Job 16:6-22

Job Says God Shattered Him

“If I speak, my pain is not lessened,
And if I hold back, what has left me?
“But now He has exhausted me;
You have laid waste all my company.
“You have shriveled me up,
It has become a witness;
And my leanness rises up against me,
It testifies to my face.
“His anger has torn me and [d]hunted me down,
He has gnashed at me with His teeth;
My adversary [e]glares at me.
10 “They have gaped at me with their mouth,
They have [f]slapped me on the cheek with contempt;
They have massed themselves against me.
11 “God hands me over to ruffians
And tosses me into the hands of the wicked.
12 “I was at ease, but He shattered me,
And He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces;
He has also set me up as His target.
13 “His arrows surround me.
Without mercy He splits my kidneys open;
He pours out my gall on the ground.
14 “He breaks through me with breach after breach;
He runs at me like a warrior.
15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin
And thrust my horn in the dust.
16 “My face is flushed from weeping,
And deep darkness is on my eyelids,
17 Although there is no violence in my hands,
And my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, do not cover my blood,
And let there be no resting place for my cry.
19 “Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
And my [g]advocate is on high.
20 “My friends are my scoffers;
My eye [h]weeps to God.
21 “O that a man might plead with God
As a man with his neighbor!
22 “For when a few years are past,
I shall go the way of no return.

Though Job seems pretty despondent, in verse 19 he is reminded that his “advocate is on high”. Though it seems God is attacking him, and he wishes he might plead with God directly, he knows the only one who can speak for him is God himself, or the part of the trinity that we call the Son (Jesus). Interestingly, while there are many references to the Spirit in the Old Testament, and we see other activity of the Son, though not by name, this is the only time the term advocate is used (of anything or anyone in the OT).

Though it might seem like everything and everyone is against us, we can take solace in the knowledge that God himself is our witness and advocate. There is no higher authority, and it’s an amazing thought that Jesus is our advocate and that he cares what happens to us. As both David and Paul would later write, “what can man do to me?” We are in the hands of God himself, and he will not fail us. Though God will try us and test us, “He will never leave us or forsake us.”

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