“Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out, and the flame of his fire does not shine…For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks on its mesh…Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, such is the place of him who knows not God.” (Job 18:5,8,21, ESV)
So Bildad says Job has no light in him; Job walks into God’s trap like an idiot who falls into a garbage dumpster and cannot get out, all because he does not know God at all.
In Chapter 19, Job replies in unity with God that they have it all wrong. God does not set traps:
“…even if it be true that I have erred, my error remains with myself (19:4).
The Hebrew word for erring here implies unconscious error, not intentional sin. Job does not believe he has sinned, but even if he has sinned accidentally, it is his own fault, not God’s trap. The image presented by “remains” in Hebrew is that of “harboring an unpleasant guest for the night” and bearing the consequences (Commentary Critical).
Job refuses to curse God, turning instead on his tormentors, who see themselves as “God’s troops” who “cast up their siege ramp” and camp against him (19:12). He pleads with them, “Why do you, like God, pursue me?” (19:22).
I spent many years in the garbage business, processing it into fuel to generate electricity. A key element of that business is to extract materials that have value for recycling, materials that are shredded into consistent form and redeemed for a price. The waste left behind is burned as fuel.
For this reason, Job’s next words have a powerful, emotional impact on me, as they have on generations going forward all the way to Mozart in his Messiah and on to us:
“For I know my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has thus been destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God…for myself…my eyes shall behold…My heart faints within me!” (19:25-27).
In three astonishing verses, Job has felt shredded for reasons unknown to him; knows God will recycle him thanks to his enduring unity with God; and he knows there is a Redeemer who can present him spotless before God by paying a very high price for him.
What are you facing today? Do you feel wasted and shredded? A fallen world ruled by Satan does that to you, not God. God allows this only to draw us closer to his never-ending love, through repentance and restoration – or recycling, if you will. If you believe in Him and his Son Jesus Christ as your Redeemer who has already paid the price for your sins, you are becoming a priceless recycled treasure “at the last”, walking forever with Jesus on streets of gold.
Please just stop where you are today and read this sample of verses that Job foreshadows for us, affirming what Job can only sense through faith: John 5:21,26; John 6:39; John 8:44; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:17.
And then listen to a modern adaption of Job 19:25 in a way that should fill you with joy, and maybe a few tears, through the angelic voice of a 12-year-old girl:
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WZDD7PNX (Ctrl + Click to play)
Amen, Job, amen!