Job Chapter Seven
Read Job 7:1-6
v1. “Is there NOT AN APPOINTED TIME TO MAN UPON EARTH? are not HIS DAYS ALSO LIKE THE DAYS OF AN HIRELING?”
Every man must die eventually; every man’s days are numbered; so why should it be such a terrible thing for Job, in his condition and misery to wish for death as a release from these troubles? David prayed to God that he might know the “MEASURE OF MY DAYS.”
Psalms 39:4 “LORD, MAKE ME TO KNOW MINE END, AND THE MEASURE OF MY DAYS, WHAT IT is; that I MAY KNOW HOW FRAIL I am.”
v2. “AS A SERVANT EARNESTLY DESIRETH THE SHADOW, AND AS AN HIRELING LOOKETH FOR the reward of HIS WORK:”
Just as a servant desires to rest in the shade or a hireling, one who is hired for wages, looks forward to the just reward of his labors, man looks forward to the end of his time in this earth and his eternal reward.
v3. “SO AM I MADE TO POSSESS MONTHS OF VANITY, AND WEARISOME NIGHTS ARE APPOINTED TO ME.”
When we encounter the afflictions of sickness and age, Job says, to a good man that is forced from being useful; time passes slowly and he feels the effects of these sicknesses and the burdens (frequently) of physical age. Therefore days become as months of vanity because the desire to continue to do the things that we have always done, in our minds, makes them become days spent in vain. When we are disabled and no longer able to work for the Lord we sit quietly and wait for Him. Our lack of exercise and labor makes the sleep and rest normally gained at night no longer as readily attainable, therefore our nights become wearisome.
v4. “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.”
Being in great uneasiness, through trouble of the mind and pain of the body Job was constantly tossing and turning, changing sides, changing postures, trying to get some ease but unable to do so. Therefore he dreaded the night rather than welcoming it as the servant who needs the rest from his labors. We can become the same way in sickness or physical limitation.
Deuteronomy 28:67 “IN THE MORNING THOU SHALT SAY, WOULD GOD IT WERE EVEN! AND AT EVEN THOU SHALT SAY, WOULD GOD IT WERE MORNING! FOR THE FEAR OF THINE HEART WHEREWITH THOU SHALT FEAR, AND FOR THE SIGHT OF THINE EYES WHICH THOU SHALT SEE.”
v5. “MY FLESH IS CLOTHED WITH WORMS AND CLODS OF DUST; MY SKIN IS BROKEN, AND BECOME LOATHSOME.”
Because of affliction, Job’s sores bred worms, the scabs were like clods of dirt, and his skin was broken; this was a horrible disease that he couldn’t get rid of.
v6. “MY DAYS ARE SWIFTER THAN A WEAVER’S SHUTTLE, AND ARE SPENT WITHOUT HOPE.”
Job, because of his sickness, thought that he should be at life’s journey’s end, that his time was short. He looked upon his life as having been spent already, there was nothing further to look forward too except more misery. Therefore his days were without hope except to pray and beg for a quick end to his suffering.
Read Job 7: 7-16
v7. “O REMEMBER THAT MY LIFE is WIND: MINE EYE SHALL NO MORE SEE GOOD.”
Job, in this section of this book, begins a prayer to God. He commends himself to God as a proper candidate for death. He is seeking God’s compassion and pity, with this consideration, that he was a very weak, frail creature. His abode in this world was short and uncertain. His life is as the wind and when gone cannot be recalled again.
v8. “THE EYE OF HIM THAT HATH SEEN ME SHALL SEE ME NO more: THINE EYES are UPON ME, AND I am NOT.”
Death removes us so that the eyes of them that saw us before see us no more. God can easily, and in just the blink of an eye, send us to another world so that we are seen no more, we were but now are not.
v9. “As THE CLOUD IS CONSUMED AND VANISHETH AWAY: SO HE THAT GOETH DOWN TO THE GRAVE SHALL COME UP NO more.”
Just as the cloud is seen and vanishes, a vapor (James 4:14) forms and dissipates before our very eyes, so is he that goes down to the grave to come up no more until the general resurrection at the end of time.
v10. “HE SHALL RETURN NO MORE TO HIS HOUSE, NEITHER SHALL HIS PLACE KNOW HIM ANY MORE.”
Job wants to be as one who no longer returns to his house, as one who is not known to be any place any more. In other words Job is requesting that God take him, that he die to end the misery and troubles that have been brought upon him.
v11. “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.”
Job, thinking himself near death, vows to continue to make his complaint. He knows that in his prayer to God that he is being tiresome in his requests. He feels that he is trying God’s patience but he is determined to be persistent. He is going to pour out the anguish and bitterness in his soul.
v12. “Am I A SEA, OR A WHALE, THAT THOU SETTEST A WATCH OVER ME?”
Job is as a miserable man, sorely and grievously afflicted in body and in mind. In this part of his representation he is very peevish, as if God had dealt badly with him and laid upon him more than was proper. Am I as a raging sea or a wild whale that you have to keep me within bounds that these afflictions must be provided as a means of taming or controlling me?
v13. “WHEN I SAY, MY BED SHALL COMFORT ME, MY COUCH SHALL EASE MY COMPLAINT;”
My couch should ease my pain and problems, my bed should be a comfort to me.
v14. “THEN THOU SCAREST ME WITH DREAMS, AND TERRIFIEST ME THROUGH VISIONS:”
But when he tries to sleep, he experiences bad dreams and is terrified with visions. Sleep or bed rest for a time will give him some relief; it usually does so, that’s the purpose for it but not for poor Job. His bed, instead of comforting him, terrified him; and his couch, instead of easing his complaint, added to it; for if he dropped off asleep, he was disturbed with frightful dreams, and when those awakened him still he was haunted with dreadful apparitions.
v15. “SO THAT MY SOUL CHOOSETH STRANGLING, and DEATH RATHER THAN MY LIFE.”
So as a result of all this pain, agony and dreadful fear and dreams his soul would choose to be strangled, it would choose death rather than the life that he was enduring.
v16. “I LOATHE it; I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY: LET ME ALONE; FOR MY DAYS are VANITY.”
He hates what he has become. He wishes not to live in this misery and pain. He wants to be left alone to wallow in his misery, as it were. His days are all spent in vain, wishing, seeking, wanting some kind of relief and finding nothing but more anguish, misery and pain.
Read Job 7: 17-21
v17. “WHAT is MAN, THAT THOU SHOULDEST MAGNIFY HIM? AND THAT THOU SHOULDEST SET THINE HEART UPON HIM?”
Now Job changes his focus and reasons with God, or reasons about God and his relationship with mankind. He asks some of the same questions that we encounter in other scriptures, particularly from the pen of David:
Psalms 8:4 “WHAT IS MAN, THAT THOU ART MINDFUL OF HIM? AND THE SON OF MAN, THAT THOU VISITEST HIM?”
Psalms 144:3 “LORD, WHAT is MAN, THAT THOU TAKEST KNOWLEDGE OF HIM! or THE SON OF MAN, THAT THOU MAKEST ACCOUNT OF HIM!”
Great men think it beneath them to take cognizance of those who are so much inferior to them. They don’t even take the time to reprove and correct the follies and indecencies of those whom they consider to be inferior. So then, why does God magnify man, by visiting him, and trying him; and making so much of a to do over him?
v18. “AND that THOU SHOULDEST VISIT HIM EVERY MORNING, and TRY HIM EVERY MOMENT?”
God, you visit me every morning, try me every moment; why are you doing this to one so insignificant? Why must you pay so much attention to me?
v19. “HOW LONG WILT THOU NOT DEPART FROM ME, NOR LET ME ALONE TILL I SWALLOW DOWN MY SPITTLE?”
How long will this discomfort go on? How long God before you depart from me and leave me to my trials. Where is the intermission in this grief? Give me at least enough time to swallow.
v20. “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?”
Job maintained, against his friends, that he was not a hypocrite, not a wicked man; and yet he admitted to his God that he had sinned. If we have kept from committing gross acts of sin; that does not mean that we are totally innocent. Thus why would the Christian have this admonition?
James “CONFESS your FAULTS ONE TO ANOTHER, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILETH MUCH.”
v21. “AND WHY DOST THOU NOT PARDON MY TRANSGRESSION, AND TAKE AWAY MINE INIQUITY? FOR NOW SHALL I SLEEP IN THE DUST; AND THOU SHALT SEEK ME IN THE MORNING, BUT I shall NOT be."
Lord why don’t you pardon my sins? Whenever God removes the guilt of sin he breaks the power of sin over us. To reinforce his prayer for pardon he pleads to God that he should die quickly. Death will lay us in the dust; will lay us to sleep there, perhaps shortly; or at least in a little time. Job had been complaining of restless nights, and that sleep departed from his eyes; but those who cannot sleep on a bed of down will shortly sleep in a bed of dust, and not be scared with dreams nor tossed to and fro.