I really do not want to present Job in any kind of “bad light.” Enough people (commentators, professors, preachers, teachers) do that constantly. But I still want to be faithful in my portrayal of that little “hero,” in our Lessons here on the Website.
Here’s (the discussion being limited to Job chapters 9-10, just his response to Bildad’s barbs) how Job “feels” God is treating him. (Apparently Job never knows, in all 42 chapters, about the battle between God and Satan, that contest over “real faith” that was being waged.)
Job believes of God … “He breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause.” Job 9:17, God has sent a violent storm against Job! (Think of Jonah.) Furthermore, God has “stabbed” Job again and again, wound after wound!” And Job has done nothing (major) wrong, he is suffering innocently!
Job 9:18 continues: “He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness.” God had taken Job’s breath away! And fed him a life of constant bitterness! Provocation, literally!
Job 9:31 adds more: “Yet shalt thou (Lord) plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.” God keeps stomping Job into the ground! And the man has lost so much weight … or his sores are running so copiously and constantly … that his clothes are of no value whatsoever. They either do not fit or stink terribly, one or the other.
Also in Job chapter 10 (still his “come-back” to Bildad) our Patriarch laments: “Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.” Verse 8, Job clearly believes in Creation. But God is destroying that which He so grandly made, killing Job day by day! The immediately following verse presents the same truth, in parallel fashion. It’s self-explanatory. “Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?” God reversing the creation process, on Job! Or so the man senses. What else could he have thought?
Finally, Job 10:17. “Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.” Looks like Job believes the 3 “friends” (here “witnesses” who attacked Job viciously) are sent of God! But God later in the book rebukes them strongly. Also Job thinks God is getting hotter and hotter at him, in anger, every day! The army (“hosts”) of heaven are attacking Job, “war” having been declared against him! “Changes” may again refer to his constantly having to switch clothing, due to the oozing “boils” all over his body, corruption and infection everywhere.
Then, exasperated, near the end of his speech Job cries to God: “Let me alone!” Here’s the whole verse: “Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little.” Job 10:20
That’s why I labeled today’s Lesson, “a hurting man.”
YET … I MUST EMPHASIZE … THROUGH ALL THIS AGONY JOB NEVER ONCE “CURSES” GOD. Like the Satan said he would do back in both chapters 1 and 2. Job stayed True to His God.
He still believed in God.
Readers here today … this is FAITH in its purest form.
BELIEVING … IN THE FACE OF ALL KINDS OF OPPOSITION!
Like Hebrews 11:33-34 illustrated: “Christians who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
Job thinks God has turned against him … yet in reality God is thrilled with His persevering saint!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell