Job's Appeal: Why has God Afflicted him: vv. 1-12.
1 My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
The appeal of Job for understanding in the troubles he experienced continues as he approached the Almighty for answers to his predicament. His friends justified God's treatment of him by claiming that he was guilty. This Job repudiated, but why did he suffer so much? *
2 I will say unto Eloah, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul v1
3 Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?
4 Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?
5 Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man's days,
6 That thou enquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?
Job does not claim perfection
7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
He disclaims the serious charges levelled by his friends. He pleads that God should not treat with him as a wicked man without revealing the true nature of the sin which he assumes is the reason for his sufferings.*
8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.
Not true. Job's faith perfected through suffering
9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
-The idea that your troubles are too trifling for God to heed ought to be discarded. Though God is great, He is not too great to be unmindful of our hardships. Though
"He remembereth that we are dust,"
He has condescended to address us as His children, and we may rest assured that He cannot be indifferent to whatever blackens or brightens the little existence of His children.
"all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."
The Word says "all," and most certainly it means what it says. Let us show our appreciation of our privilege in this matter by laying hold of it. Let us habitually go to God, realising that He will not only hear, but will providentially help and guide.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Nov 1887
10 Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
Job acknowledged that he has benefited from God's goodness as he advanced to maturity (vv. 11-12), being overshadowed by Providence (the "visitation" of v. 12).
...God had brought him to birth (vv. 8-11), lavished blessings upon him, then plunged him into the deepest depression and greatest trial! Why? Job realised others suffered (ch. 9:22). For what purpose? Later he would discover that others benefited as well as himself through such suffering (ch. 42; Heb. 5:1-9). Let us try to learn the same lesson, through lesser troubles we sometimes face. *
Job's Utter Confusion
13 And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.
14 If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.
Job knows of no sin justifying this suffering...Why load him with favours, only to snatch them away?*
15 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 see thou mine affliction;
16 For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me.
17 Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.
He was constantly plagued by attacks from others, for the words "changes and war" can be translated "host after host..." *
18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the spirit, and no eye had seen me!
Job Pleads for Relief before Death Claims him: vv. 18-22. He refers to the finality of death, recognising that all are brought down to the ultimate destiny and to one common level at the end! This gives the basis for a response from Zophar in ch. 11. *
*- GEM, Logos.
19 I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,
21 Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;
What Job meant by this is that, "he would not return as one who leaves home and comes back when his journey is ended. Job had doubtless often 'gone away' to various places from whence he returned: but he was now anticipating that he would go away to the grave, whence, in the ordinary course, he would not return.
His resurrection, when the Redeemer should stand on the earth in the latter days, would not be a returning in the sense of his words-that is, a return to the circle and to the circumstances which he should leave behind him. In the sense of his words, his resurrection would be no return at all, but a being brought back by Divine power, at another time to another set of circumstances-which is a different thing."
Christadelphian, 1893, p. 141
22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
The power that keeps bodies in living existence is " spirit," or electricity, as it is called by
philosophers ; who studiously avoid expressing things natural in the terms of scripture. The " breath of AIL, by which frost is given " (Job xxxvii. 10), is the air we breathe ; and consists of oxygen and nitrogen mechanically mixed. These three things are essential to life-oxygen, nitrogen, and electricity. Without them, " flesh, a wind that passeth away " (Ps. lxxviii. 39), cannot long retain its organic constitution ; but rapidly runs into a state in which its
original elements are set free.
It is truly " a bag of wind; " for when the creature ceases to breathe, the wind, or gas, soon begins to distend the skin ; nor does the process intermit until he is resolved into hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and a little dust. Such, in general terms, is the analysis of those who sleep and well in dust.
In sheol all these elements are there ready for a synthetic operation to be elaborated by him, who, while tabernacling in the flesh among the Jews, said,
" I am the resurrection and the life."
He alone can perform the wonderful and mighty synthesis-•the reunion of these gaseous elements with the dust, and their development into forms, the living images and likenesses of those to whom the dust formerly belonged.
This is resurrection-the reproduction of a former intelligent being by almighty synthetic power, styled by Paul, " the energy whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself " (Phil. iii. 21). He who recombines these simple elements of the dead is THE WORD, in whom is life, and by whom all things were made (Jno. i. 3-4).
This Word is the resurrection-the Eternal Spirit, " who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto." His name is YAH, by which He is well pleased to be extolled (Ps. lxviii. 4).
He takes away men's breath, and they die, and return to their dust. He subjects them to analysis ; and then at the time appointed, He reverses the operation, in sending forth His spirit for their renewal (Ps. civ. 29-30). This is the formative or recreative power of resurrection.
The gases and the dust might all be mechanically and intimately combined ; but no image and likeness of a previous entity would result. The power of the LIFE-WORD, intelligently operative, is indispensable. This power sent forth by Deity, and applied by Jesus (2 Cor. iv. 14), in its application, secretly and silently, as in the combination and formation of like elements into dew, will synthesize the gases and the dust of sheol, and from " the sides of the pit, wherein no water is," and where no forms exist, this formative power will evolve living men and women, who shall come forth from the land of darkness, where the
light is as darkness (Job x. 21-22), like dew " from the womb of the dawn."
He, by whom this power is applied, may well be styled " the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty Power, the Father of Eternity."