Job’s Friends Are No Help
6 Then Job answered,
2 “Oh that my grief were actually weighed
And laid in the balances together with my calamity!
3 “For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas;
Therefore my words have been rash.
4 “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me,
Their poison my spirit drinks;
The terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5 “Does the wild donkey bray over his grass,
Or does the ox low over his fodder?
6 “Can something tasteless be eaten without salt,
Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
7 “My soul refuses to touch them;
They are like loathsome food to me.
8 “Oh that my request might come to pass,
And that God would grant my longing!
9 “Would that God were willing to crush me,
That He would loose His hand and cut me off!
10 “But it is still my consolation,
And I rejoice in unsparing pain,
That I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11 “What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should endure?
12 “Is my strength the strength of stones,
Or is my flesh bronze?
13 “Is it that my help is not within me,
And that deliverance is driven from me?
14 “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend;
So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
15 “My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi,
Like the torrents of wadis which vanish,
16 Which are turbid because of ice
And into which the snow melts.
17 “When they become waterless, they are silent,
When it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18 “The paths of their course wind along,
They go up into nothing and perish.
19 “The caravans of Tema looked,
The travelers of Sheba hoped for them.
20 “They were disappointed for they had trusted,
They came there and were confounded.
21 “Indeed, you have now become such,
You see a terror and are afraid.
22 “Have I said, ‘Give me something,’
Or, ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth,’
23 Or, ‘Deliver me from the hand of the adversary,’
Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’?
24 “Teach me, and I will be silent;
And show me how I have erred.
25 “How painful are honest words!
But what does your argument prove?
26 “Do you intend to reprove my words,
When the words of one in despair belong to the wind?
27 “You would even cast lots for the orphans
And barter over your friend.
28 “Now please look at me,
And see if I lie to your face.
29 “Desist now, let there be no injustice;
Even desist, my righteousness is yet in it.
30 “Is there injustice on my tongue?
Cannot my palate discern calamities?
Job’s Life Seems Futile
7 “Is not man forced to labor on earth,
And are not his days like the days of a hired man?
2 “As a slave who pants for the shade,
And as a hired man who eagerly waits for his wages,
3 So am I allotted months of vanity,
And nights of trouble are appointed me.
4 “When I lie down I say,
‘When shall I arise?’
But the night continues,
And I am continually tossing until dawn.
5 “My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt,
My skin hardens and runs.
6 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And come to an end without hope.
7 “Remember that my life is but breath;
My eye will not again see good.
8 “The eye of him who sees me will behold me no longer;
Your eyes will be on me, but I will not be.
9 “When a cloud vanishes, it is gone,
So he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.
10 “He will not return again to his house,
Nor will 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 the sea monster,
That You set a guard over me?
13 “If I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
My couch will ease my complaint,’
14 Then You frighten me with dreams
And terrify me by visions;
15 So that my soul would choose suffocation,
Death rather than my pains.
16 “I waste away; I will not live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are but a breath.
17 “What is man that You magnify him,
And that You are concerned about him,
18 That You examine him every morning
And try him every moment?
19 “Will You never turn Your gaze away from me,
Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle?
20 “Have I sinned? What have I done to You,
O watcher of men?
Why have You set me as Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?
21 “Why then do You not pardon my transgression
And take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust;
And You will seek me, but I will not be.”
Bildad Says God Rewards the Good
8 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered,
2 “How long will you say these things,
And the words of your mouth be a mighty wind?
3 “Does God pervert justice?
Or does the Almighty pervert what is right?
4 “If your sons sinned against Him,
Then He delivered them into the power of their transgression.
5 “If you would seek God
And implore the compassion of the Almighty,
6 If you are pure and upright,
Surely now He would rouse Himself for you
And restore your righteous estate.
7 “Though your beginning was insignificant,
Yet your end will increase greatly.
8 “Please inquire of past generations,
And consider the things searched out by their fathers.
9 “For we are only of yesterday and know nothing,
Because our days on earth are as a shadow.
10 “Will they not teach you and tell you,
And bring forth words from their minds?
11 “Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh?
Can the rushes grow without water?
12 “While it is still green and not cut down,
Yet it withers before any other plant.
13 “So are the paths of all who forget God;
And the hope of the godless will perish,
14 Whose confidence is fragile,
And whose trust a spider’s web.
15 “He trusts in his house, but it does not stand;
He holds fast to it, but it does not endure.
16 “He thrives before the sun,
And his shoots spread out over his garden.
17 “His roots wrap around a rock pile,
He grasps a house of stones.
18 “If he is removed from his place,
Then it will deny him, saying, ‘I never saw you.’
19 “Behold, this is the joy of His way;
And out of the dust others will spring.
20 “Lo, God will not reject a man of integrity,
Nor will He support the evildoers.
21 “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
And your lips with shouting.
22 “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
And the tent of the wicked will be no longer.”
Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man
9 Then Job answered,
2 “In truth I know that this is so;
But how can a man be in the right before God?
3 “If one wished to dispute with Him,
He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.
4 “Wise in heart and mighty in strength,
Who has defied Him without harm?
5 “It is God who removes the mountains, they know not how,
When He overturns them in His anger;
6 Who shakes the earth out of its place,
And its pillars tremble;
7 Who commands the sun not to shine,
And sets a seal upon the stars;
8 Who alone stretches out the heavens
And tramples down the waves of the sea;
9 Who makes the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades,
And the chambers of the south;
10 Who does great things, unfathomable,
And wondrous works without number.
11 “Were He to pass by me, I would not see Him;
Were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him.
12 “Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him?
Who could say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’
13 “God will not turn back His anger;
Beneath Him crouch the helpers of Rahab.
14 “How then can I answer Him,
And choose my words before Him?
15 “For though I were right, I could not answer;
I would have to implore the mercy of my judge.
16 “If I called and He answered me,
I could not believe that He was listening to my voice.
17 “For He bruises me with a tempest
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
18 “He will not allow me to get my breath,
But saturates me with bitterness.
19 “If it is a matter of power, behold, He is the strong one!
And if it is a matter of justice, who can summon Him?
20 “Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me;
Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.
21 “I am guiltless;
I do not take notice of myself;
I despise my life.
22 “It is all one; therefore I say,
‘He destroys the guiltless and the wicked.’
23 “If the scourge kills suddenly,
He mocks the despair of the innocent.
24 “The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
He covers the faces of its judges.
If it is not He, then who is it?
25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner;
They flee away, they see no good.
26 “They slip by like reed boats,
Like an eagle that swoops on its prey.
27 “Though I say, ‘I will forget my complaint,
I will leave off my sad countenance and be cheerful,’
28 I am afraid of all my pains,
I know that You will not acquit me.
29 “I am accounted wicked,
Why then should I toil in vain?
30 “If I should wash myself with snow
And cleanse my hands with lye,
31 Yet You would plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes would abhor me.
32 “For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him,
That we may go to court together.
33 “There is no umpire between us,
Who may lay his hand upon us both.
34 “Let Him remove His rod from me,
And let not dread of Him terrify me.
35 “Then I would speak and not fear Him;
But I am not like that in myself.
Know the Story…
Pray for an open and teachable heart as you read through God’s Word and discover His truths.
Consider keeping a journal of what you are learning.
Read the Word: Read the passages provided.
Dig Into the Word: What’s the big story behind the passage?
Implications of the Word: What are the implications of this passage for my life today?
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)