Where To Find Help In Time Of Need

Job 19:13-22

March 27, 2019

The Bible teaches the people of God to trust in the Lord and Him alone. The Bible describes God as our Redeemer. The Bible describes God as our Provider. The Bible describes God as our Protector. The Bible describes God as our Comforter. The Bible describes God as our Helper. The Bible describes God as our Rock, Fortress, and Strong Tower. The Bible describes God as our Banner of victory. There are many names and titles in the Bible that show why God should be the One in whom we trust. There are many testimonies and historical narratives that explain why God alone is able to be there for us. The Lord promised that He would NEVER leave nor forsake His people, and the Bible is filled with evidence of God’s faithfulness to this promise. Though the Lord will often use people as His instruments of mercy, grace, compassion, and comfort, it is wise to make sure that our hope and trust lies solely in the Lord, lest we find ourselves disappointed in our time of need.
An example of this truth is clearly seen in the testimony of Job. In Job 19:13-22 the Bible shows that Job’s family, friends, acquaintances, servants, employees, and loved ones had all let Job down in his time of need. This is why the Bible exhorts God’s people to trust in Him and Him alone. When circumstances become difficult to bear, it is common for people to scatter, and the help and comfort we hoped to receive from people is non-existent. Consider that even Jesus – the Son of God and Messiah King of Israel – had to deal with the same let-down. When Jesus was arrested and falsely accused by the Jewish religious leaders, He was abandoned by His disciples. Those who followed Jesus and received the benefits of Jesus were nowhere to be found on account of shame and fear. Even the Apostle Peter denied Jesus three times as Jesus predicted. Unfortunately, this is human nature. Thankfully, this is not God’s nature!
The testimony of Job 19:13-22 shows just how things hard can be when expecting people to help in a time of need. The scriptures explain that none are righteous. The scriptures provide ample evidence that, as people, we are selfish in nature. The testimony of Job provides great evidence of this, validating why God alone should be our hope and refuge. Job explained that his brothers and other extended relatives had abandoned him. His losses and physical condition caused Job to be seen as a mockery and a horror show. Those who were closest to Job were seemingly the first to bail. Regardless of their motives for separating from Job, the point is that, those who Job hoped would be there for him because of the depth of relationship, weren’t there for him. Job flat out said that his relatives had failed.
Job also explained that those who were a part of his household were equally distant and inconsiderate. This means that those who were directly benefiting from Job were not willing to show compassion as a form of gratitude for the favor they had received from Job. Job’s own servants considered him to be a stranger and a foreigner. They would not respond to his orders and commands even though he continued to pay them and provide for them. Job’s own household had grown indifferent to Job’s needs so that he could not receive respect from those of whom he still had charge over. The people of Job’s own household separated from him as if they didn’t even know him.
This included Job’s wife. Recall that earlier in Job’s testimony, the Bible explained that Job’s wife was one of the first ones to give Job a hard time. When Job first began to suffer physical affliction, she told Job to curse God and die. Clearly these are not the encouraging words of a believer. Yet, as if Job’s previous suffering was not enough, Job’s wife became further offended with Job’s condition. She was repulsed by Job. The one that was supposed to be his chief supporter and comforter as Job’s partner and soulmate, was perhaps the worse of them all. This attitude had a trickling effect in Job’s house so that the young people in his house learned to despise Job as well. As they watched the adults look at Job with shame, spite, offense, and indifference, they learned to treat Job in the same manner as if he was a shameful piece of trash. This was true whether the children were members of his own family, or children passing by that knew of his situation. Job received no respect from those who should have shown respect and honor, especially through the filter of compassion on account of Job’s condition. Unfortunately, this was not what the adults were teaching the children to do.
Job further explained that his close friends hated Job and despised him as if he was an evil man. Those that were Job’s loved ones had vanished and turned away. The Bible explains that at this point in Job’s testimony, his physical ailments had caused him to be nothing but skin and bones. Job likely resembled someone that was on the brink of death. The context of these details provides insight into why everyone departed from Job and left him for dead. Job looked like he was going to die at any moment; and having lost his prosperity, Job had nothing to offer. Here, the root of human selfishness is exposed. It is common to think of the lowly and pitiful in this manner. Why help someone who has nothing to offer in exchange. Job had no inheritance to give. Job couldn’t provide any service or resource that was valuable to anyone. His company with people was despised because of the way that he looked. The manner in which Satan attacked his household, causing Job to lose everything so quickly, likely caused the people around Job to figure him cursed by God, just like his friends that accused him of hypocrisy. Who wants to be around someone that is cursed? The people treated Job like his physical, mental, financial, emotional, and spiritual condition were contagious. When people think this way, it is no surprise that Job was left alone.
Still, Job sought pity and compassion. He begged his friends – Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar – to stop making accusations and provide words of comfort. Job acknowledged that God’s hand had allowed an exceptionally heavy weight to be dropped on him. Why should his friends sit on that weight to compound the problem, causing more suffering? It was as if Job’s friends were gratified by bringing more pain to Job. The scriptures show that often times, people will kick the lowly while they are down in order to sub-consciously prop themselves up. The lower others seem to us, the better we feel about ourselves in comparison. This thinking is wrong, and Job called it out. Nevertheless, the attitudes and responses against Job are very common to people in pain or difficult circumstances. It is easy for people to separate from others going through trials because deep down we’re looking for something to gratify ourselves. If we don’t perceive a way to feel good about what we’re doing, we often look elsewhere. God does not look at us this way. Though Jesus knew He would be betrayed and denied, and to what degree, He submitted Himself to the purpose of the Father, giving His life so that we could be forgiven for our selfishness. Though the Lord is the almighty and holy God, He is merciful in nature, faithful to His promise to help those who humbly seek Him, and unlike the people around us, He will never leave nor forsake us!

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