Job 19:1 Then Job answered and said,
2 How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
4 And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.
5 If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:
6 Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
7 Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
8 He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.
9 He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.
10 He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.
The story line in the majority of the book of Job follows the same pattern. The opening two chapters give us the inside story. They teach us who Job is. They also teach us the nature of the devil and that God is over all. He has the final say. He does not protect His children from all attacks of the devil. He does provide the strength and hope that His child needs in the midst of the devil’s attacks. The trials that the child of God faces can be used to strengthen him for future events. The trials that a child of God faces also expose the heresy of false teachers.
It is important to note that it is senseless to fight against the true God. Our finite minds cannot fathom the depths of God’s wisdom. The devil is always there to try to interfere with the work of God in the heart of man. He worked through the three men that were supposed to be a comfort to Job. They were anything but that. Job knew the true God, but he had important lessons to learn with regard to his relationship with the true God. He needed to have a clearer understanding of His greatness. Due to his faith in God, he was able to learn those important lessons in a greater way. He was blessed for doing so.
As we move through this book, every time Job speaks, we learn a little more about his faith in God. We learn a little more about his frustration with God. We also learn a little more about the evil tactics of the three men who were supposed to be his friends.
Job mentioned in verse 3 that these men have now attacked him ten times. He pointed out that they were not ashamed of alienating themselves from Job. A true friend is able to help a true saint to see the value of following God’s way. A true friend listens to the words of the afflicted. He does not insist on being right without having the facts. The One Who is always right is God. As a true friend reminds the afflicted of Who God is and what He requires, he gives the afflicted the opportunity to respond and is willing to listen to him.
Job’s three friends came to him, not knowing what to expect. The opening chapters tell us that they were shocked by what they saw when they approached him. They needed seven days to assess the situation and develop their strategy. During those seven days, it is obvious they did not talk to God about their plans. They had not spoken to Job either. They immediately tore into him and demanded that he humble himself and admit his sin. We have noted several times already that they would fit in well with the charismatic mindset. That is not a compliment, but it is a fact.
Job stated that if he had sinned, his sin was his own, not theirs. If they insisted on trying to make themselves the judges and arbiters of this situation, they needed to be reminded that he believed that it was God that had humbled him and caused his losses. Job did not yet understand that it was Satan that had attacked him and that God had protected him from being overthrown. Job continued to state that he had pleaded with God, but God was not hearing him. Job was wrong on this and he would learn this. God is not oblivious to what His children face. He knows what each one of His children is going through and He responds to each one in due time. He is never late and He is never early. We may not always understand this and we may not always appreciate this, but those who are saved need to learn to trust God explicitly.
In verses 8-10 Job described what he believed God had done to him. He could not understand why, but in his mind he could not see any other cause of his troubles other than that it was God that was inflicting this trouble on him.
It is important for God’s children to read and study this book. We can learn much about life and we can also learn the importance of trusting God even when we do not understand what is going on. Those who are saved may assume that we are being very faithful to Him and we may be wondering why God does not seem to reward that faithfulness, rather than punish us. As we read and study this book, we can learn that God does indeed reward faithfulness and He does not punish without just cause. We need to remember that not all our troubles are due to God’s chastening. Sometimes the devil will try to break us down to try to prove a point.
Good friends are essential at all times. A true local church is where you will find good friends. Lost people will assume they have a friend in someone who brings them a bottle of wine or some other poison to try to comfort them when they face trouble. They fail to recognize that those kinds of things are not a help at all. They do nothing to minister to the soul of the individual. Those who are saved and can come alongside and read Scripture and pray with a fellow saint are a real help. God’s Word is always the right help in time of need. There may be a need to bring some baked goods or some other item as an indicator of true friendship, but the primary need of the saint is to be encouraged, from His Word, to be true to God.
Job would find this help in the Lord. That help was available to him throughout the book. Job took advantage of some of that help but not all that was available to him. We do not despise him for this. We learn to draw from the truths of God’s Word and we learn to remember that God is always there to comfort and help His child. If sin needs to be confessed and forsaken, we can do that. We can be forgiven and encouraged in the Lord. If there is no known sin, we can develop a closer relationship with the Lord through the trials we face.
The lost do not have that hope. Occasionally a lost person will humble themselves and be saved through the trials they face. The thief on the cross did that. He started out a very arrogant person. He came to see he was guilty and that Jesus Christ was his Saviour. He turned to Jesus and asked Him to remember him when He would enter into His kingdom. He came to realize some important facts in those last hours of his life. He was blessed with forgiveness and salvation. The other thief chose to reject that same opportunity. He died in his sins.
The Bible challenges us many times to choose life rather than death. Job had life. He had access to the abundant life, but was lacking the counsel needed at this time to live in that place. Let those of us who are saved take advantage of the time we have to learn to walk closer to the Lord. Let us be vessels that can be used of the Lord to help other saints to draw closer to God. Let us also be careful to have a testimony that can be a help to the many lost people we will meet. They need our help to see that Jesus Christ is their only hope.