Job Chapter Thirty
The higher someone climbs in the world the farther and harder they have to fall. Job has just finished a description of the wonderful things and all the blessings that he has enjoyed. Now he turns to the adversity that is as much a part of life as prosperity. The height of that prosperity has increased the depths to which he has now fallen. God sets one against the other and so does Job.
Read Job 30 1-14
v1. “BUT NOW they that are YOUNGER THAN I HAVE ME IN DERISION, WHOSE FATHERS I WOULD HAVE DISDAINED TO HAVE SET WITH THE DOGS OF MY FLOCK.”
Now in the condition that Job finds himself those that are younger make fun of him. Even those whose fathers were so unreliable, so unworthy that Job wouldn’t have hired them as his servants; so unfit to be trusted that Job wouldn’t even have hired them to look after this sheep and cattle are now holding him in their contempt.
v2. “YEA, WHERETO might THE STRENGTH OF THEIR HANDS profit ME, IN WHOM OLD AGE WAS PERISHED?”
These people were so lazy and inept not that they were not fit to hire as laborers. The old were not to be sought for advice of any kind because in them was old age indeed, the weakness of their minds made them as little children.
v3-4. “FOR WANT AND FAMINE they were SOLITARY; FLEEING INTO THE WILDERNESS IN FORMER TIME DESOLATE AND WASTE. WHO CUT UP MALLOWS BY THE BUSHES, AND JUNIPER ROOTS for THEIR MEAT.”
They were extremely poor, they were ready to starve for they would not work, other people wouldn’t have anything to do with them as they weren’t even worthy of charity. So because of their slothfulness they were forced to flee into the wilderness and there to live on the roots of mallow bushes and juniper.
v5. “THEY WERE DRIVEN FORTH FROM AMONG men, (THEY CRIED after THEM AS AFTER A THIEF;)”
These people were not only poor, and a burden to others, but were also thieves. They were plagues to the places that they went and people ran them off because of their thievery.
v6-7. “TO DWELL IN THE CLIFFS OF THE VALLEYS, in CAVES OF THE EARTH, AND in THE ROCKS. AMONG THE BUSHES THEY BRAYED; UNDER THE NETTLES THEY WERE GATHERED TOGETHER.”
There were such lying, thieving, mischievous people that the best thing that the magistrates or rulers could do with them was to drive them out of their country to live in caves, under cliffs, in the rocks of the mountains and hills. Job describes them as braying among bushes and nettles, even where they seek shelter they suffer the stings and scratches of the providence of God.
v8. “they were CHILDREN OF FOOLS, YEA, CHILDREN OF BASE MEN: THEY WERE VILER THAN THE EARTH.”
These people were the scum of the earth, the children of fools and base or vile men. Yet they looked down on Job in his current condition.
v9. “AND NOW AM I THEIR SONG, YEA, I AM THEIR BYWORD.”
Job has been brought so low that these who are the scum of the earth look down on him and make fun of him. They’re as David described his enemies:
Psalms 35:15 “BUT IN MINE ADVERSITY THEY REJOICED, AND GATHERED THEMSELVES TOGETHER: yea, THE ABJECTS GATHERED THEMSELVES TOGETHER AGAINST ME, AND I KNEW it NOT; THEY DID TEAR me, AND CEASED NOT:”
Psalms 69:12 “THEY THAT SIT IN THE GATE SPEAK AGAINST ME; AND I was THE SONG OF THE DRUNKARDS.”
v10. “THEY ABHOR ME, THEY FLEE FAR FROM ME, AND SPARE NOT TO SPIT IN MY FACE.”
Job has sunk so low that these lowest of low people despise him, they flee from him as one infected, as men fled a leper. These who have been driven out from among most men would drive even Job out from their midst. Job has been brought so low that he is scorned by those who are themselves scorned by other men. We have a parallel here in the suffering of Christ:
Isaiah 50:6 “I GAVE MY BACK TO THE SMITERS, AND MY CHEEKS TO THEM THAT PLUCKED OFF THE HAIR: I HID NOT MY FACE FROM SHAME AND SPITTING.”
Matthew 26:67 “THEN DID THEY SPIT IN HIS FACE, AND BUFFETED HIM; AND OTHERS SMOTE him WITH THE PALMS OF THEIR HANDS,”
v11. “BECAUSE HE HATH LOOSED MY CORD, AND AFFLICTED ME, THEY HAVE ALSO LET LOOSE THE BRIDLE BEFORE ME.”
All this contempt and derision has been brought upon Job because God in his providence has chosen to allow him to be afflicted and troubled.
v12-14. “UPON my RIGHT hand RISE THE YOUTH; THEY PUSH AWAY MY FEET, AND THEY RAISE UP AGAINST ME THE WAYS OF THEIR DESTRUCTION. THEY MAR MY PATH, THEY SET FORWARD MY CALAMITY, THEY HAVE NO HELPER. THEY CAME upon me AS A WIDE BREAKING IN of waters: IN THE DESOLATION THEY ROLLED THEMSELVES upon me.”
These low people expressed the greatest of scorn for Job. They spat in his face, they tripped up his heels, pushed away his feet, kicked him, either because they hated him or in sport, making fun of him. They added to his misery and they were so many that it seemed like water rolling over Job that he could neither stop to stand against.
Read Job 30:15-31
v15-16. “TERRORS ARE TURNED UPON ME: THEY PURSUE MY SOUL AS THE WIND: AND MY WELFARE PASSETH AWAY AS A CLOUD. AND NOW MY SOUL IS POURED OUT UPON ME; THE DAYS OF AFFLICTION HAVE TAKEN HOLD UPON ME.”
The terror and trouble that Job endured in his soul was the hardest part of his affliction that he had to bear. If he looked forward he saw nothing coming to him but affliction and calamity, if he looked backward he saw only the good and the joy that was taken away. If he tried to turn away this from terror and trouble it seemed that it pressed even more against him. The greatest terror of all was to feel abandoned by God, to come as the one described in:
Psalms 42:1-3 “AS THE HART PANTETH AFTER THE WATER BROOKS, SO PANTETH MY SOUL AFTER THEE, O GOD. MY SOUL THIRSTETH FOR GOD, FOR THE LIVING GOD: WHEN SHALL I COME AND APPEAR BEFORE GOD? MY TEARS HAVE BEEN MY MEAT DAY AND NIGHT, WHILE THEY CONTINUALLY SAY UNTO ME, WHERE is THY GOD?”
v17. “MY BONES ARE PIERCED IN ME IN THE NIGHT SEASON: AND MY SINEWS TAKE NO REST.”
Job bodily diseases are such that he is full of pain, a piercing pain, pain that went to the bone, all his bones, especially at night. Even his nerves were affected so that the cramps and convulsions prevented him for restful sleep.
v18. “BY THE GREAT FORCE of my disease IS MY GARMENT CHANGED: IT BINDETH ME ABOUT AS THE COLLAR OF MY COAT.”
He was full of sores that bleed and oozed infection until even the color or his garment was changed with the continual running of his boils and became as stiff and uncomfortable as a tight, stiff collar.
v19. “HE HATH CAST ME INTO THE MIRE, AND I AM BECOME LIKE DUST AND ASHES.”
And the thing that afflicted Job the most was that God had seemed to have become his enemy and was fighting against him. He has cast me into the mire where He thinks of me as no better than dust or ashes.
v20. “I CRY UNTO THEE, AND THOU DOST NOT HEAR ME: I STAND UP, AND THOU REGARDEST ME not.”
He cried unto God, but God refused to answer, he called upon God but all his efforts were in vain. He cried as one in earnest, he stood up and called as one waiting for an answer but God either didn’t hear or ignored him.
v21. “THOU ART BECOME CRUEL TO ME: WITH THY STRONG HAND THOU OPPOSEST THYSELF AGAINST ME.”
Here he says that even thinks that God fought against him and raised his strong hand and strength as an adversary against him. Is Job here being unjust and ungrateful? Is his harboring these hard thoughts of the living God a sin unto him?
v22. “THOU LIFTEST ME UP TO THE WIND; THOU CAUSEST ME TO RIDE upon it, AND DISSOLVEST MY SUBSTANCE.”
is so much greater than Job’s that he lifts him as with the wind, as chaff on
the threshing floor he was made to ride on the wings of the wind not in joy and
sport but in terror and the judgments of God had even taken away his substance
like something that would dissolve in water.
v23. “FOR I KNOW that THOU WILT BRING ME to DEATH, AND TO THE HOUSE APPOINTED FOR ALL LIVING.”
Job knows that the time will come when these troubles will be ended in death and he will enter the grave, a grave that he’s calling a house and it is a house. It is a house for the clay which remains behind to be put away until it returns to the dust from which it came. Death is appointed for all living, we will be separated from this body whether in resurrection or in change when Jesus comes.
Hebrews “AND AS IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT:”
v24. “HOWBEIT HE WILL NOT STRETCH OUT his HAND TO THE GRAVE, THOUGH THEY CRY IN HIS DESTRUCTION.”
Job takes comfort that in death his afflictions will cease. Though God now has a strong hand against him or has allowed a strong hand to be raised against him; that hand cannot reach into or beyond the grave. Though men cry when they face death, sometimes in a great deal of agony, sighing, groaning and complaining yet in the grave all this world’s troubles and trials will end.
v25. “DID NOT I WEEP FOR HIM THAT WAS IN TROUBLE? WAS not MY SOUL GRIEVED FOR THE POOR?”
Job still maintains his integrity; did he not weep for those who were in trouble and his soul grieve for those that were poor. He ministered to both, he did only good in his life; therefore he has nothing to fear from death and judgment. David uses some of the same language when seeking support from God against his enemies.
Psalms 35:13-14 “BUT AS FOR ME, WHEN THEY WERE SICK, MY CLOTHING was SACKCLOTH: I HUMBLED MY SOUL WITH FASTING; AND MY PRAYER RETURNED INTO MINE OWN BOSOM. I BEHAVED MYSELF AS THOUGH he had been MY FRIEND or BROTHER: I BOWED DOWN HEAVILY, AS ONE THAT MOURNETH for his MOTHER.”
v26. “WHEN I LOOKED FOR GOOD, THEN EVIL CAME unto me: AND WHEN I WAITED FOR LIGHT, THERE CAME DARKNESS.”
Yet there are two things that continue to trouble Job greatly and make his situation less tolerable. When he looked for good or for his good to continue only evil came; he waited for light or understanding of this phenomena but only darkness came, no understanding has come to him. Like Jeremiah:
Jeremiah “WE LOOKED FOR PEACE, BUT NO GOOD came; and FOR A TIME OF HEALTH, AND BEHOLD TROUBLE!”
v27-28. “MY BOWELS BOILED, AND RESTED NOT: THE DAYS OF AFFLICTION PREVENTED ME. I WENT MOURNING WITHOUT THE SUN: I STOOD UP, and I CRIED IN THE CONGREGATION.”
When trouble came, as when it does to most of us, it was unexpected. Job did not expect his afflictions, the loss of his family and all of his substance. He reckons his affliction by days and as we noted above the days of all men will end sometime. He is in deep sorrow because of his afflictions, but mostly because of what he sees as his changed relationship with God. He mourns but is not enlightened, he cries in the congregation but has no answer for his troubles. David and other writers of the Psalms also had those feelings:
Psalms 38:6 “I AM TROUBLED; I AM BOWED DOWN GREATLY; I GO MOURNING ALL THE DAY LONG.”
Psalms 42:2 “MY SOUL THIRSTETH FOR GOD, FOR THE LIVING GOD: WHEN SHALL I COME AND APPEAR BEFORE GOD?”
v29. “I AM A BROTHER TO DRAGONS, AND A COMPANION TO OWLS.”
his great pain and appearance he does not go among men but rather lives as the
dragon or the owl in solitude, away from others. His heart is like that of Micah when he
learns of the destruction of the cities of
Micah 1:8 “THEREFORE I WILL WAIL AND HOWL, I WILL GO STRIPPED AND NAKED: I WILL MAKE A WAILING LIKE THE DRAGONS, AND MOURNING AS THE OWLS.”
v30. “MY SKIN IS BLACK UPON ME, AND MY BONES ARE BURNED WITH HEAT.”
to the boils that altered Job’s appearance, his skin turned black and even his
bones burned with the heat of pain. There
are much the same words as used by Jeremiah in his Lamentations over
Lamentations 4:8 “THEIR VISAGE IS BLACKER THAN A COAL; THEY ARE NOT KNOWN IN THE STREETS: THEIR SKIN CLEAVETH TO THEIR BONES; IT IS WITHERED, IT IS BECOME LIKE A STICK.”
v31. “MY HARP ALSO IS turned TO MOURNING, AND MY ORGAN INTO THE VOICE OF THEM THAT WEEP.”
Job’s condition changed so drastically that his rejoicing at the sound of the harp and organ or rather the musical instruments that he might have enjoyed have not been put up entirely but now sound only the drudges of funerals and sadness.