There’s an adage we all quoted as children growing up, until we discovered all too soon it was a lie. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” We’ve since discovered the wounds of words are greater than physical abuse in many cases. Job says essentially the same thing (vs.2) in his initial response to Bildad; as well as Zophar and Eliphaz.
Part of the irony in referring to these three men is the reference they were “comforters”; yet very few, if any, words of comfort were directed toward Job. Nearly all of their words combined up to now have been negative, accusatory, condemning and vengeful. With comforters like them, who needs enemies?
Job’s perception of their words and presence is that they continually reproached him, in error judged him. Rather than “comfort”, they speak from hearts of pride and charging Job with more disgrace; in addition to what he saw as being God’s judgment against him. His cries went unanswered by God and disregarded by man. Rather than the freedom and prosperity he once enjoyed; there were severe limitations put on him. He felt like a tree that has been “uprooted” and no longer has any means of being sustained. He saw that God had counted him as an enemy.
If anything, it was the pride the Lord had in Job that he was being attacked by the enemy. The same is true for you my friend, many of the attacks by the enemy come as a result of being a child of God and not as a result of any transgression on your part.
Note, he says that it was his “hope” that was “uprooted”. Job’s expectation was only death of his flesh is what remained. All of his family, acquaintances and friends had forsaken him. Not even his servants had any more honor or respect for him. They didn’t even respond to his pleas. His wife viewed his life as being “offensive” at a number of levels; as the children who weren’t killed in the storms.
These comforters were men he’d loved and now they “abhor” him, turning against him. He’s come close to death and most recently had barely escaped it.
Again he pleads for comfort because the “hand of God has struck me!” KEEP IN MIND THIS IS JOB’S PERCEPTION, not reality. It was Satan that had been the instigator of all these woes. God doesn’t need to slap us around, the enemy will do that.
He contemplates having his words recorded in writing. Job is referring to writing on leaves, not being printed in a book, as printing was unavailable until the mid-1400’s. However notice the context of his request, to record his prophetic declaration of faith; “For I know that my Redeemer lives and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.” Job saw through the eye of faith the Lord Jesus, and would not be seduced by any other; he yearned for that day.
What an incredible man of faith Job seems to be in this scene. Confident in God, his personal healing and/or resurrection to a “living hope” in Christ, all viewed through the eye of faith.
You too will see your Redeemer, provided you don’t throw away your confidence that has a great reward – eternal life!