Job Chapter Six
Read Job 6:1-7
v1. “BUT JOB ANSWERED AND SAID,”
Job is not convinced by the arguments put forward by Eliphaz, and he now provides an answer.
v2. “OH THAT MY GRIEF WERE THOROUGHLY WEIGHED, AND MY CALAMITY LAID IN THE BALANCES TOGETHER!”
Job expresses that his calamity is much greater than they or anyone else can comprehend. He could not fully describe it, he would be grateful if an impartial third party could, measure his grief, understand his pain, know the trouble in his spirit, by using the simple means of weights and measures.
v3. “FOR NOW IT WOULD BE HEAVIER THAN THE SAND OF THE SEA: THEREFORE MY WORDS ARE SWALLOWED UP.”
His suffering is heavier than the sand of the sea, his grief is complicated, it was aggravated, each grievance is heavy and hard to bear. Consequently his words “HAVE BEEN RASH” (ASV) or swallowed up, his expressions filled with bitterness and brokenness. Don’t think it strange that this speech is not fine and polite, not eloquent or perfectly worded. The misery and pain is just so much for that to be possible.
v4. “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.”
Similar to the words of David:
Psalms 38:1-2 “O LORD, REBUKE ME NOT IN THY WRATH: NEITHER CHASTEN ME IN THY HOT DISPLEASURE. FOR THINE ARROWS STICK FAST IN ME, AND THY HAND PRESSETH ME SORE.”
Actually the troubling of his soul is greater than the physical troubles he has to endure. Jesus in his suffering had much the same experience:
John “NOW IS MY SOUL TROUBLED; AND WHAT SHALL I SAY? FATHER, SAVE ME FROM THIS HOUR: BUT FOR THIS CAUSE CAME I UNTO THIS HOUR.”
Matthew 26:38 “THEN SAITH HE UNTO THEM, MY SOUL IS EXCEEDING SORROWFUL, EVEN UNTO DEATH: TARRY YE HERE, AND WATCH WITH ME.”
Deep in his soul Job is in anguish because he knows he’s done nothing to deserve the kind of trouble and problems he having to endure.
v5. “DOTH THE WILD ASS BRAY WHEN HE HATH GRASS? OR LOWETH THE OX OVER HIS FODDER?”
Job has been so totally reduced in material things that he has nothing. When our needs and wants are satisfied we don’t normally complain. He uses the analogy that the wild ass doesn’t bray when he has grass, the oxen doesn’t bellow or bawl when he has fodder, when they have something to satisfy their needs. But Job has lost everything, including, he fears, his relationship with God.
v6. “CAN THAT WHICH IS UNSAVOURY BE EATEN WITHOUT SALT? OR IS THERE any TASTE IN THE WHITE OF AN EGG?”
Can meat that doesn’t taste good be eaten without salt? Is there any taste to the white of an egg? Poetic language. Job has nothing offered to him for any kind of relief, nothing to soothe the itch, the boils, nothing to lift his spirits and Eliphaz with his condemnation and call for Job to repent of some great sin certainly isn’t being helpful.
v7. “THE THINGS that MY SOUL REFUSED TO TOUCH are AS MY SORROWFUL MEAT.”
These things are as burdensome and sorrowful meat, something that in normal times he would not begin to think about.
Read Job 6:8-13
v8. “OH THAT I MIGHT HAVE MY REQUEST; AND THAT GOD WOULD GRANT me THE THING THAT I LONG FOR!”
Job is again appealing to God. He cries Oh that he might have his request; that God would give him that one think which he now longs for.
v9. “EVEN THAT IT WOULD PLEASE GOD TO DESTROY ME; THAT HE WOULD LET LOOSE HIS HAND, AND CUT ME OFF!”
He would that God would cut him off; allow him to die and gain the relief from these terrible tragedies; this terrible vexing of the soul; not understanding why he’s being visited with such sorrow and pain. God has let loose his hand and destroyed his substance, let loose his hand and allowed pain and suffering to become his lot, why doesn’t he just go all the way and also allow his life to end.
v10. “THEN SHOULD I YET HAVE COMFORT; YEA, I WOULD HARDEN MYSELF IN SORROW: LET HIM NOT SPARE; FOR I HAVE NOT CONCEALED THE WORDS OF THE HOLY ONE.”
In death he would have comfort. He knows that his life was such that he would not die only to see punishment reserved for the wicked. So God, why not end this terrible condition, bring this thing to an end through physical death. But Job, in all of his afflictions, didn’t once say anything about taking his own life, did he? Not once in all of our reading and study will he even voice a thought about taking the coward’s way out.
Job has never concealed the words of the Holy One, Job has never denied or disobeyed God, never hidden or ignored God’s word or direction. It’s almost as if Job is reminding God how faithful he’s been to petition him to end his life, thereby ending his suffering.
v11. “WHAT is MY STRENGTH, THAT I SHOULD HOPE? AND WHAT is MINE END, THAT I SHOULD PROLONG MY LIFE?”
Job refuses to be encouraged even though Eliphaz did have some words that he intended to be words of encouragement. What should I hope for? With this misery and no strength, what could I hope for? Why should I expect these terrible conditions to go away, that I should prolong my life to look forward to any kind of enjoyment or comfort?
v12. “Is MY STRENGTH THE STRENGTH OF STONES? OR is MY FLESH OF BRASS?”
Are my bones as strong as stone; or my flesh as brass? They’re not, so the pain and misery continues.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 “REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR
IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH, WHILE THE EVIL DAYS COME NOT, NOR THE YEARS DRAW
NIGH, WHEN THOU SHALT SAY, I HAVE NO PLEASURE IN THEM;”
v13. “Is NOT MY HELP IN ME? AND IS WISDOM DRIVEN QUITE FROM ME?”
Job here almost gives us the impression that he thinks some might think that he’s dreaming or delirious. Note that those who have God’s grace in them, who have the evidence of it and exercise it regularly; have wisdom in them and this wisdom will be their help in the worst of times.
Read Job 6:14-21
v14 “TO HIM THAT IS AFFLICTED PITY should be showed FROM HIS FRIEND; BUT HE FORSAKETH THE FEAR OF THE ALMIGHTY.”
Job had reason to expect kindness and understanding from Eliphaz didn’t he? But Eliphaz has been very severe in his chastising of Job as though Job was a terrible sinner. The least which those that are at ease can do for those that are pained and in anguish is to pity them – to manifest the sincerity of a tender concern for them, and to sympathize with them.
v15. “MY BRETHREN HAVE DEALT DECEITFULLY AS A BROOK, and AS THE STREAM OF BROOKS THEY PASS AWAY;”
Job voices his disappointment; his friends came supposedly to mourn with him and to comfort him. Good things were expected from such wise, learned, knowing men, but that wasn’t the message that Eliphaz brought. His message was one of condemnation because he felt that Job was a great sinner, unworthy of God’s blessings. David experienced some of the same disappointments with his friends:
Psalms 38:11 “MY LOVERS AND MY FRIENDS STAND ALOOF FROM MY SORE; AND MY KINSMEN STAND AFAR OFF.”
Psalms 41:9 “YEA, MINE OWN FAMILIAR FRIEND, IN WHOM I TRUSTED, WHICH DID EAT OF MY BREAD, HATH LIFTED UP his HEEL AGAINST ME.”
Jesus had the same situation.
v16. “WHICH ARE BLACKISH BY REASON OF THE ICE, and WHEREIN THE SNOW IS HID:”
Job compares their pretenses to the brook or small stream but appears so serene and pretty when frozen over or hidden by pure snow. Contrast this with the time when they are swollen by the melting of snow and ice and through floods they become destructive.
v17. “WHAT TIME THEY WAX WARM, THEY VANISH: WHEN IT IS HOT, THEY ARE CONSUMED OUT OF THEIR PLACE.”
Job here compares what he expected from his friends to travelers that see a brook in winter or spring when it is full and promises relief from heat and thirst to the time when it is found in deep summer when the brook or stream can vanish or be consumed by the harshness of the land and the temperature of the season.
v18. “THE PATHS OF THEIR WAY ARE TURNED ASIDE; THEY GO TO NOTHING, AND PERISH.”
In the harshness of late summer the brook can be turned aside, its flow can dwindle down to nothing and it’s though it has died or perished.
v19. “THE TROOPS OF TEMA LOOKED, THE COMPANIES OF SHEBA WAITED FOR THEM.”
of the merchants of those countries, whose road lay through the deserts of
Arabia, looked and waited for the supply of water that these brooks would
provide. We read of the land and queen
v20. “THEY WERE CONFOUNDED BECAUSE THEY HAD HOPED; THEY CAME THITHER, AND WERE ASHAMED.”
We prepare confusion for ourselves by our vain hopes: the reeds break under us because we lean on them. If we build a house upon the sand, we shall certainly be confounded, for it will fall in the storm. We deceive ourselves.
v21. “FOR NOW YE ARE NOTHING; YE SEE my CASTING DOWN, AND ARE AFRAID.”
Job’s friends came with the intent of bringing him comfort and some ease from his mental anguish but they have provided nothing of that sort to him. They were important men who took precious time to come to see Job, they thought of themselves highly. This is very similar to Paul’s writing in describing the false teachers that he encountered and that tried to do him harm, standing against his teaching:
Galatians 2:6 “BUT OF THESE WHO SEEMED TO BE SOMEWHAT, (WHATSOEVER THEY WERE, IT MAKETH NO MATTER TO ME: GOD ACCEPTETH NO MAN'S PERSON:) FOR THEY WHO SEEMED to be somewhat IN CONFERENCE ADDED NOTHING TO ME:”
Read Job 6:22-30
v22. “DID I SAY, BRING UNTO ME? OR, GIVE A REWARD FOR ME OF YOUR SUBSTANCE?”
Job says did I ask you to bring anything to me? Did I ask for a reward or for you to bring me something of your substance? He does not want to be a source of trouble to them.
v23. “OR, DELIVER ME FROM THE ENEMY'S HAND? OR, REDEEM ME FROM THE HAND OF THE MIGHTY?”
Did I ask you to come and deliver or rescue me from the hand of my enemy? Or remove me from the hand of the mighty or oppressor?
v24. “TEACH ME, AND I WILL HOLD MY TONGUE: AND CAUSE ME TO UNDERSTAND WHEREIN I HAVE ERRED.”
Job now challenges Eliphaz to teach him. He’ll hold his tongue, but cause him to understand where he’s erred. Eliphaz, examine my life; tell me where I’ve gone wrong. He was ready to yield to sound reasoning, he was ready to repent of his error; he was ready to be convicted if sufficient evidence could be presented to do that.
v25. “HOW FORCIBLE ARE RIGHT WORDS! BUT WHAT DOTH YOUR ARGUING REPROVE?”
Right words can be forceful, present those right words and Job will acknowledge their truth, he will rectify his mistakes, he will make right that which is wrong. Job challenges Eliphaz knowing his life, knowing what the answers would be, knowing his righteousness and knowing that no evidence to condemn him could be found.
v26. “DO YE IMAGINE TO REPROVE WORDS, AND THE SPEECHES OF ONE THAT IS DESPERATE, which are AS WIND?”
Do you imagine that you can reprove me with your words and speeches? You are as one who is desperate, and your words and speeches are as the wind. Even if he had been in a fault the words that Eliphaz used were more harsh, harder than they needed to be.
v27. “YEA, YE OVERWHELM THE FATHERLESS, AND YE DIG a pit FOR YOUR FRIEND.”
You would treat me as the fatherless with abuse and scorn, your character is such that you would dig a pit to throw your friend in. They have taken advantage of his weakness, and under the color of friendship have brought him nothing but condemnation and more trouble.
v28. “NOW THEREFORE BE CONTENT, LOOK UPON ME; FOR it is EVIDENT UNTO YOU IF I LIE.”
Now Eliphaz be content with the situation as it is. Look at me, you can tell if I’m lying, that will be evident to you. What do you see in me that would make you think that I’m a madman or a wicked man? Look at my face and see that I have a patient and submissive spirit, for all this.
v29. “RETURN, I PRAY YOU, LET IT NOT BE INIQUITY; YEA, RETURN AGAIN, MY RIGHTEOUSNESS is IN IT.”
Return to your meditation. Look again at the thing that has happened without your prejudice and partiality, and don’t let the result be iniquity, you will find my righteousness in it. Job says that he has been right in this matter, though he could not keep his temper as he perhaps should have, he has kept his integrity and has not suffered anything because of sin or for any reason other than he is an honest man.
v30. “IS THERE INIQUITY IN MY TONGUE? CANNOT MY TASTE DISCERN PERVERSE THINGS?”
You hear what I have to say, is there iniquity in my tongue? Wouldn’t I be one that would know better? Are not my arguments right? If I was in error I would I not know that?