 19

An old English adage reads, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” Alas, life experiences teach us that sticks can leave scars, and stones may indeed break bones; but eventually the body will mend and heal. However, the effect of cutting words from a loved one, or friend, sometimes result in sorrows that follow us to the grave. Such is the protest we read from Job in chapter 19.

Job’s Complaint Against His Friends (Job 19:1-5)

Job answered the scorn of his friends, and challenged them, saying, “How long will ye vex my soul, And break me in pieces with words?” (Job 19:2) The harsh judgments of his friends had left Job wounded and despairing of life. He protested, they had treated him reproachfully, and should be ashamed of how they humiliated him while in the throes of sorrows (Job 19:3). Though wronged by groundless judgments, Job fell into the well-worn rut commonly found among the embittered: He kept a tally of the wrongs committed against him. Job declared, “These ten times have ye reproached me” (Job 19:3). His heart was turned from the LORD, to those who wronged and accused him. Frustrated by meddling, Job suggested if he was wrong, let it be his business, and his alone (Job 19:4).

“Not Fair!” - Job’s Complaint Against God (Job 19:6-12)

Job then raised a complaint against the LORD, for he believed he was unfairly entangled with sorrows exceeding his failures (Job 19:6). He cried to the LORD, but it seemed heaven was silent (Job 19:7). He felt entrapped (Job 19:8), humiliated (Job 19:9), and his world destroyed (Job 19:10). He complained, it seemed the LORD had become his enemy, and his life under siege (Job 19:11-12).

A Crisis of Alienation (Job 19:13-20)

God’s Word gives us an insight into the human psyche, for in Job’s afflictions, he retreated into the seclusion often sought by those who suffer. If you have known rejection, endured personal attacks, or been dealt a setback, you might have known the temptation to retreat into solitude like a wounded soul.

 

Job had experienced the alienation of family and friends. He wrote, “[God] hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me” (Job 19:13). He understood God was author of his troubles, but the response of his family, friends, and acquaintances wounded him. Job felt alone, forsaken by family (Job 19:14a), and forgotten by friends (Job 19:14b). Even the servants of his household dishonored him (Job 19:15-16), and his wife abhorred his “breath [life, spirit]” (Job 19:15-16). “Young children,” the picture of innocence, disdained him (19:18), and his most intimate friends turned against him (Job 19:19).

A Plea for Pity and Vindication (Job 19:20-25)

His body physically wasted (Job 19:20), Job turned his thoughts from self-pity, and plead with his friends for pity and understanding. He asked, “Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?” (Job 19:21-22). He begged for the vindication of his innocence to be recorded for future generations to consider, and pity him (Job 19:23-24). Though he was overwhelmed by sorrows, and did not know the cause of his afflictions, Job declared his faith saying, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth”(Job 19:25).



Closing thoughts (Job 19:26-29) – Though he was looking through the lens of inexplicable sorrows and losses, Job’s faith remained unshaken. He was confident the LORD was his Advocate and Redeemer, and believed He would rescue and ransom him out of trials. Job reasoned, even if his afflictions ended in death, and worms destroyed his body, he believed his Redeemer would raise him from the dead, and he would see God (Job 19:26-27). Job’s rebuttal of Bildad concluded with a warning we should all consider: God is the final judge, and the day of his judgment will come (Job 19:28-29; Job 42:7-9)

 

A word of invitation – Don’t be guilty of keeping a tally of wrongs committed against you (Job 19:3). An angry, unforgiving spirit will eat at your soul and make you a slave to bitterness! Follow Job’s example, answer your enemies (Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8), and turn to the LORD (Ephesians 4:30-32).   

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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