Job 17

Job Says He Has Become a Byword

17 “My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished,
The [a]grave is ready for me.
“Surely mockers are with me,
And my eye [b]gazes on their provocation.

“Lay down, now, a pledge for me with Yourself;
Who is there that will [c]be my guarantor?
“For You have [d]kept their heart from understanding,
Therefore You will not exalt them.
“He who informs against friends for a share of the spoil,
The eyes of his children also will languish.

“But He has made me a byword of the people,
And I am [e]one at whom men spit.
“My eye has also grown dim because of grief,
And all my members are as a shadow.
“The upright will be appalled at this,
And the innocent will stir up himself against the godless.
“Nevertheless the righteous will hold to his way,
And he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.
10 “But come again all of [f]you now,
For I do not find a wise man among you.
11 “My days are past, my plans are torn apart,
Even the wishes of my heart.
12 “They make night into day, saying,
‘The light is near,’ in the presence of darkness.
13 “If I look for Sheol as my home,
[g]make my bed in the darkness;
14 If I call to the pit, ‘You are my father’;
To the worm, ‘my mother and my sister’;
15 Where now is my hope?
And who regards my hope?
16 [h]Will it go down with me to Sheol?
Shall we together go down into the dust?”

In the middle of his despair, Job asks a good question, even if he doesn’t have an answer, “Where now is my hope?” If he hasn’t hit rock bottom, it seems Job is awfully close. The disease of his skin added on top of the devastating losses and the sorry consolation of Job’s friends is just too much for him to bear. In verse 11, Job bemoans that his plans have been all for naught, and it seems there is nothing left for him but death.

Like it or not, death is an eventuality for all of us, and like Job, we should not put our hope in earthly things. We make plans on this earth, and we may succeed or fail in our endeavors, but what does it gain us? If our goal is earthly gain, then we’ve sold ourselves short, and indeed there isn’t much left to hope in.

So where now is our hope? Our hope is in eternity, in a life spent living with our Savior, our Father, and all of our brothers and sisters. But don’t wait for eternity, this life isn’t a waste. God tells us to “store up treasures in heaven” even while we still trod this world that is not our home. Seek His will in all you do, and when death comes, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be excited to see what the future holds, to see God as He is, things which we can only imagine this side of heaven. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”

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