Job's Sixth Speech
Job, in anguish, replies to Bildad and the other friends in Job 19:2 - "How long will you torment my soul, and break me in pieces with words?" He goes on to boldly say that if what they were saying was true (namely, that God was punishing him for his sins), then God had wronged him! In truth, we know that God was not punishing him for sin throughout this ordeal. However, Job's statement implies that he thinks he understands what is an appropriate punishment from deity for human transgressions. The reality is that God's ways and thoughts are above ours (even Job's), and the great patriarch has uttered something he does not fully understand (cf. Job 42:3; Isa. 55:8,9).

Job reiterates his desire in 19:7-12 to speak to God:

"If I cry out concerning wrong, I am not heard. If I cry aloud, there is no justice. He has fenced up my way, so that I cannot pass; and He has set darkness in my paths. He has stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone; My hope He has uprooted like a tree. He has also kindled His wrath against me, and He counts me as one of His enemies. His troops come together and build up their road against me; they encamp all around my tent."
Perhaps the toughest part for Job is that he feels God has made him an enemy (cf. Matt. 27:46). He sees no hope or way of escape.

Job continues in 19:13-22, in what has been called the saddest section of all of Job's speeches:

"He has removed my brothers far from me, and my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have failed, and my close friends have forgotten me. Those who dwell in my house, and my maidservants, count me as a stranger; I am an alien in their sight. I call my servant, but he gives no answer; I beg him with my mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife, and I am repulsive to the children of my own body. Even young children despise me; I arise, and they speak against me. All my close friends abhor me, and those whom I love have turned against me. My bone clings to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth. Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has struck me! Why do you persecute me as God does, and are not satisfied with my flesh?"
Job here gives us a glimpse of what has befallen him in addition to his physical loss of health. The flawed theology of the people caused much of Job's suffering in this aspect. Their mistaken thinking may have been something like this: "Since God always blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked, then Job must be very wicked and we do not want to incur God's wrath by extending mercy and kindness to someone God is punishing." As a side note, let it be observed that the Hebrew text in verse 17 seems to be referring to Job's brethren, not his children (who were deceased).

Job pleads - "Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock with an iron pen and lead, forever!" (Job 19:23,24). Job gets his wish for a written record!

19:25-27 are very rich in meaning - "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" The Hebrew word goel is here rendered "Redeemer" (see our lesson from 07/14/06 for a fuller look at this term). I understand Job to be expressing confidence in a "mediator" or "heavenly witness" (God Himself) who will stand and speak in Job's defense at some unknown point in the future (cf. Job 16:19-21). Job believes that he will see God and that the Lord will ultimately vindicate Him. Because of this belief, he issues a friendly warning to his friends. Job is more right in his comments here than his friends could have ever imagined (cf. Job 42)!