Job 16: My Witness is in Heaven

Surely even now my witness is in heaven, And my evidence is on high. Job16:19

Job Reproaches His Pitiless Friends

Job bitterly complains about the “comfort” offered by his friends. His friends are “miserable comforters” (16:1-5). He has not attacked God, as Eliphaz implied, but God has attacked Job. Job has not been corrupt, but pure.

Miserable comforters are you all! 3  Shall words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? 4  I also could speak as you do, If your soul were in my soul’s place. I could heap up words against you, And shake my head at you; 5  But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.

Miserable comforters. A miserable comforter is literally a “comforter of trouble,” a person who makes matters worse rather than better. E.g. “What could you have done to deserve this?” and “If you had enough faith, you’d be healed.”

True piety. Job has experienced the tragedies that struck him as a violent attack. And his attacker has been God! Yet, as Job describes his reaction (vv. 15-17), we realize that he has not denied God, nor struck back at Him, as Eliphaz implied (15:23-26). Rather than shake his fist at God, Job has humbled himself, wept, and prayed.

What a wonder this is, and how rightly God described Job as a “blameless and upright” man. Despite Job’s confusion, he has continued to act righteously. When we can do right despite pain, pressure, and agonizing loss, we are truly godly individuals.

11  God has delivered me to the ungodly, And turned me over to the hands of the wicked. 12  I was at ease, but He has shattered me; He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces; He has set me up for His target, 13  His archers surround me. He pierces my heart and does not pity; He pours out my gall on the ground. 14  He breaks me with wound upon wound; He runs at me like a warrior. 15  “I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, And laid my head in the dust.

17  Although no violence is in my hands, And my prayer is pure. 18  “O earth, do not cover my blood, And let my cry have no resting place! 19  Surely even now my witness is in heaven, And my evidence is on high. 20  My friends scorn me; My eyes pour out tears to God. 21  Oh, that one might plead for a man with God, As a man pleads for his neighbor!

Job’s witness (16:19, 21) The identity of Job’s witness is disputed. One’s understanding about Job’s “Redeemer” in 19:25 will affect one’s understanding of Job’s witness. Some argue that Job was referring to God. However, the context of 9:33, where Job wished for an impartial mediator between God and himself (9:32, 33), and the immediate context of v. 21 suggest that Job was using a legal metaphor to express his wish for an advocate who would plead for him with God, as a man pleads for his neighbor on earth. This anticipates Jesus Christ, who is our intercessor (Heb. 7:25) and Advocate (1 John 2:1).

 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Heb. 7:25

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1


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