Job’s three friends may have meant well, but they did not help. After the third friend’s “words of encouragement and correction”, Job again spoke up: in despair and in hopelessness, and in defense of himself and in defense of his God, and in desperate need of hope and relief.
“‘But I have intelligence as well as you; I am not inferior to you. And who does not know such things as these? I am a joke to my friends. The one who called on God, and He answered him; the just and blameless man is a joke…
But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?…
With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding.'” ~ Job 12:3-4, 7-10, 13
Job was in anguish and pain, and his friends offered no comfort. Yet he knew that God was God, in control of all things, “in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind'”.
“‘Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him. This also will be my salvation, for a godless man may not come before His presence…
How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.'” ~ Job 13:15-16, 23
Job trusted God, and had hope in Him, even if God took his life. But he also knew that he had walked right before God. Not sinless, for “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” ~ Romans 3:10 (KJV), but he desired to be sinless, with a heart longing to be obedient and upright. He was willing to accept that he had indeed sinned, if only God would tell him what he had done wrong!
“‘Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain…
Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with Thee, and his limits Thou has set so that he cannot pass…
If a man dies, will he live again?…
But the falling mountain crumbles away, and the rock moves from its place; water wears away stones, its torrents wash away the dust of the earth; so Thou dost destroy man’s hope.'” ~ Job 14:1-2, 5, 14a, 18-19
Now Job was despairing, losing hope, and wishing for death. He recognized how truly short and uncertain life was. He also knew that God has our lives, to the very day, planned out and in His hands. What Job didn’t know was that there is indeed life after death. Engulfed by pain and unbearable loss, his hope was slipping away.
But God is not responsible for destroying man’s hope. Satan and this fallen world destroy our hope. In God and His Son Jesus, we find the only true and lasting hope.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 5:1-2 (JV)
“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;” ~ Colossians 1:5 (KJV)
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
“in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,” ~ Titus 1:2
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” ~ Titus 2:13 (KJV)
“that being justified by His grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” ~ Titus 3:7
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you…
who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” ~ 1 Peter 1:3-4, 21
Justified by God’s grace and mercy, through faith in Jesus Christ. Having peace with God. Born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. Given this hope of eternal life, heaven promised to us, by a God who cannot lie.
God eventually spoke, and Job had hope again. We aren’t finished with this book. Don’t forget, not only is Job a book, but the entire Bible is a book. You cannot read one chapter or page from a book and get the whole story. And you cannot assume just because God seems to be silent today, that He isn’t working and guiding, directing and protecting you. Your book, your story is not finished. He loves you. You!
Wait on Him. And have hope while waiting!