Job is a fascinating book and Job chapter 19 is no exception. At this point in the story, Job is literally sitting in dust and ashes mourning for his children. He is in great physical pain, and understandably wonders why God has suddenly turned against Him. In fact, at the beginning of this chapter Job complains that it is God who has stripped him of everything and that God has turned His hand against Job.
And yet, in verses 23-27 Job has the audacity to declare this –
“How I wish my words were written down, written on a scroll. I wish they were cared with an iron pen into lead, or carved into stone forever. I know that my Defender lives, and in the end He will stand upon the earth. And though my body be destroyed by fire, yet in my flesh I will see God. I will see Him myself; I will see Him with my very own eyes. How my heart wants that to happen!”
How can Job say this?
At this point you would think the last person Job would want to see it God, much less call Him his Defender. And yet he does.
Job even declares that in his flesh – this pain-filled, boiled, blistered, and bleeding flesh he will see God! Even if God were to send down fire from heaven and burn Job up, that wouldn’t stop Job from seeing his God. And Job cannot wait for that day.
How can Job say this?
I was thinking about that the other day. My own personal opinion is this:
– For the same reason Moses had the audacity to argue with God throughout those 40 years in the wilderness
– For the same reason David had the audacity to command that God forgive him in Ps 51
– For the same reason Daniel had the audacity to remind God of His responsibility to a forsaken and exiled people who were under heavy discipline in Daniel 9
I think all these men knew something about God. Something we often forget.
In the book of Exodus God actually describes Himself to Moses (34:6-7). Remember these are God’s words about Himself –
And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.
A whole different blog could be written about His faithfulness to punish the guilty (and maybe in our culture today needs to be), but what I want to focus on is this – how does God begin? What are the first things God declares to be true about Himself?
He is gracious. He is compassionate. He is abounding in love and faithfulness. This is our God.
This is the Lord who’s glory will cover the earth. This is the Lord who is your Rock. This is your God, oh Church, upon whom you stand. Throw yourself upon His mercy. Declare His glory and greatness. He is merciful and gracious, compassionate, full of chesed. What greater God could there be? There truly is no god like our God! We should be shouting His praises to the heavens and declaring for all the world to hear – how great is our God.