Then Job answered and said,
I. Consider what were Job's supporting convictions. (1) Nothing could be more decisive in tone or positive in assertion than the words, "I know." It is a bold challenge made by a suffering man to the ages. The ring of conviction resounds in every line, and fills the air with its thrilling music. (2) Three distinct assertions follow this quickening preface. First, he declares that God is the Vindicator of right-seeking and right-doing men. Of the fact he is sure; of the how, and when, and where he says nothing; but an invincible faith that before the "last" moment in his history comes God will be his Redeemer from all the ills of which he is now the victim animates and sustains his suffering spirit. (3) Job is sure that he himself, in his own conscious person, will be the rejoicing witness of that Divine vindication. "Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, not another." (4) The chief, the conquering, the most meritorious, quality in Job's mood of mind is his clear and steadfast recognition of the real but dimly revealed law that the suspension of the accepted and outward manifestations of the Divine care and regard is not the suspension of the Divine sympathy, nor the withdrawal of the Divine love and help.
II. Notice the fruitful origin of these strengthening convictions in the mind of Job, and to what uses he would have them put. (1) First in the genealogy of Job's convictions comes his passion to set the great controlling and cleansing faith of his life in the spotless excellence and living sympathy of God directly over against all the seeming contradictions, chaotic perplexities, and bewildering entanglements of his experience. (2) From the spirit Job displays in his intercession for his friends, we may fairly credit him with the desire to guide them to the perception of the one true principle in the criticism of life. (3) The deepest reason and strongest motive of all with Job must have been the yearning that the truth he had lived, and felt, and suffered might secure an immortal career of enlightenment and benediction.
J. Clifford, Daily Strength for Daily Living, p. 305.
Reference: Job 19:23-27.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. vi., p. 331.
Job 19:25I. Faith is most sorely tried when the hand of God touches ourselves. Yet even then the patriarch Job believed in the coming of Christ "I know," he said. True faith is solid, sure as knowledge. The senses know what will pass away and be no more; faith sees and knows what will abide for ever.
II. He contrasts, not only life with death, but life as the product of death. The glory of Christ began with the grave. What is the end of all earthly glory, and greatness, and wisdom and power is but the beginning of the heavenly. As to Him, so to us, the grave is the vestibule to glory. "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
III. This change and transformation must begin here. Christ rose that thou mightest rise, but first from sin to grace, from vice to virtue, from things earthly to things spiritual, from love of self to the love of God. The road lies, not in feeling, but in acting, not in longing, but in obeying.
E. B. Pusey, Parochial and Cathedral Sermons, p. 406.
References: Job 19:25.—R. Glover, Homiletic Magazine, vol. x., p. 243; G. D. Boardman, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxx., p. 345; Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Genesis to Proverbs, p. 126; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 112.
Job 19:25-26I. The first point to notice is the use of the present tense by Job in speaking of his Redeemer: "I know that my Redeemer liveth." There is thus in the prophecy a distinct testimony to the pre-existence of Christ. In speaking of a Redeemer as already alive and yet as not to appear until ages had rolled away, Job displayed faith in the most mysterious truth of all, that the Being who was to stand in human form upon the earth existed in some other form, whether that of angel or of God.
II. The word here rendered "redeemer" frequently occurs in the writings of Moses, and is sometimes translated "kinsman."
The restriction of the office of the goel to the nearest of kin was itself a kind of prophecy that our Redeemer would be our Brother. In the circumstances of each case which called for his interference we have a most accurate picture of the person and office of Christ.
III. In the last clause of the text Job refers to the resurrection of the body. His closely connecting the facts of his having a Redeemer and his own resurrection sufficiently shows that he viewed in the one the cause or Author of the other. He may be said to have gathered into the resurrection the whole work or achievement of redemption, as though in announcing the deliverance of his body from the grave he announced all that was to be effected by the Goel, the Kinsman, of the alienated race.
H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2747.
References: Job 19:25, Job 19:26.—Old Testament Outlines, p. 95. Job 19:25-27.—F. W. Robertson, Sermons, 1st series, p. 167; Expositor, 3rd series, vol. iv., p. 430; J. G. Murphy, Book of Daniel, p. 25; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., No. 504; A. W. Johnson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxx., p. 188; J. Natt, Posthumous Sermons, p. 387. Job 19:26.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 10.
Job 19:26-27The happiness of heaven is the seeing God; and because our Lord and Saviour is God incarnate, therefore to see Christ was to faithful men a kind of heaven upon earth; and losing sight of Him, as they did at His Passion, was like being banished from heaven.
I. The sight of God was the very blessing which Adam forfeited in Paradise, and which poor fallen human nature, so far as it is not utterly corrupt, has ever been feeling after and longing for. Adam, oppressed and alienated in his mind by sin, hid himself from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden, and he was cast out from the nearer vision of God; but both he and his posterity retained still a blind consciousness of what they had lost, and a blind hope of recovering it. All the holy men before the time of our Lord's first coming in the flesh looked on by faith to the happiness of seeing God. The Apostles and those who were about Him when He came enjoyed in their lifetime that privilege which Job had to wait for till he came to the other world.
II. The Apostles and disciples had one thing wanting to their joy: they saw and touched Christ outwardly, but were not as yet made members of Him. We are members of His body, but we do not yet see Him. These two things, which are now separated, are to be united in the other world; and being united, they will make us happy for ever.
III. Hitherto we have seen Jesus Christ, as it were, with other men's eyes; but the hour is coming when we shall see Him for ourselves. He will appear to each one of us with a different countenance according as we have behaved to Him here. As we see Him then, in wrath or mercy, such He will be to us for ever and ever; and His countenance will be according to our works.
Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times" vol. viii., p. 87 (see also J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Easter to Ascension Day, pp. 14-24).
References: Job 19:26, Job 19:27.—J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Advent to Christmas Eve, p. 117. Job 19:28.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., No. 505, and vol. xxvii., No. 1598. Job 19—S. Cox, Expositor, 1st series, vol. vii., pp. 264, 321; Ibid., Commentary on Job, p. 230.
How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.
If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:
Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.
He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.
He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.
He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.
He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.
I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.
My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.
Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.
All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.