Jewels From Job
Job Chapter #6
Job will answer the accusations of Eliphaz that are found in Job chapter five. His response is found in Job 6-7. Remember Eliphaz has told Job the he does not suffer for no reason. Eliphaz believes that Job has sinned and that is the reason the he is now suffering.
1 Then Job answered and said: 2 "Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, And my calamity laid with it on the scales! 3 For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea-- Therefore my words have been rash. Job 6:1-3 (NKJV)
IS LIFE FAIR?
We all think that life should be fair – but what if it’s not? What if the scales are already tipped? Is life fair? We see the images of Lady Justice in our mind – blindfolded with scales in her hand – the scales are in balance – but is that reality – what if they are tipped? We would say that we were not treated fairly. Job does.
Some are born in wealth – some in poverty. Some are born black – some are born white. Some are born physically whole – some are born with physical challenges. Some were born male – some were born female. Some were born tall – some were born short. Some are born with a high IQ – others are born simple. Do we ever examine the justice of this? Those things which we were born with most of us do not question. Those are things we consider as “normal”. We have no control over them. It is the hand which we have been dealt at birth and we accept it. But when the cards are re-shuffled in the middle of the game and if we get a bad hand – we complain.
Job will now claim that what is happening to him is not fair. He does not see that he has gone down the wrong path – because as far as the story goes – he has not. As you recall suffering comes on the just and the unjust. We live in a fallen world and we all suffer – if not for our sin – because of and for the sins of others.
Job uses the image of a scale – a balance – to show how heavy his grief is. 2 If only my grief could be weighed and my devastation placed with it on a scale. 3 For then it would outweigh the sand of the seas! That is why my words are rash. Job 6:2-3 (HCSB)
4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me. 5 Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass, Or does the ox low over its fodder? 6 Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? 7 My soul refuses to touch them; They are as loathsome food to me. Job 6:4-7 (NKJV)
DOES GOD PUNISH THE INNOCENT?
Job believes that the calamity that has fallen on Him is from God. At least he says that, “Surely the arrows of the Almighty have pierced me.” Job 6:4 (HCSB) These are not just common arrows – that would be enough – but they are poison arrows.
Job believes he is being mistreated. He uses four questions to make his point.
1. Does a donkey bray when it is well fed?
2. Does an ox moo when it has plenty of food?
3. Do you like to eat bland food?
4. Does the white of an egg have enough flavor for you?
The Message Bible says it this way: “Donkeys bray and cows moo when they run out of pasture— so don’t expect me to keep quiet in this. Do you see what God has dished out for me? It’s enough to turn anyone’s stomach! Everything in me is repulsed by it— it makes me sick.” Job 6:5-7 (MSG)
Notice again that Job believes that the calamity has come upon him by God’s hands.
8 "Oh, that I might have my request, That God would grant me the thing that I long for! 9 That it would please God to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off! 10 Then I would still have comfort; Though in anguish, I would exult, He will not spare; For I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. Job 6:8-10 (NKJV)
JOB’S REQUEST OF GOD
It is interesting to note that Job has not turned his back on God. In fact even through all his suffering – he now makes a request of God. “Take my life.” Job never mentions suicide – it seems to him that is not an option. But it is an option to make a request of God. In the bible suicide is never viewed in a positive light. What Job does ask for is that: “God would decide to crush me, to unleash His power and cut me off!” Job 6:9 (HCSB)
If God would answer his request then several things would happen:
1. Job would know that God was still listening.
2. Others would see that God had not forsaken him.
3. Job would not have to suffer any longer.
Some believe that suicide is the unpardonable sin. I do not. As far as I can see in scripture the only unpardonable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But I do believe that suicide is a sin. God said, “Thou shall not kill.” To take one’s own life would surely be an act of murder. God has the power to forgive those who commit murder as well as those who bear false witness or those who commit adultery.
11 "What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? 12 Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh bronze? 13 Is my help not within me? And is success driven from me? Job 6:11-13 (NKJV)
JOB’S LOSS OF HOPE
When a person losses hope their will to live will dry up. Job knows this fact. He says that his “strength” will be gone when hope disappears. Who wants to get out of bed in the morning if there is nothing to look forward to? Who will want to eat when there is nothing in the future to look forward to? Who is motivated when all hope is gone? Who has a will to live?
Job asks four questions:
1. Am I as strong as the stones around me?
2. Is my flesh like bronze that I do not feel?
3. Can I help myself in this situation?
4. Does my hope come from within?
The Message Bible says it this way: “Where’s the strength to keep my hopes up? What future do I have to keep me going? Do you think I have nerves of steel? Do you think I’m made of iron? Do you think I can pull myself up by my bootstraps? Why, I don’t even have any boots!” Job 6:11-13 (MSG)
Verse 13 would be better rendered, “My help is not in me!” This is a true fact. Our help is in the Lord. We have often heard the statement – God helps those who help themselves. This is not a true statement. God helps those who could not help themselves. “Call on the Lord. Humble yourself. Realize your weakness.”
Cicero has written, “For man is not chiseled out of the rock, not cut from a tree; he has a body, he has a soul, he is actuated by mind, he is swayed by senses.”
14 "To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty. 15 My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, Like the streams of the brooks that pass away, 16 Which are dark because of the ice, And into which the snow vanishes. 17 When it is warm, they cease to flow; When it is hot, they vanish from their place. 18 The paths of their way turn aside, They go nowhere and perish. 19 The caravans of Tema look, The travelers of Sheba hope for them. 20 They are disappointed because they were confident; They come there and are confused. 21 For now you are nothing, You see terror and are afraid. 22 Did I ever say, ’Bring something to me’? Or, ’Offer a bribe for me from your wealth’? 23 Or, ’Deliver me from the enemy’s hand’? Or, ’Redeem me from the hand of oppressors’? Job 6:14-23 (NKJV)
JOB’S INSTRUCTIONS TO HIS FRIENDS
Job now tells his friends that they should treat him with kindness – even if he has turned his back on God. Remember Job has not turned his back on God – he still looks to God.
Job now brings an accusation against his friends. “But my brothers are fickle as a gulch in the desert— one day they’re gushing with water. From melting ice and snow cascading out of the mountains, But by midsummer they’re dry, gullies baked dry in the sun. Job 6:15-17 (MSG) Friends who offer good advice, that turns out to be foolishness, are not good friends at all. It is good to have pure clear water in the desert – but when you find the stream bed dry as a bone – there is great disappointment.
Job asks his friends a series of questions:
1. Did I ask you to bring me advice?
2. Did I request any money from you?
3. Did I ask you to protect me from my enemy?
4. Did I ask you to redeem me?
Barnes says of this passage of scripture, “If there is any place where kindness should be shown, it is when a man is sinking under accumulated sorrows to the grave.”
24 "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; Cause me to understand wherein I have erred. 25 How forceful are right words! But what does your arguing prove? 26 Do you intend to rebuke my words, And the speeches of a desperate one, which are as wind? 27 Yes, you overwhelm the fatherless, And you undermine your friend. 28 Now therefore, be pleased to look at me; For I would never lie to your face. 29 Yield now, let there be no injustice! Yes, concede, my righteousness still stands! 30 Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern the unsavory? Job 6:24-30 (NKJV)
Job is letting them know that if they have something to say that is worth anything he will be silent. We should all be interested in hearing good advice.
He then asks two questions:
1. What good does arguing do?
2. Do you intend to prove me wrong?
What kind of friend is it if all they do is argue with you? When we suffer are we asking for a debate? At the point of suffering we need words of comfort not words of condemnation.
Job says, “Look me in the face and let me know that my righteousness still stands. Have I lied?”
Theology moves many of us. How we think of sin and sinners determines how we respond to the people we are to minister to.
Suffering is never easy – who said it should be? We think we live so independent of each other but this is not the case – whatever we do affects other people. The sin of one (Adam) affects us all – but so then does the sacrifice of ONE as well. As far as I know we can not go through this life untouched. In fact we are born in pain – and that too is part of the curse. “He said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish.” Genesis 3:16 (HCSB)