Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
Then Job answered and said,Job 19:9-10
Compare the use of this passage by Scott in the affecting interview between Jeanie Deans and her sister, when the latter (Heart of Midlothian, chap. xx.) upbraids herself for having forgotten 'what I promised when I faulded down the leaf of my Bible. "See," she said, producing the sacred volume, "the book opens aye at the place o' itsell. O see, Jeanie, what a fearfu' scripture!" Jeanie took her sister's Bible, and found that the fatal mark was made at this impressive text in the book of Job: 'He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath He removed like a tree.' "Isna that ower true a doctrine?" said the prisoner—"Isna my crown, my honour removed? and what am I but a poor wasted, wan-thriven tree, dug up by the roots, and flung out to waste in the highway, that man and beast may tread it under foot? I thought o' the bonny bit thorn that our father rooted out o' the yard last May, when it had a' the flush o' blossoms on it; and then it lay in the court till the beasts had trod them a' to pieces wi' their feet I little thought, when I was wae for the bit silly green bush and its flowers, that I was to gang the same gate mysell!"'
'Men,' wrote Luther in 1527, 'who ought to have compassion on me are choosing the very moment of my prostration to come and give me a final thrust. God mend them and enlighten them!'
How insignificant, at the moment, seem the influences of the sensible things which are tossed and fall and lie about us, so, or so, in the environment of early childhood. How indelibly, as we afterwards discover, they affect us: with what capricious attractions and associations they figure themselves on the white paper, the smooth wax, of our ingenuous souls, 'as with lead in the rock for ever'!
—Pater, Miscellaneous Studies, p. 176.
Yes, the Redeemer liveth. He is no Jew, or image of a man, or surplice, or old creed, but the Unnamable Maker of us, voiceless, formless within our own soul, whose voice is every noble and genuine impulse of our souls. He is yet there, in us and around us, and we are there. No eremite or fanatic whatever had more than we have; how much less had most of them?
'I know that my Redeemer liveth' is a state of mind of which ordinary men cannot reason; but which in the practical power of it, has always governed the world, and must for ever.
—Ruskin, Fors Clavigera (XCII).
In Faraday's journal for 1841 he describes a Swiss graveyard at Oberhofen, where 'one who had been too poor to put up an engraved brass plate, or even a painted board, had written with ink on paper the birth and death of the being whose remains were below, and mounted on the top of a stick at the head of the grave, the paper being protected by a little edge of roof. Such was the simple remembrance, but Nature had added her pathos, for under the shelter by the writing a caterpillar had fastened itself, and passed into its death-like state of chrysalis, and having ultimately assumed its final state, it had winged its way from the spot, and had left the corpse-like relics behind. How old and how beautiful is this figure of the resurrection!'
References.—XIX. 25.—J. L. Moody, The Fullness of the Gospel, p. 62. Spurgeon, Sermons, No. 2909. XIX. 25, 26.—G. W. Bethune, American Pulpit, p. 320. H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2747. XIX. 25-27.—A. B. Davidson, The Waiting God, p. 79. J. Clifford, Daily Strength for Daily Living, p. 305. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix. No. 504.
When Madame de Gasparin, author of The Near and Heavenly Horizons, lay dying, her faith was strengthened, after a transient crisis of doubt, by the words of this passage. She pronounced with a calm, strong, and confident voice the text: 'Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold and not another'.
—La Comtesse Agénor de Gasparin et sa Famille, p. 379.
References.—XIX. 28.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix. No. 105. Ibid. vol. xxvii. No. 1598.
How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.
If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:
Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.
He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.
He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.
He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.
He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.
I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.
My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.
Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.
All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.