From Job 5-7
In the depths of his despair Job criticises God and resents being under his watch all the time. His suffering has led him to be tempted. Suffering can tempt us to believe ill of God. We need to remember LORD watches over his people and this is a good thing.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Eliphaz has argued the innocent prosper. His point is that if Job repents and cleanses himself of sin (Job 5.16-19) the LORD will again prosper him. Job recognises it is the LORD’s doing that he is suffering as he is, but he still don’t not believe he sinned against God. He wants to know what he did wrong.
Our passage today is the end of Job’s response to Eliphaz. He describes his torment in detail.
7 “Has not man a hard service on earth, and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?
2 Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like a hired hand who looks for his wages,
3 so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
4 When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’ But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
5 My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle and come to their end without hope. (Job 7.1-6)
Job paints a bleak picture of his current emotional state. He questions the value of his existence. Whether or not he will find hope again. He is physically tormented.
Sometimes a person’s suffering can be great, physical and emotional.
7 “Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will never again see good.
8 The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
while your eyes are on me, I shall be gone.
9 As the cloud fades and vanishes,
so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;
10 he returns no more to his house,
nor does his place know him anymore. (Job 7.7-10)
Job anticipates his coming death. He suffers for lack of hope. He voices what the world will be like without him, Will anyone notice? Will anyone care?
11 “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or a sea monster,
that you set a guard over me?
13 When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
my couch will ease my complaint,’
14 then you scare me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,
15 so that I would choose strangling
and death rather than my bones. (Job 7.11-15)
While Job still has breath he will voice his suffering. He feels treated as if he were a sea monster, under guard day and night. He longs for the comfort of bed, a restful death. But he is robbed of the comfort. He is scared with visions of what will happen to him.
Job is speaking about how he believes God is treating him.
16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
17 What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him,
18 visit him every morning
and test him every moment?
19 How long will you not look away from me,
nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?
20 If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?
Why have you made me your mark?
Why have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be.” (Job 7.16-21)
Job openly questions God and his motives. He feels micromanaged.
He can’t even swallow his own spit without the LORD noticing.
He questions whether his sin should affect the LORD in anyway to warrant this kind of treatment. He anticipates the time when he will pass away into Sheol (‘lie in the earth’) and the LORD will not be able to find him.
Jobs honest response to his suffering paints a bleak picture of how bad suffering can be. In his suffering he has given into the temptation of accusing the LORD of wrongdoing. He has maligned his character and motives.
Job felt like the LORD will not let him be. Like he is constantly under his eye. He is right and this is a good thing. Jesus says in the gospel;
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Mt 10.29-31)
Job questioned the goodness of God. In your suffering, remember the LORD watches over you. He sees and knows everything about you. Don’t resent his presence or his knowledge. Continue to trust he is good and values you.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.