Through all Job's struggles, two things brought him hope: there was Someone in heaven who would represent his cause, and even if he died, he would be resurrected. Job longed for an unseen intercessor, who would "mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends" (Job 16:21). John tells us that we do indeed have Someone to act as a mediator for us, and "He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely" (1 John 2:1).
Through all the false accusations leveled by his "friends," Job clung to one central thought: "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last" (Job 19:25). That reality led him to a second conclusion: "And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God" (Job 19:26). This is the clearest statement of Job's belief in the resurrection. He knew that even after his body was destroyed, he would see God in his own flesh.
Hold to these two great truths for encouragement: Your Advocate is praying for you, and one day, in a glorified body just like His own, you will see Him face-to-face.
16 Then Job replied:
2 “I have heard many things like these;
What ails you that you keep on arguing?
4 I also could speak like you,
if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
5 But my mouth would encourage you;
6 “Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
you have devastated my entire household.
8 You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness;
my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
13 his archers surround me.
and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again and again
15 “I have sewed sackcloth
and buried my brow in the dust.
as one pleads for a friend.
22 “Only a few years will pass
before I take the path of no return.
17 1 My spirit
my days are cut short,
my eyes must dwell on their hostility.
4 You have closed their minds to understanding;
therefore you will not let them triumph.
5 If anyone denounces their friends for reward,
the eyes of their children will fail.
a man in whose face people spit.
7 My eyes have grown dim with grief;
8 The upright are appalled at this;
the innocent are aroused
9 Nevertheless, the righteous
10 “But come on, all of you, try again!
I will not find a wise man among you.
Yet the desires of my heart
12 turn night into day;
15 where then is my hope—
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite
Be sensible, and then we can talk.
3 Why are we regarded as cattle
and considered stupid in your sight?
is the earth to be abandoned for your sake?
Or must the rocks be moved from their place?
he wanders into its mesh.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
13 It eats away parts of his skin;
death’s firstborn devours his limbs.
14 He is torn from the security of his tent
17 The memory of him perishes from the earth;
18 He is driven from light into the realm of darkness
those of the east are seized with horror.
19 Then Job replied:
2 “How long will you torment
shamelessly you attack me.
4 If it is true that I have gone astray,
and use my humiliation against me,
6 then know that God has wronged me
10 He tears me down
11 His anger
he counts me among his enemies.
12 His troops advance in force;
they build a siege ramp
and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has alienated my family
14 My relatives have gone away;
they look on me as on a stranger.
16 I summon my servant, but he does not answer,
though I beg him with my own mouth.
17 My breath is offensive to my wife;
I am loathsome
18 Even the little boys
when I appear, they ridicule me.
20 I am nothing but skin and bones;
I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.
21 “Have pity on me, my friends,
23 “Oh, that my words were recorded,
24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool
or engraved in rock forever!
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes
28 “If you say, ‘How we will hound
since the root of the trouble lies in him,
29 you should fear the sword yourselves;
for wrath will bring punishment by the sword,
16 Then Job spoke again:
2 “I have heard all this before.
What miserable comforters you are!
3 Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air?
What makes you keep on talking?
4 I could say the same things if you were in my place.
I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.
5 But if it were me, I would encourage you.
I would try to take away your grief.
6 Instead, I suffer if I defend myself,
and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak.
7 “O God, you have ground me down
and devastated my family.
8 As if to prove I have sinned, you’ve reduced me to skin and bones.
My gaunt flesh testifies against me.
9 God hates me and angrily tears me apart.
He snaps his teeth at me
and pierces me with his eyes.
10 People jeer and laugh at me.
They slap my cheek in contempt.
A mob gathers against me.
11 God has handed me over to sinners.
He has tossed me into the hands of the wicked.
12 “I was living quietly until he shattered me.
He took me by the neck and broke me in pieces.
Then he set me up as his target,
13 and now his archers surround me.
His arrows pierce me without mercy.
The ground is wet with my blood.
14 Again and again he smashes against me,
charging at me like a warrior.
15 I wear burlap to show my grief.
My pride lies in the dust.
16 My eyes are red with weeping;
dark shadows circle my eyes.
17 Yet I have done no wrong,
and my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, do not conceal my blood.
Let it cry out on my behalf.
19 Even now my witness is in heaven.
My advocate is there on high.
20 My friends scorn me,
but I pour out my tears to God.
21 I need someone to mediate between God and me,
as a person mediates between friends.
22 For soon I must go down that road
from which I will never return.
17 “My spirit is crushed,
and my life is nearly snuffed out.
The grave is ready to receive me.
2 I am surrounded by mockers.
I watch how bitterly they taunt me.
3 “You must defend my innocence, O God,
since no one else will stand up for me.
4 You have closed their minds to understanding,
but do not let them triumph.
5 They betray their friends for their own advantage,
so let their children faint with hunger.
6 “God has made a mockery of me among the people;
they spit in my face.
7 My eyes are swollen with weeping,
and I am but a shadow of my former self.
8 The virtuous are horrified when they see me.
The innocent rise up against the ungodly.
9 The righteous keep moving forward,
and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.
10 “As for all of you, come back with a better argument,
though I still won’t find a wise man among you.
11 My days are over.
My hopes have disappeared.
My heart’s desires are broken.
12 These men say that night is day;
they claim that the darkness is light.
13 What if I go to the grave
and make my bed in darkness?
14 What if I call the grave my father,
and the maggot my mother or my sister?
15 Where then is my hope?
Can anyone find it?
16 No, my hope will go down with me to the grave.
We will rest together in the dust!”
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 “How long before you stop talking?
Speak sense if you want us to answer!
3 Do you think we are mere animals?
Do you think we are stupid?
4 You may tear out your hair in anger,
but will that destroy the earth?
Will it make the rocks tremble?
5 “Surely the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
The sparks of their fire will not glow.
6 The light in their tent will grow dark.
The lamp hanging above them will be quenched.
7 The confident stride of the wicked will be shortened.
Their own schemes will be their downfall.
8 The wicked walk into a net.
They fall into a pit.
9 A trap grabs them by the heel.
A snare holds them tight.
10 A noose lies hidden on the ground.
A rope is stretched across their path.
11 “Terrors surround the wicked
and trouble them at every step.
12 Hunger depletes their strength,
and calamity waits for them to stumble.
13 Disease eats their skin;
death devours their limbs.
14 They are torn from the security of their homes
and are brought down to the king of terrors.
15 The homes of the wicked will burn down;
burning sulfur rains on their houses.
16 Their roots will dry up,
and their branches will wither.
17 All memory of their existence will fade from the earth;
no one will remember their names.
18 They will be thrust from light into darkness,
driven from the world.
19 They will have neither children nor grandchildren,
nor any survivor in the place where they lived.
20 People in the west are appalled at their fate;
people in the east are horrified.
21 They will say, ‘This was the home of a wicked person,
the place of one who rejected God.’”
19 Then Job spoke again:
2 “How long will you torture me?
How long will you try to crush me with your words?
3 You have already insulted me ten times.
You should be ashamed of treating me so badly.
4 Even if I have sinned,
that is my concern, not yours.
5 You think you’re better than I am,
using my humiliation as evidence of my sin.
6 But it is God who has wronged me,
capturing me in his net.
7 “I cry out, ‘Help!’ but no one answers me.
I protest, but there is no justice.
8 God has blocked my way so I cannot move.
He has plunged my path into darkness.
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and removed the crown from my head.
10 He has demolished me on every side, and I am finished.
He has uprooted my hope like a fallen tree.
11 His fury burns against me;
he counts me as an enemy.
12 His troops advance.
They build up roads to attack me.
They camp all around my tent.
13 “My relatives stay far away,
and my friends have turned against me.
14 My family is gone,
and my close friends have forgotten me.
15 My servants and maids consider me a stranger.
I am like a foreigner to them.
16 When I call my servant, he doesn’t come;
I have to plead with him!
17 My breath is repulsive to my wife.
I am rejected by my own family.
18 Even young children despise me.
When I stand to speak, they turn their backs on me.
19 My close friends detest me.
Those I loved have turned against me.
20 I have been reduced to skin and bones
and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth.
21 “Have mercy on me, my friends, have mercy,
for the hand of God has struck me.
22 Must you also persecute me, like God does?
Haven’t you chewed me up enough?
23 “Oh, that my words could be recorded.
Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument,
24 carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead,
engraved forever in the rock.
25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and he will stand upon the earth at last.
26 And after my body has decayed,
yet in my body I will see God!
27 I will see him for myself.
Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.
I am overwhelmed at the thought!
28 “How dare you go on persecuting me,
saying, ‘It’s his own fault’?
29 You should fear punishment yourselves,
for your attitude deserves punishment.
Then you will know that there is indeed a judgment.”
16 Then Job answered and said,
2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.
3 Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?
4 I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.
5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
6 Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?
7 But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.
8 And thou hast filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face.
9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.
11 God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked.
12 I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.
13 His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground.
14 He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a giant.
15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust.
16 My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
17 Not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure.
18 O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place.
19 Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.
20 My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.
21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!
22 When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.
17 My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.
2 Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation?
3 Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?
4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.
5 He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.
6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.
7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow.
8 Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.
9 The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
10 But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you.
11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.
12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.
13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.
14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.
18 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 How long will it be ere ye make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we will speak.
3 Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight?
4 He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place?
5 Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine.
6 The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him.
7 The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down.
8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare.
9 The gin shall take him by the heel, and the robber shall prevail against him.
10 The snare is laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way.
11 Terrors shall make him afraid on every side, and shall drive him to his feet.
12 His strength shall be hungerbitten, and destruction shall be ready at his side.
13 It shall devour the strength of his skin: even the firstborn of death shall devour his strength.
14 His confidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors.
15 It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.
16 His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off.
17 His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street.
18 He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world.
19 He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining in his dwellings.
20 They that come after him shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God.
19 Then Job answered and said,
2 How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
4 And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.
5 If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:
6 Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
7 Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
8 He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.
9 He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.
10 He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.
11 He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
12 His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.
13 He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
14 My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
15 They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.
16 I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.
17 My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.
18 Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.
19 All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
20 My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
22 Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
28 But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
29 Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.
16 Now about the collection
5 After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you
10 When Timothy
12 Now about our brother Apollos:
15 You know that the household of Stephanas
19 The churches in the province of Asia
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.
16 Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia.2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.3 When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem.4 And if it seems appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me.
5 I am coming to visit you after I have been to Macedonia,
10 When Timothy comes, don’t intimidate him. He is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am.11 Don’t let anyone treat him with contempt. Send him on his way with your blessing when he returns to me. I expect him to come with the other believers.
12 Now about our brother Apollos—I urged him to visit you with the other believers, but he was not willing to go right now. He will see you later when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.
15 You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece,
19 The churches here in the province of Asia
21 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!
23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus.
16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.
6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.
7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.
8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.
9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.
12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
14 Let all your things be done with charity.
15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.
18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.
19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.
22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
1 I waited patiently
and gave me a firm place to stand.
a hymn of praise to our God.
and put their trust
4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
5 Many, Lord my God,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
but my ears you have opened
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
5 O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand
you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
7 Then I said, “Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:
8 I take joy in doing your will, my God,
for your instructions are written on my heart.”
9 I have told all your people about your justice.
I have not been afraid to speak out,
as you, O Lord, well know.
10 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
40 I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.
4 Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.
10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
22 A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
22 Choose a good reputation over great riches;
being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
22 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.