1) There is Hope when your friends betray you
Job was experiencing immense emotional and physical pain and to exasperate the problem his friends were not giving him any emotional or physical support for his pain. More pain can be added to your life when those who you think are your friends say things that are not true that add to your discouragement and pain. Many times it is in the midst of our most difficult days that we find out who are true friends really are.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
A friend that does not love you at all times is not your friend. As hard as that statement may be that is the truth that we must accept. A friend that only loves you when things are going well or when you do not make mistakes is not your friend because a true friend will love you despite all of your flaws and all of your mistakes.
Proverbs tells us that when adversity strikes those who are friends become brothers. True friends will be drawn closer together as they go through the difficulties in life and not allow those difficulties to ruin their relationship. This is why in the military you hear things like “Band of Brothers” because they stuck by each other in the most difficult situations that they could face.
Jobs friends would prove who they really were by what they said to him. Listen closely to your friends because what they say shows who they really are.
Job 15:4-6 But you are doing away with the fear of God and hindering meditation before God. 5 For your iniquity teaches your mouth, and you choose the tongue of the crafty. 6 Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; your own lips testify against you.
Jobs so called friends continue their assault on Job by telling him over and over again that he has sin in his life and that sinners suffer. It is blame the victim mentality instead of a comforting loving friend who should be there to help carry the burden that Job is under.
Job 15:14-16 What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous? 15 Behold, God[b] puts no trust in his holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in his sight; 16 how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, a man who drinks injustice like water!
Job’s friend Eliphaz is correct in his theology by saying that since Adam we have all been impure, but the issue was not if Job never sinned, because he admitted that . The issue is that they were accusing him of having some ongoing hidden sin in his life that he would not confess to God and that everything he was experiencing was because of hidden sin.
Read Job 16:1-5
Jobs friends have given him nothing to help him through this horrible situation he is in. They offered no ointment or medicines for his physical pain and no comfort for his grieving soul. Jobs friends have allowed their theology to make them heartless to the pain he was suffering. Sometimes when we try and figure out the “Why’s “ of life we become cold hearted to the fact of what the person is actually experiencing.
Job calls them miserable comforters and long winded. One of the worse things you can do for a person that is hurting is to continue to talk and talk. No words will bring comfort to someone who has lost so much. I am not saying you have to stay totally silent but some people cannot allow the person to sit in silence.
I remind you that Satan’s attack on Job has not ended but Satan is continuing to use people in his life to bring more discouragement and pain. We all have been there when people who are our so called friends bring more discouragement to our lives when we need them to encourage us. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and we have to be careful when we accuse others of things because we might just be an instrument of Satan.
“Shake my head at you”
To shake ones head at a person was a spiteful gesture that they were pleased with what was happening to them. The same thing happened to Jesus on the cross as they looked with pleasure at His demise.(Matthew 27:39) Jobs friends were happy that he was going through so much pain and they looked down on him as if they were superior to him. We can become that way when we think the person deserves what they are getting.
Think about the last time you found out that someone was caught in a sin. What was your reaction? Whether outwardly or not if you acted as if you were glad they were getting what they deserved then you were just like Job’s friends who were shaking their heads at him.
Job 19:1-5 Then Job answered and said:2 “How long will you torment me and break me in pieces with words? 3 These ten times you have cast reproach upon me; are you not ashamed to wrong me? 4 And even if it be true that I have erred, my error remains with myself. 5 If indeed you magnify yourselves against me and make my disgrace an argument against me,
Job did not believe in the old saying “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” because Job’s friends were literally breaking him to pieces with their words. Our friends can hurt us deeply because they know so much about us and when they say certain things it cuts deeply into our soul.
Read Job 16:18-21
Job remembers that he has someone to come to his defense and he says “My witness is in Heaven” One day all that we are and do will be exposed in front of the righteous judge, Jesus Christ. All the wrongs will be righted and the final verdict of who was right and wrong will be exposed.
Hebrews 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Every attitude and every action that went against the nature and character of God will be exposed. There will be no hiding our true intentions or thoughts because Jesus knows everything about us and nothing will be hidden on that day.
” My advocate is on high”
Although Job’s friends were not supportive, Job knew he had God who was. Job had a limited understanding of what was to come through Jesus Christ. Some believe that he was given a revelation through the pain he was experiencing to reveal more about God then the people at the time would have known. In one sense Job was a prophet who was revealing who God was and how He acts toward His people. We of course having the full revelation given to us will recognize the one who is our advocate as Jesus Christ.The religious leaders of Jesus day, who should have known the lessons taught in the book of Job, missed these key insights that Job shared.
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
“My intercessor is my friend”
An intercessor is someone who simply passes messages between those who cannot meet or do not understand each other. Jesus is our intercessor who stands between God and us. (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25) Job knew that whatever sin he did commit, he confessed and his intercessor would make it right between him and God. Job also knew that no sin he had committed was worth what he was going through.
The hope we all have is that Jesus Christ will not abandon us no matter how bad this life gets. We know that our friends and family will let us down but we always have hope because we know our advocate, Jesus, will never let us down.
2) There is Hope when you do not want to keep living
Read Job 17: 11-16
Job once again slips into the place where he not only has no hope but he also longs for the grave. Death seems to be his only relief and he longs for it because his life is a constant tragedy. Some believe his wife and servants at this point will not even talk to him and his friends are only trying to find a secret sin in his life.
When job markets crash or tragedy enters a family many times people think the best option is the grave. Many people have killed themselves thinking that just ending their life will relieve the pain they are experiencing. Only Christians will be relieved of their pain and those without Christ will spend eternity in Hell which will only magnify their pain.
As Christians we should not take our lives because God is the one who we gave our lives too. So if God is the ruler of our lives then we do not have the right to end it prematurely.
Psalm 62:5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him
Psalm 119:50 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We have to learn that our strength and our hope come from God no matter how difficult this life is for us. We have to learn to rely on His promises that nothing we go through is in vain and that He is using all things for good. We have to remember that all that we experience will be rewarded in Heaven which will be worth it when we get there.
Life is sometimes like a train going into a dark tunnel where we cannot see the other side. The tunnels of life can be very dark and scary and if we do not trust the engineer then we will want to jump off. We have to learn to trust the engineer that he knows what he is doing, where we are going, and that he will bring us out on the other side.
We cannot judge how much God loves us based on our circumstances that is what Jobs friends did and now Job was falling into the same trap. God’s love for you is not proven by how good or bad of a life you have on this earth. God’s love for you is based on the fact that He chose to love us despite how we act.(Romans 5:8) The pleasantness of your life does not mean that God’s favor is upon you because His favor is always upon us because we are His children. (Matthew 7:7-11) In Luke 16 the rich man looked like he was blessed by God on this earth but the Bible tells us he was sent to hell while the poor man was comforted for all eternity. So the goodness or the badness of this life is not an indicator of God’s love for you.
Job 19:25-27 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[b] 26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in[c] my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
Again God reveals a vision for the future to Job that he would not have known without divine revelation. Zechariah 14:4 tells us Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives at the end of time. In Job’s deepest hurt and pain God reveals a hope that is to come and that is He will stand upon the earth and Job will see Him face to face. Remember Job felt like God had abandoned him and that God would not respond and in the midst of all of this depression God reveals to him a promise. We as well must remember the promises of God and what He has revealed to us in His word so that during our darkest of days we have hope for what is to come.
“My Redeemer lives”
Webster’s Dictionary defines Redeemer as a person who brings goodness, and honor to something again.
Job for a moment realized that all of his life and all that he went through would be redeemed and good would be brought out of it. Our hope is that nothing Job or you go through is in vain and that God is using it for purposes that go beyond our understanding.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose.
Not all things work for our good but for the good. One of the lies I hear in many Christian circles is that God is working all things out for our good. Although you can make the case that things will benefit us in eternity we have to be careful that we do not make Christianity about us. Too much of the Christian literature is about God blessing us and that is true but people take that to mean that God is going to make all things better in this life. The end of Hebrews 11 shows that some people did not receive what they had hoped for even though they had faith.
“My Eyes Shall See Him”
This is not a spiritual accent but Job testifies that even his physical body will be redeemed. We do not believe the flesh is evil but that our bodies are the temple of God. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Jesus will redeem not just our souls but our bodies as well. (2 Corinthians 5)
“You may ask as Job did, “Why, Lord? Why did you allow this to happen?” God’s answer is that He knows what He’s about. He has a purpose for your pain. In eternity that purpose will be plain for you to see. In the meantime rest in the confidence that your Redeemer lives. Help is coming from on High.” (Let God be God, Ray C. Stedman, PG 117)
There is Hope for everything we go through and although the rest of the world may lose hope depending on what is happening in the world, we know that our hope always remains because our Redeemer lives. One day all that we walk through will be redeemed for purposes we could not understand this side of Heaven.
Have you lost hope because some friends have hurt you?
Have you lost hope to continue on with this life because death seems easier than to continue to live?
1 Timothy 4:10 says we should set our hope on the living God and not on other people or on things. If you have lost hope to continue on know that your redeemer lives and one day everything you are going through will make sense. Learn to rely on Him when everything and everyone has abandoned you.