Call now (5:1),
Eliphaz is saying to Job.
if there be any that will answer you; and to which of the saints will thou turn? (5:1)
Now it would seem that maybe in those days there were those who…they had already developed saints that they were turning to in trouble. Which saint do you have for boils, you know?
For wrath killeth the foolish, and envy slayeth the silly. I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation. His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them (5:2-4).
Now he’s accusing Job of foolishness and silliness and all of this because, you see, Job’s children were crushed when the house fell. So he said, “I’ve seen the foolish and all. Their children are crushed in the gate and all.”
Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance (5:5).
The Sabeans and the Chaldeans had come in and stolen everything that Job had; so this is all...he’s trying to make it all applicable to Job. “This is what’s happened to you. You’re the foolish one and you had taken root, but suddenly you’re cursed and all.”
Although affliction comes not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward (5:6-7).
Now that’s a great philosophy for life, isn’t it? "Man, you were born for trouble, as the sparks fly upward." But unfortunately, such is the case.
I would seek unto God (5:8),
Now he’s advising Job. “I would seek unto God.”
and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety. He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night. But he saves the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth. Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty (5:8-17):
Now Solomon, no doubt, was familiar with Job, because in his advice to his son, he said, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be thou weary with His correction” (Proverbs 3:11). And of course, Paul picked it up in the New Testament, or whoever wrote the book of Hebrews, and my assumption is that it was Paul. But whoever wrote the book of Hebrews, picks it up in the book of Hebrews and again says, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord” (Hebrews 12:5). And happy is everyone who is scourged by Him. So, here in Job, Eliphaz first of all says, “Hey, don’t despise God’s chastening. Happy is the man whom God corrects.” Don’t despise the chastening of the Almighty.
For he makes sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee (5:18-19).
Now he really doesn’t give us the seven. He speaks of the couple here. Couple things, well, three things at least. God will spare you in the time of famine.
In famine he will redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh (5:20-21).
And so there are four of the seven. He doesn’t give us the other three. He comes back now to destruction and famine.
thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth (5:22).
For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin. Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth. Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in its season. Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know it for your own good (5:23-27).
So here’s the way it is, Job. This is the way the cows eats its cabbage, you know. So listen to me. It’s for your own good, man. Just get right with God.
So Job responds to him and he says, Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamities laid in the balances together! (6:1-2)
Now, of course, picturesque, you got to see it. In those days, the balances, the scales were always balances and they had the little weights that they would put on the one side and then, you know, the grapes or whatever you were buying were put on the other side. And when the balance came to be equal, then you had the talent, the weight of the talent, the talent of grapes and so forth. And you’ve got to see these balances. Now he said, “Oh that my calamities, my griefs were laid in the balance.”
They would be heavier than the sands of the sea (6:3):
So you picture all of the sand of the sea put in the one side of the balance, and now you’re pouring in Job’s calamities and Job’s grief and it balances up. I think he’s exaggerating a little bit. “They would be heavier than the sand of the sea.”
therefore my words are swallowed up. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me. Does the wild donkey bray when he hath grass? or does the ox loweth over his fodder? Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. Oh that I might have my request; and that God would just grant me the thing that I long for! (6:3-8)
Oh, what is it, Job, that you request?
Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! (6:9)
And poor old Job, he’s really in desperate straits. “I just wish God would grant me my request, the thing that I long for. And it’s just that I be dead; I be cut off. I can’t stand life anymore.” And I’m certain that all of us have come to situations in our own lives that are so unsavory, so distasteful that there have been those same thoughts pass through. “Oh, that God would grant me my desire.” But yet, I don’t think that we always really think those thoughts sincerely. I think a lot of times we say that. “Oh, I wish I were dead.” But we really don’t mean it.
Like the fellow who was carrying his heavy load on a hot, hot day. And he finally came to this river. And he just sort of collapsed and he set the load down and he was just sitting there by the river, and he said, “Oh, death, death, please come, death.” And he felt a tap on his shoulder and he looked up and there was death. It said, “Did you call me?” And he said, “Yes, would you mind helping me get this back on my back so I can get going again?” So we don’t always mean what we say when we call for death or wish it was all over. But yet we feel that way sometimes, you know, at least for the moment of despair. And Job is expressing it himself. Now he’s still, though, expressing about, he doesn’t know what death is all about. “For if I were destroyed,”
Then should I yet have comfort; yes, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me? To him (6:10-14)
Now he’s talking to Eliphaz and to the whole speech that Eliphaz had given to him.
To him that is afflicted pity should be showed from his friend (6:14);
Look, man, I need pity. I don’t need someone to come and jump on my case at this point. I need pity.
My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away; Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place (6:15-17).
Now this is very picturesque and it’s poetry. And thus, it’s meant to be picturesque and he’s just saying, “My friends are like ice or like snow. They appear to be friends, but when things get hot, they melt. They don’t exist.” I’ve had those kind of friends. They’re called fair-weather friends. When things get hot, you’ll never find them.
The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish (6:18).
Down to verse 21:
For now you are nothing; you see my casting down, and you are afraid. Did I say unto you, Come to me? Give me a reward of your substance? Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? Redeem me from the hand of the mighty? (6:21-23)
Job said, “Look, man, did I ask you to come around? Did I ask you for anything? Don’t give me anymore. I’m tired of you. I didn’t ask you for anything. I didn’t say I want you to give me something.” He said, “I didn’t call for you.” And then he went on to say,
Teach me, and I will hold my tongue (6:24):
Tell me something that’s worthwhile and I’ll be quiet. You haven’t told me anything worthwhile.
and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? (6:24-25)
Boy, Job gets really cutting with his tongue.
Do you imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? (6:26)
Just a bag of wind, man, it just...you don’t have anything to say of any value.
Yea, you overwhelm the fatherless, and you dig a pit for your friend. Now therefore be content, look on me; for it is evident unto you if I lie. Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it. Is there any iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things? (6:27-30)
Is there not an appointed time to man upon the earth? are not his days also like the days of a hireling? As a servant earnestly desires the shadow (7:1-2),
That is, the shadow of the clock going down so that the shadow disappears. The servant waits for that because he has rest in the evening.
and as the hireling looks for the reward of his work: So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. When I lie down, I say, When will I arise, and when will the night be gone? I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and it's become loathsome (7:2-5).
Now Job is telling about his horrible condition. Clods of dirt are clinging to the sores where they would begin to dry up and then the clods of dirt just clinging there and his flesh all over is just loathsome.
My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope. O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good. The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away; so is he that goeth down to the grave, he shall come up no more (7:6-9).
Job, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I a sea, or a whale, that you set a watch over me? When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; Then you come along and try to scare me with your dreams, and you terrify me through your visions: So that my soul chooses strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are empty. What is man, that you should magnify him? (7:10-17)
Let me say at this point Job is turning from Eliphaz. He said it. He said, “Just leave me alone. I will choose to strangle on my own spittle than to hear any more of your words. Death is better than life.” Now he turns to God in verse 17. And addressing himself to God he says, “What is man that You should magnify him?”
and that you should set your heart upon him? (7:17)
Interesting question. What is man that God should exalt man? And that God should set His heart upon man? I liked what Dave said this morning as he was leading us in singing. “And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood? Died He for me who caused His pain.” He said he likes to sing that looking in the mirror. “Amazing love, how can it be? That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me.” You ought to sing that looking in the mirror. Job is sort of looking in the mirror saying, “God, what is man that You should magnify him or that You should set Your heart upon him?” What am I that God should set His heart upon me? That God should desire my love. That God should desire my fellowship. That God should desire my responses to Him. It’s the amazing mysteries of God and I cannot understand it.
And that you should visit him every morning, and try him every moment? How long wilt you not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle? I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee (7:18-20),
And, of course, Job’s talking about, it’s quite a picturesque phrase for death, “I began to just swallow my own spit. That’s it. I can’t cough it up any more. I’m gone. I have sinned; what shall I do unto Thee.”
O thou preserver of men? why have you set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? Why do you not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be (7:20-21).
So his complaint to God. “Why don’t You forgive me, God? Why don’t You relieve me of this? What’s going on?” And Job is crying out of the misery.
So Bildad, the next friend, speaks up and he said,
How long will you speak these things? how long will your words of your mouth be like a [big, bag of] wind? Does God pervert judgment? or does the Almighty pervert justice? If your children have sinned against him, and he has cast them away for their transgression (8:2-4);
And okay now, he’s getting on my kids. They've sinned and God wiped them out. And now you going to blame God?
If you would seek unto God before, and make your supplication to the Almighty; If you were pure and upright; surely he would awake for thee (8:5-6),
He would take up your cause.
and he would make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though your beginning was small, yet the latter end should be greatly increased. For inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers: (For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon the earth are like a shadow [on the sundial]:) Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart? Can the rush grow up without mire? (8:6-11)
Now picture the rushes growing up beside the river there in the mud along the river.
can the flags grow without water? While it is yet in his greenness, it is cut down, it withers before any other herb (8:11-12).
So Job, you’re like a reed that is growing up. But the mud dries up and while it is still green, you’re being cut off. The hypocrites are this way, Job. You must be a hypocrite.
So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish: Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure. He is green before the sun, but his branch shoots forth in his garden. His roots are wrapped about as the heap, and he seeth the place of stones. If he destroys him from his place, then it shall deny him, saying, I have not seen thee. Behold, this is the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow. Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evildoers: Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing. They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nothing (8:13-22).
Basically, Job is saying, “Look.” I mean, Bibdad is saying to Job, “God is fair, God is just. Plead your cause before God. Get right with God, Job, and everything is going to be okay. That’s your problem. You’re a hypocrite and what you need to do is just get right with God. Things will straighten out. You’ll be blessed and all again. But something’s wrong, Job. Can’t happen, you know, unless there’s something seriously wrong.”
So Job answers him and he said, I know it is true (9:1-2):
What? That God is fair. That God is just. Now that is something that we need to all know. That is true. God is righteous. God is just. Though the justice of God is often challenged. One of the first challenges that Satan made even to Eve was in the fairness of God. Satan was declaring God wasn’t fair. “God doesn’t want you to eat of the fruit of that tree because He knows that when you do, you’re going to be just as wise as He is.” He was challenging the fairness, the justice of God. And Satan is quite often still challenging the justice of God. I hear people say, “How can a God of love send a man to hell? Is that really fair? How can a God of love allow children to starve to death? How can a God of love allow wars to maim so many people?” The thought behind each of the questions is, “Is God…” Well, the intimation behind the question is God isn’t fair. God isn’t just. “How could God allow this to happen to me? Surely, God, You’re not fair to me.”
Now Job assures, “I know what you say is true. I know God is just. I know God.” And you need to know that because there are going to be issues you’re not going to understand. How could a God condemn a man to hell who never had a chance to hear about Jesus Christ? Who grew up in some village in Africa where the gospel never came and he lives and dies and has never heard the name of Jesus Christ. How could God send that man to hell forever? Let me first of all say I don’t know that the Scripture does say that God does send him to hell, the person who has never heard. I will tell you that the Scripture does say that God will be fair when He judges that man who has never heard. Now just what God is going to do I don't know. But when He does it and I see it, I’m going to say, “Right on.” That’s so fair because God is just, though the justice of God is constantly being challenged by the enemy.
Job’s saying, “I know what you say is true. But that’s not my problem. My problem is how can I stand before God to plead my case? How can I bring my cause before God to be justified by Him? For God is so vast. His wisdom is so great. If He should start asking me questions, if He would ask me a thousand questions I couldn’t even answer one. I am so puny in relationship to God. I am just nothing and God is infinite. So how can I, this little speck of dust on the planet Earth hope to ever touch God or reach God or plead my case to God or say, ‘Hey God, what are You doing? Why have You done this?’” For he speaks of the fact that God has created the universe--Orion, the Pleiades, Arcturus. God causes the mountains to disappear. Mount Saint Helens. In building a new section of highway in Washington, it took them five months, twenty-four hours a day, with the most modern earth-moving equipment to move one million cubit yards of that base salt material. Five months, twenty-four hours a day, day and night, the crews were working to remove one million cubit yards. In twenty-seven minutes, from Mount Saint Helens, the same type of base salt material, there was removed five billion three hundred and fifty million cubit yards of material pulverized and spread all over the northern part of the United States in twenty-seven minutes. Now you begin to see the best efforts of man and what is man compared with what God can do?
He shakes the earth. He has set the constellations. He spread out the heavens with His hands. Who am I that I could come before this kind of a God? Because I can’t even see Him. Though I know He surrounds me I don’t see Him. I can’t perceive Him. I can’t touch Him. I reach out, but He’s not there. So how can man ever stand before God to plead his case? You tell me get right with God, everything is going to be okay. Just go before God, plead my case. How can I do that? It’s true, what you say is right. God is fair. God is just. But I don't know how I can plead my case before Him because of the vastness and the greatness of the infinite God and this gap that exists between us.
In the eighth psalm, David saw much the same problem looking at it from a little different direction. He began with the heavens. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:3-4) Starting from the heavens coming down to man. He saw the great gap from that direction. Job is standing in this direction looking up and seeing the same thing. “When I consider me, who I am, what am I that I could stand before God? That I could justify myself before God. That I could plead my case so as to justify myself before God.”
If I speak of strength, [hey,] he is so strong: if I speak of judgment, who will set my time for my case? And if I justify myself, my own mouth will condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it will prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet I would not know my soul: I would despise my life. This is the one thing, therefore I said it, He destroys the perfect and the wicked (9:19-22).
In other words, being good does not give me any immunity from problems. God destroys both the perfect and the wicked. I’ve said it. You may castigate me for saying it, but I said it.
He then speaks of his friends and he said,
If I would wash myself with snow water, and make my hands ever so clean; Yet you would plunge me in the ditch, and my own clothes would abhor me (9:30-31).
What can I say? I can’t say how righteous I am or how, you know, innocent I am. You would throw me in a ditch. Even if I had cleansed myself.
And then he said concerning God,
For he is not a man, as I am (9:32),
Now, remember that. How often we’re trying to pull God down to our level. How often we fall in the category of those in Romans, chapter 1, of which Paul wrote, “For the wrath of God shall be revealed from heaven against the ungodly and the unrighteous, who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness. For when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful; but they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts was darkened. And professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and they began to worship and serve the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever and ever” (Romans 1:18,21,22,25).
You see, they sought to bring man down to their level. They did not glorify Him as God. And for me to try to order Him around is to fail to glorify Him as God. For me to come and demand that, “You’ve got to do this now, God. I command in Jesus' name.” Or, “I confess this is what You’ve got to do, God.” And begin to lay demands upon God that He’s got to do a certain thing, that’s not glorifying Him as God. That’s trying to reduce Him even below your level. That’s trying to make Him a genie that comes out of a lamp and grants you your three requests.
God is not a genie. He’s not some magic amulet. Nor is the purpose of prayer to get your will done. The purpose of prayer is to get God’s will done. And He knows so much better than I will ever know. That the wisest prayer I could ever offer is, ‘Father, Thy will be done in my life, in these situations, Lord. Your will be done.” I never worry when I don’t know how to pray, because I don't know how to pray half the time. But I have great confidence, because when I don't know how to pray because I don't know what is the will of God concerning this particular situation, I can always just say, “Lord, Your will be done.” And I know that’s best. I have that kind of confidence in God because He is so much greater than I am. His wisdom is…there’s no comparison. There’s no basis for comparison. There’s no way that you can compare the finite with the infinite. There isn’t even a basis for a comparison. You can’t even draw any comparisons.
All right, you tell me to get right with God. That’s great help, thanks a lot. Who’s going to set the time for me to come and plead my case? And how can I, here I am, how can I ever plead my case before God anyhow? If He starts His cross-examination, ask me a thousand questions, I can’t answer a single one. If you can’t answer a single question out of a thousand, you’ll be thrown out of court as an unreliable witness. He’s not a man like I am that I could come and say, “Hey, hey, what are You doing here? What’s going on?” He’s not a man like I am.
Neither is there any daysman between us, that might lay his hand upon us both (9:33).
My situation is hopeless. God is so vast. There’s no way I can touch Him. I can’t see Him. I know He’s there. I know He’s just. But I have no way of pleading my cause. I’m just a man. He is the infinite God. The only way this could ever be is that somehow there would be between us a daysman, one who could lay his hand on us both. But there isn’t any. There’s no mediator, no daysman.
Oh, how I thank God for the revelation of the New Testament. For Paul the apostle tells us, “There is one God, and there is one mediator” (I Timothy 2:5). There is one daysman between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. “Who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God: yet He emptied Himself, and took on the form of man” (Philippians 2:6-7). And so He touches God, but He came down and He touched me. As a man, in all points He was tempted even as I am, in order that He might be able to help me when I am in my hour of temptation. “For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. But the Word was made flesh, and He dwelt [tabernacled, made His home] among us, (and we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14). For, “That which was from the beginning, [which John said] we have seen, we have touched, we have heard, we declare, we saw” (I John 1:1,3). Job said, “He’s around me I can’t see Him.” John said, “I’ve seen Him. The One who existed from the beginning, I’ve seen Him.” Job said, “I can’t touch Him.” John said, “I’ve touched Him.”
For though man could never build a bridge to God, God in His mercy built the bridge to man. And there is the vast difference between every religious system and Christianity. For in every religious system, you have man’s endeavor to build this bridge to God. Man trying to climb the ladder to reach God. Man trying to reach out and touch God, find God, discover God. But in Christianity, you have God reaching down to man. Therefore, Christianity is reasonable and logical, whereas every other religious system is illogical and unreasonable. Because it is illogic and unreasonable to think that the finite could reach the infinite. However, it is very logical and reasonable to believe that the infinite could reach and touch the finite. And that’s exactly what Christianity is. The infinite God reaching down to touch the finite man. “God so loved the world that He gave” (John 3:16). He built the bridge by sending His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but know and experience the eternal life of God.
Job cried out. A man stripped of everything and now you have one of the basic cries of man, a cry of man after God, and it exists down deep in every heart.
Sir Henry Drummond in his brilliant scientist in his book, The Nature and the Supernatural, said there is within the very protoplasm of man’s cells those little tentacles that are reaching out for God. You see, when you leave the subject of spaghetti or tacos, which shall it be? And you really get down to the real issues of life. Not, “We need to get some gasoline before we get home,” or, “We ought to buy a new Ford,” or, “Maybe we should move.” Or these mundane things with which we are constantly occupying our lives. When you get to the real issues of life, when you’re stripped of these other things and you’re down now to basic issues of life, the basic need of man is to somehow touch God. How can I reach Him? How can I know Him? How can I touch Him? There’s no one between us who can touch us both. That’s the only way it can happen. That’s the only way it can be, but it doesn’t exist. Oh, but Job, there is One who has come, who stands between God and man. Who is one with the Father and lays His hand upon the Father, but He has become one with me and He puts His arm around me and He touches me. And through the touch of Jesus Christ I am brought in touch with God, the glorious daysman. And the basic need of my life is satisfied. That clamant cry from within is met. And I have an experience of knowing God, of touching God, and of being touched by God through Jesus Christ.
Now you may look at me and say, “Oh, you poor soul, you actually think you’ve touched God. My! That’s all right for you.” And you may feel sorry for me and look upon me sort of with pity. But let me tell you something, the pity that you may feel for me is nothing like the pity I feel for the man who cannot say, “I’ve touched God.” The man who doesn’t know what it is to have the touch of God upon his life, that’s the man to pity and feel sorry for. The man who has never heard the voice of God. The man who has never felt the flush and the joy of the presence of God. That’s the man to pity. Don’t pity me. I’m in good shape.
Now Job goes on in the tenth chapter. He said,
My soul is weary of my life (10:1);
He goes right back into his misery. He looks for the answer, but it isn’t there; it isn’t to be found. And so I return back to my weariness of life.
I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; show me where you are contending with me. Is it good unto thee that you should oppress, that you should despise the work of your hands, and that you should shine upon the counsel of the wicked? Have you eyes of flesh? or do you see as a man sees? Are thy days as the days of a man? are your years as a man's days, that you inquire after my iniquity, and search after my sin? You know that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of your hand. Your hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet you are destroying me. Remember, I beseech thee, that you have made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? (10:1-9)
So Job is pleading now his cause before God. “God, I don't know. Can You see as I see? Do You have ears? Do You, you know. You’ve made me, Lord. You’ve made me out of the dust. Now remember that.” That, to me, is comforting that God does remember that. In the psalms we read that, “He knows our frame, that we are but dust” (Psalm 103:14). Hey, you’re not Superman. You’re not Wonder Woman. You’re dust. You’re not the super saint that you’d like to be. And that you sometimes think you are. You’re dust. You are made out of dust. And God remembers that. Thank You, Father, for remembering, because I sometimes forget. I think that I am more than I really am. I think that I can accomplish more than I really can. I think I’ve achieved more than I really have. And I begin to get a little self-confidence, a little prideful. And in His love He deflates me. And here I am all bummed out. Failed again. Messed things up. “Oh God, why did You allow this to happen to me? I’m so disappointed in myself. Stumbled once more. Failed again.” And He says, “Oh, come on. You’re nothing but dust to begin with. You forget that?” “Yep.” “Well, I didn’t.” He knows your frame. He knows you’re not made of steel. He knows you’re made of dust. And so Job is reminding him and it is the truth. “Remember that You have made me like clay. Are You going to bring me to the dust again?”
Have you not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? (10:10)
This, of course, is poetry, picturesque kind of speech. God has poured me out like milk, and curdled me like cheese.
You've clothed me with skin and flesh, and you’ve fenced me [about] (10:11)
Can you see now your skeleton as a fence?
with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and favor, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: and I know that this is with thee. If I sin, then you mark me, and you will not acquit me from mine iniquity. If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore look upon my affliction (10:11-15);
God, I’m totally confused. I don’t understand life. I don’t understand the things that are happening to me. Oh God, just look upon my affliction tonight. Here I am, God, just filled with confusion.
I’ve sat where Job is sitting, many times, where I’ve just become totally confused with life. All of the intricate little intertwinings. Look upon my affliction, Lord.
For it increases. You hunt me as a fierce lion: and again you show yourself marvelous upon me. You renew your witnesses against me, and increase your indignation upon me; and changes and war are against me. Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? (10:16-18)
Why, Lord, did You allow me to live from birth?
Oh that I had died, and no eye had ever seen me! I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave. Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take just a little comfort, Before I go from where I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness (10:18-22).
God, just give me a little reprieve before I die. I’m so confused. That’s a sort of a dark place to leave you, but unfortunately, we don’t get any light until we get to the thirty-eighth chapter. So hang on. Life in the raw, that’s what it’s all about. The basic gut-level issues of life. What is it really about? When you take away the props upon which we are constantly leaning, what’s the real issue of life? We have it here in Job. It’s not always pleasant. It’s far from perfect. We do have basic needs. But God has met our needs through Jesus Christ. And for each cry that comes out from the heart of Job, in the New Testament through Jesus Christ, there’s an answer. For God in Christ has provided for the basic needs of man and I’m so thankful.