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JOB DESPONDS

Now Job is sinking beyond the disappointment of his friend’s inappropriate advice.  He is looking at his life as already gone, awed by the depth of his storm.  He finds no comfort awake or asleep.

Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?  As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh 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 shall I arise, and the night be gone? and 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 become loathsome.  Job 7:1-5

Didn’t God limit our days, and aren’t we just temporary workers here?  I have been a contract worker, living from day to day for a brief wage period.  When I moved to a new job I found employment challenged to meet the moving costs.  Life becomes a rat race, leaving home and family for periods of separation on assignments.  Now I see construction and oil workers living in travel trailers like the old wagon trains here in Wyoming.  For Job this sense of temporary existence is further tormented by disease and pain.  He is a temp in life itself, expecting a sudden end.

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 vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.  He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.  Job 7:6-10

How many workers despair of providing their families needs in hard times?  And days are replaced by decades of disappointment.  Suddenly dreams of beauty and bounty are abandoned to the reflection of age and degeneration in the mirror of reality.  Failing finances don’t soften the years of a senior, who has only the grave ahead of him.  One day the last trip away from home will be in an ambulance, and he will see the old house no 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 thou settest a watch over me?  When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaints;  Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:  So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. Job 7:11-15 

So now Job will freely cry out his bitter anguish.  A seaman is always awake on watch, as the sea and whales are dangers always observed for safety.  Does God have to watch Job as if he were a foaming storm or other threat?  Sleep gives him no relief.  Does God send night terrors to restrain his madness?  I have known godless seniors who were tormented by nightmares to their last days.  Others have slipped away from reality but retained knowledge and comfort from the scriptures and from the assurance of their salvation. 

I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.  What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?  And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?  How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?  I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?  And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.  Job 7:16-21

Job hates his life; he wants to be allowed to slip away from the foolishness of life.  But he observes something of note next; that God has mad man special.  He knows that God is there, and that this is a trial.  He wonders what his sin has been, or how to repent of it.  He expects to die in his unknown sin.  But he has evoked a familiar phrase.

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Psalm 8:4-9

David in his Psalm 8 has asked the same question.  And we know that we are destined to more than the angels.  Job has illuminated a key to our hope; a promise of  coming promotion.

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