September 23, 2010

It Could Be Worse

Job 7

1 "Has not man a hard service on earth,
and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?
2 Like a slave who longs for the shadow,
and like a hired hand who looks for his wages,
3 so I am allotted months of emptiness,
and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
4 When I lie down I say, 'When shall I arise?'
But the night is long,
and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
5 My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle
and come to their end without hope.
7 "Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will never again see good.
8 The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
while your eyes are on me, I shall be gone.
9 As the cloud fades and vanishes,
so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;
10 he returns no more to his house,
nor does his place know him anymore.
11 "Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or a sea monster,
that you set a guard over me?
13 When I say, 'My bed will comfort me,
my couch will ease my complaint,'
14 then you scare me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,
15 so that I would choose strangling
and death rather than my bones.
16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
17 What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him,
18 visit him every morning
and test him every moment?
19 How long will you not look away from me,
nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?
20 If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?
Why have you made me your mark?
Why have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be."

Verse 5: "My flesh is clothed with worms": This is perhaps of figure or speech, but is literally true: the miserably ulcerated state of Job's body, exposed to the open air, and in a state of great destitution, was favourable to insects (flys) that sought such places in which to deposit their eggs, which might have produced the worms (Hebrew: Rim'maw-maggots) in question. But the imagery is too disgusting to further elaborate on.

Verse 5: " skin hardens, then breaks out afresh" Job alludes to the crust or dried pus, which formed on the tops of sores, the skin becomes very rigid, so as to crack across when stressed or flexed, especially at joints.

Verse 14: "then you scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions": Satan was permitted to haunt his imagination with dreadful dreams and nightmares; so that, as soon as he fell asleep, he was suddenly awakened by those appalling images. He needed to sleep, but was afraid to close his eyes because of the horrid images which were presented to his imagination. Is there anything worse than not being able to escape your misery even in sleep?

Verse 15: "so that I would choose strangling and death rather than my bones." (Hebrew: makh-an-ak'-choke, strangling)... in those interrupted and useless slumbers, an oppression and difficulty of breathing something like being smothered, a struggling to someone standing on your chest.

Lovely. This people, is suffering. Compound these visuals with the loss of his entire family, all of his well-being, prosperity, and a support/comfort system that consisted of 4 men 3 of which that acted more like dogmatic & legalistic heavy-handed goons rather than supportive loving friends. Three men that caused more discomfort than they alleviated.

If ever there was a justification for suicide this was probably it but yet Job didn't take his own life.

....and then came the voice of the Lord out of the whirlwind "Who is it that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" Just when Job probably thought it couldn't get any worse God enters the picture and he begins to realize...that he may have actually gotten off easy to this point. We should not fear anything this life can throw a us. I didn't say it wouldn't hurt or it wouldn't make us suffer, I just said we shouldn't fear it. We should instead fear The One (the only One) who can destroy not only what we have here but He can also destroy the soul.


ArtWerx said...

i have that 1 corinthians quote printed up for household display...also romans 14:11 "For it is written, As I live saith The Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."

Andy Pierson said...

Yes. His greatness often leaves me speechless.

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