Job 6-14
Job Replies: My Complaint Is Just
6 Then Job answered and said:
2    “Oh that my vexation were weighed,
and all my calamity laid in the balances!
3    For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea;
therefore my words have been rash.
4    For the arrows of the Almighty are in me;
my spirit drinks their poison;
the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5    Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass,
or the ox low over his fodder?
6    Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,
or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow?
7    My appetite refuses to touch them;
they are as food that is loathsome to me.
8    “Oh that I might have my request,
and that God would fulfill my hope,
9    that it would please God to crush me,
that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
10    This would be my comfort;
I would even exult in pain unsparing,
for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11    What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should be patient?
12    Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?
13    Have I any help in me,
when resource is driven from me?
14    “He who withholds kindness from a friend
forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15    My brothers are treacherous as a torrent-bed,
as torrential streams that pass away,
16    which are dark with ice,
and where the snow hides itself.
17    When they melt, they disappear;
when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18    The caravans turn aside from their course;
they go up into the waste and perish.
19    The caravans of Tema look,
the travelers of Sheba hope.
20    They are ashamed because they were confident;
they come there and are disappointed.
21    For you have now become nothing;
you see my calamity and are afraid.
22    Have I said, ‘Make me a gift’?
Or, ‘From your wealth offer a bribe for me’?
23    Or, ‘Deliver me from the adversary’s hand’?
Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the ruthless’?
24    “Teach me, and I will be silent;
make me understand how I have gone astray.
25    How forceful are upright words!
But what does reproof from you reprove?
26    Do you think that you can reprove words,
when the speech of a despairing man is wind?
27    You would even cast lots over the fatherless,
and bargain over your friend.
28    “But now, be pleased to look at me,
for I will not lie to your face.
29    Please turn; let no injustice be done.
Turn now; my vindication is at stake.
30    Is there any injustice on my tongue?
Cannot my palate discern the cause of calamity?
Job Continues: My Life Has No Hope
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Bildad Speaks: Job Should Repent
8 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2    “How long will you say these things,
and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
3    Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
4    If your children have sinned against him,
he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.
5    If you will seek God
and plead with the Almighty for mercy,
6    if you are pure and upright,
surely then he will rouse himself for you
and restore your rightful habitation.
7    And though your beginning was small,
your latter days will be very great.
8    “For inquire, please, of bygone ages,
and consider what the fathers have searched out.
9    For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
for our days on earth are a shadow.
10    Will they not teach you and tell you
and utter words out of their understanding?
11    “Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
12    While yet in flower and not cut down,
they wither before any other plant.
13    Such are the paths of all who forget God;
the hope of the godless shall perish.
14    His confidence is severed,
and his trust is a spider’s web.
15    He leans against his house, but it does not stand;
he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.
16    He is a lush plant before the sun,
and his shoots spread over his garden.
17    His roots entwine the stone heap;
he looks upon a house of stones.
18    If he is destroyed from his place,
then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’
19    Behold, this is the joy of his way,
and out of the soil others will spring.
20    “Behold, God will not reject a blameless man,
nor take the hand of evildoers.
21    He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
and your lips with shouting.
22    Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”
Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter
9 Then Job answered and said:
2    “Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be in the right before God?
3    If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
4    He is wise in heart and mighty in strength
—who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
5    he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger,
6    who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;
7    who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
8    who alone stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea;
9    who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
10    who does great things beyond searching out,
and marvelous things beyond number.
11    Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not;
he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12    Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back?
Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
13    “God will not turn back his anger;
beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab.
14    How then can I answer him,
choosing my words with him?
15    Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
16    If I summoned him and he answered me,
I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
17    For he crushes me with a tempest
and multiplies my wounds without cause;
18    he will not let me get my breath,
but fills me with bitterness.
19    If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty!
If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him?
20    Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me;
though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21    I am blameless; I regard not myself;
I loathe my life.
22    It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23    When disaster brings sudden death,
he mocks at the calamity of the innocent.
24    The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
he covers the faces of its judges—
if it is not he, who then is it?
25    “My days are swifter than a runner;
they flee away; they see no good.
26    They go by like skiffs of reed,
like an eagle swooping on the prey.
27    If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer,’
28    I become afraid of all my suffering,
for I know you will not hold me innocent.
29    I shall be condemned;
why then do I labor in vain?
30    If I wash myself with snow
and cleanse my hands with lye,
31    yet you will plunge me into a pit,
and my own clothes will abhor me.
32    For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
that we should come to trial together.
33    There is no arbiter between us,
who might lay his hand on us both.
34    Let him take his rod away from me,
and let not dread of him terrify me.
35    Then I would speak without fear of him,
for I am not so in myself.
Job Continues: A Plea to God
10 “I loathe my life;
       I will give free utterance to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2    I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
let me know why you contend against me.
3    Does it seem good to you to oppress,
to despise the work of your hands
and favor the designs of the wicked?
4    Have you eyes of flesh?
Do you see as man sees?
5    Are your days as the days of man,
or your years as a man’s years,
6    that you seek out my iniquity
and search for my sin,
7    although you know that I am not guilty,
and there is none to deliver out of your hand?
8    Your hands fashioned and made me,
and now you have destroyed me altogether.
9    Remember that you have made me like clay;
and will you return me to the dust?
10    Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese?
11    You clothed me with skin and flesh,
and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12    You have granted me life and steadfast love,
and your care has preserved my spirit.
13    Yet these things you hid in your heart;
I know that this was your purpose.
14    If I sin, you watch me
and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
15    If I am guilty, woe to me!
If I am in the right, I cannot lift up my head,
       for I am filled with disgrace
and look on my affliction.
16    And were my head lifted up, you would hunt me like a lion
and again work wonders against me.
17    You renew your witnesses against me
and increase your vexation toward me;
you bring fresh troops against me.
18    “Why did you bring me out from the womb?
Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
19    and were as though I had not been,
carried from the womb to the grave.
20    Are not my days few?
Then cease, and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer
21    before I go—and I shall not return—
to the land of darkness and deep shadow,
22    the land of gloom like thick darkness,
like deep shadow without any order,
where light is as thick darkness.”
Zophar Speaks: You Deserve Worse
11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
2    “Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
and a man full of talk be judged right?
3    Should your babble silence men,
and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
4    For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure,
and I am clean in God’s eyes.’
5    But oh, that God would speak
and open his lips to you,
6    and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
For he is manifold in understanding.
       Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
7    “Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
8    It is higher than heaven—what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
9    Its measure is longer than the earth
and broader than the sea.
10    If he passes through and imprisons
and summons the court, who can turn him back?
11    For he knows worthless men;
when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12    But a stupid man will get understanding
when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man!
13    “If you prepare your heart,
you will stretch out your hands toward him.
14    If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
and let not injustice dwell in your tents.
15    Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
you will be secure and will not fear.
16    You will forget your misery;
you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
17    And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.
18    And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
you will look around and take your rest in security.
19    You will lie down, and none will make you afraid;
many will court your favor.
20    But the eyes of the wicked will fail;
all way of escape will be lost to them,
and their hope is to breathe their last.”
Job Replies: The Lord Has Done This
12 Then Job answered and said:
2    “No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
3    But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
4    I am a laughingstock to my friends;
I, who called to God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
5    In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune;
it is ready for those whose feet slip.
6    The tents of robbers are at peace,
and those who provoke God are secure,
who bring their god in their hand.
7    “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
8    or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9    Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10    In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
11    Does not the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
12    Wisdom is with the aged,
and understanding in length of days.
13    “With God are wisdom and might;
he has counsel and understanding.
14    If he tears down, none can rebuild;
if he shuts a man in, none can open.
15    If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16    With him are strength and sound wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17    He leads counselors away stripped,
and judges he makes fools.
18    He looses the bonds of kings
and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
19    He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows the mighty.
20    He deprives of speech those who are trusted
and takes away the discernment of the elders.
21    He pours contempt on princes
and loosens the belt of the strong.
22    He uncovers the deeps out of darkness
and brings deep darkness to light.
23    He makes nations great, and he destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and leads them away.
24    He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
and makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25    They grope in the dark without light,
and he makes them stagger like a drunken man.
Job Continues: Still I Will Hope in God
13 “Behold, my eye has seen all this,
my ear has heard and understood it.
2    What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3    But I would speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to argue my case with God.
4    As for you, you whitewash with lies;
worthless physicians are you all.
5    Oh that you would keep silent,
and it would be your wisdom!
6    Hear now my argument
and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
7    Will you speak falsely for God
and speak deceitfully for him?
8    Will you show partiality toward him?
Will you plead the case for God?
9    Will it be well with you when he searches you out?
Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?
10    He will surely rebuke you
if in secret you show partiality.
11    Will not his majesty terrify you,
and the dread of him fall upon you?
12    Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13    “Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
14    Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and put my life in my hand?
15    Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.
16    This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
17    Keep listening to my words,
and let my declaration be in your ears.
18    Behold, I have prepared my case;
I know that I shall be in the right.
19    Who is there who will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
20    Only grant me two things,
then I will not hide myself from your face:
21    withdraw your hand far from me,
and let not dread of you terrify me.
22    Then call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23    How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
24    Why do you hide your face
and count me as your enemy?
25    Will you frighten a driven leaf
and pursue dry chaff?
26    For you write bitter things against me
and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
27    You put my feet in the stocks
and watch all my paths;
you set a limit for the soles of my feet.
28    Man wastes away like a rotten thing,
like a garment that is moth-eaten.
Job Continues: Death Comes Soon to All
14 “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
2    He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not.
3    And do you open your eyes on such a one
and bring me into judgment with you?
4    Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
There is not one.
5    Since his days are determined,
and the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
6    look away from him and leave him alone,
that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.
7    “For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
8    Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
9    yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out branches like a young plant.
10    But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and where is he?
11    As waters fail from a lake
and a river wastes away and dries up,
12    so a man lies down and rises not again;
till the heavens are no more he will not awake
or be roused out of his sleep.
13    Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14    If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my service I would wait,
till my renewal should come.
15    You would call, and I would answer you;
you would long for the work of your hands.
16    For then you would number my steps;
you would not keep watch over my sin;
17    my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.
18    “But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
and the rock is removed from its place;
19    the waters wear away the stones;
the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so you destroy the hope of man.
20    You prevail forever against him, and he passes;
you change his countenance, and send him away.
21    His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
22    He feels only the pain of his own body,
and he mourns only for himself.” [1]

            Job can be a very depressing book if we simply take it at face value and fail to see the faithfulness this beaten man has. Starting off in this reading we see Job admit that his “words have been harsh” (6:3). I think due to some poor theology today some of us see Job as failing in his righteousness and faithfulness, was God wrong to brag of Job? Was Satan right? Absolutely not!! God understands our pain when we go through horrible things, even if the direction of frustration is pointed toward him. God is not clueless, he knows Job’s pain. Let us pay attention to his faith as he mourns his losses. He states “I have not denied the words of the Holy One” (6:10), he says this would be his “comfort.” Job while confused and hurting clearly understands that by himself he has no strength and is mortal, he responds to his “friends and the poor theology they present to him. It is obvious that he still has faith in God in his statements no matter how hurt he is, look at 7:17-18 as Job wonders why God even pays so much attention to us.
            Chapter 8 starts off sounding right ‘Job repent” says Bildad, looking at everything that’s happened Job ust have sinned, God must have had a reason to do this right? Do you know Christians who think this way? I do, heck there are even religions based on karma that speak this kind of theology. It is human to think that God is here to serve us and make things nice for us here on earth and when things go bad we think there must be a reason and there is SIN and the repercussions of it. Sometimes those repercussions affect us even when it is not our own sin, take a look at the holocaust or any war for that matter, in this case Satan is being proven wrong by Gods faithful, even though it hurts.
      Job is indeed faithful and he understands the gospel, look at chapter 9. Job says “how can a man be right before God?” (9:2). Later Job says
                “33 There is no arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both. 34Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me.35Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.” [2]
Poor Job undstands the dilemma, he “expresses the opinion that his only hope is in a mediator, a go-between who could remove God’s anger from him. Job understood the Gospel. As a righteous man he knew that he could not stand before God on his own merits. Therefore, he longed for someone who could stand between him and God. Through faith in God’s mercy Job anticipates Christ, who alone is the mediator between God and humans (1 Tim 2:5).”[3]  In chapter 10 Job continues in his knowledge that he has no way to contend whether he is right or wrong. All this to be “comforted” by his “friend” Zophar in chapter 11 who attacks him supposing to stand up for God. Job can see that his friends are just not listening, are we? How many poor theologies do we give to someone in pain? His friends had it right by just sitting and mourning with him in the beginning, sometimes it is when we speak for God that we mess things up the most. We see this most of all in chapters 12 and 13. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (13:15) Job is hurting, Job is angry, yet he has not lost faith.
            In Chapter 14 we conclude seeing the trust and assuredness in God who promises to always be with him. In Called to be Gods People, Steinmann puts it this way “Job is not only confident that God’s anger will pass over him, but that God will not forget him, even in death. God will not keep a record of Job’s sins, but will forgive. Job’s question, “If a person dies, will he go on living?” expects a strong “Yes” from God. Even in the midst of his despair, Job is confident that God will grant him eternal life.[4]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Job 6:1–14:22.
[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Job 9:33–35.
[3] Andrew E. Steinmann, Michael Eschelbach, et al., Called to Be God’s People: An Introduction to the Old Testament, ed. Andrew E. Steinmann, vol. 1, Called by the Gospel (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2006), 387.
[4] Andrew E. Steinmann, Michael Eschelbach, et al., Called to Be God’s People: An Introduction to the Old Testament, ed. Andrew E. Steinmann, vol. 1, Called by the Gospel (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2006), 388.

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