Summary: This is a study into Job chapter nineteen.
Jewels From Job
Job – Chapter #19
This chapter could be outlined:
1. Wronged by comforters. (verses 1-4)
2. Wronged by God. (verses 5-13)
3. Wronged by family and friends. (verses 14-22)
4. Right with God. (verses 23-27)
1 Then Job answered and said: 2 "How long will you torment my soul, And break me in pieces with words? 3 These ten times you have reproached me; You are not ashamed that you have wronged me. 4 And if indeed I have erred, My error remains with me. 5 If indeed you exalt yourselves against me, And plead my disgrace against me. Job 19:1-4 (NKJV)
WORDS HAVE POWER
Job is to answer again. The intensity of the debate has raged on. Bildad has just told Job how the wicked will perish. Job is tired of hearing all the accusations. Bildad considers Job among the wicked. Now Job is to speak. This chapter is the lament of Job.
Words have power. Words can lift up or they can tear down. We have all heard: “Sticks and stones can break my bones – but names can never hurt me.” This is not true. A truer statement is: “Sticks and stones can break my bones – but names will hurt my feelings.” That is why Job says: “How long will you torment me and crush me with words?” Job 19:2 (HCSB) Words can crush a spirit – perhaps more than any other action or activity. When Job is asking the question in verse two he is asking the question of his friends. All three of them have cut him with their words. Job had wanted an honest hearing but his friends came with a preconceived theology that prejudiced there thinking about Job’s situation. Their words of judgment cut him to pieces.
If you count the number of times that Job’s friends had spoken to him you will find that there were only five. Had Job miss counted? Was he keeping score? Or did the effect of their words seem multiplied to him? Perhaps he was not keeping score – but he knew that every time his friends opened their mouths they had cut him with their words. Have you ever met people who every time you are around them that they cut you with their words? We all want to be around people who encourage us and appreciate us. Words can build up or chop down – what words come from your mouth?
Some believe that the expression “ten times” actually means “often”. In another place I read "Ten Times is just a figure of speech referring to the many times Job had been reproached by the false speeches forece upon his ears." (Zerr - Bible Commentary - 1948)
Job points a finger at his friends when he says that they are not ashamed of what they have done. “You mistreat me without shame.” Job 19:3 (HCSB) When we do something wrong we ought to be ashamed about it. Guilt is a good thing – if we have done something wrong. Last March I heard the testimony of a man that included a life so far from God that he, at one time felt no shame. He told the story of how he as a young man had tortured his dog to death and how he had felt no remorse and no shame. A life without shame or embarrassment for the wrongs we have committed is a bad thing. If we have done wrong we should be embarrassed and ashamed about it. Repentance includes remorse. The Bible says: “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time I punish them, They shall be cast down," says the Lord.” Jeremiah 6:15 (NKJV)
In verse four Job is stating that if he is wrong, “the buck stops here.” He will accept responsibility for his actions. There is a human tendency to try to pass the buck – point the finger at someone else and put the blame on another. But Job is willing to accept his responsibility and accountability.
6 Know then that God has wronged me, And has surrounded me with His net. 7 "If I cry out concerning wrong, I am not heard. If I cry aloud, there is no justice. 8 He has fenced up my way, so that I cannot pass; And He has set darkness in my paths. 9 He has stripped me of my glory, And taken the crown from my head. 10 He breaks me down on every side, And I am gone; My hope He has uprooted like a tree. 11 He has also kindled His wrath against me, And He counts me as one of His enemies. 12 His troops come together And build up their road against me; They encamp all around my tent. 13 "He has removed my brothers far from me, And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. Job 19:6-13 (NKJV)