Job Continues: Where Then Is My Hope?
17 “My spirit is broken; my days are extinct;
the graveyard is ready for me.
Surely there are mockers about me,
and my eye dwells on their provocation.
“Lay down a pledge for me with you;
who is there who will put up security for me?
Since you have closed their hearts to understanding,
therefore you will not let them triumph.
He who informs against his friends to get a share of their property—
the eyes of his children will fail.
“He has made me a byword of the peoples,
and I am one before whom men spit.
My eye has grown dim from vexation,
and all my members are like a shadow.
The upright are appalled at this,
and the innocent stirs himself up against the godless.
Yet the righteous holds to his way,
and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.
But you, come on again, all of you,
and I shall not find a wise man among you.
My days are past; my plans are broken off,
the desires of my heart.
They make night into day:
‘The light,’ they say, ‘is near to the darkness.’
If I hope for Sheol as my house,
if I make my bed in darkness,
if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?
Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
Shall we descend together into the dust?”
Job 17 Commentary
by Hank Workman
When we are in crisis, when it seems everything we’ve built our hopes upon tumble, it’s hard to keep the right perspective. These moments show up with a negative doctor’s report, a relationship ended we had fought for, there’s loss financially or through death. Just a few examples listed, the reality is none of us are exempt from crisis and shattered dreams. As these are part of life, our response is what determines where our feet are step next.
And yes it’s true, crisis shows where our faith is found. But there’s more than just that. We will either be defeated in this lifetime because of it or we will forge forward stronger.
There’s a saying, “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I’ve always appreciated this statement as it resounds with such truth when it comes to disasters in our lives. But we also have to embrace where we are so we can move forward and come out the other side stronger than before.
“The righteous will hold to his way and he who has clean hands will grow stronger and stronger.”Job 17:9
Job declares here victory will be found for the righteous. He has a flash of hope and faith in the middle of his situation. It’s a flash he will cling to and help him make it through to the end. For what he’s speaking toward is that of endurance. Holding fast to his inner convictions will help him find his way even when what is happening does not make sense at all. As his situation did not change over night, he recognizes his strength will come not through the situation necessarily changing but God making him stronger through it – moment by moment.
What are the central truths you believe about God? Even when there are things that come against you, what are the things you know to be true? These must be the things we cling to tightly through such upheaval. We will have hardships no doubt. They will come in like a flood from time to time where we are gasping for air. Enduring through it all, no matter the outcome, is what God will use to make us stronger. Go back to the central truths you believe about God. Hold fast to these thoughts and let Jesus hold you in His strong hands. Strength is not found in answers, it’s found in Him.
Job 17 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Job is pretty depressed here in Chapter 17. He reiterates that he expected his friends to support him but they have not. He asks that God would hear him directly. If his friends will not be his sponsor, who will? There is a strange tension as Job verbalizes this request because he is possibly struggling to reconcile it in his head. How can God be both just and merciful to him? Job knows he is a faithful man but he is being wrongly accused. The wrongful accusation is being done under God’s sovereignty, therefore, he must go directly to the source.
We are reminded in verse 4 of the reason why he goes directly to God. The minds of his friends have obviously been closed. They cannot see truth and will not believe his words. The question becomes, will Job believe that God will fight for him?
This is such a tough situation. In modern terms, it is difficult to face the reality that other people make false accusations all the time. People assume things and make judgments based on limited information. For us as believers, we must trust that God is fighting for us. The ultimate truth is that we only answer to one God.
If everyone in the world affirms you and thinks you are the greatest person alive, what does that really mean at the end of the day? I’m not advocating being divisive and troublesome towards others, but I also know that Job turns to God because everyone else has made false assumptions about his character. He believes that God knows the truth and that in the end, the truth will set him free.
Where have you made false assumptions about someone else? Where do you need to cling to what God knows about your character instead of what others assume about your reputation? We only answer to One in the end.