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Read Job 7

“Do not mortals have hard service on earth?
    Are not their days like those of hired laborers?
Like a slave longing for the evening shadows,
    or a hired laborer waiting to be paid,
so I have been allotted months of futility,
    and nights of misery have been assigned to me.
When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’
    The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.
My body is clothed with worms and scabs,
    my skin is broken and festering.

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
    and they come to an end without hope.
Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath;
    my eyes will never see happiness again.
The eye that now sees me will see me no longer;
    you will look for me, but I will be no more.
As a cloud vanishes and is gone,
    so one who goes down to the grave does not return.
10 He will never come to his house again;
    his place will know him no more.

11 “Therefore I will not keep silent;
    I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit,
    I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep,
    that you put me under guard?
13 When I think my bed will comfort me
    and my couch will ease my complaint,
14 even then you frighten me with dreams
    and terrify me with visions,
15 so that I prefer strangling and death,
    rather than this body of mine.
16 I despise my life; I would not live forever.
    Let me alone; my days have no meaning.

17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,
    that you give them so much attention,
18 that you examine them every morning
    and test them every moment?
19 Will you never look away from me,
    or let me alone even for an instant?
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
    you who see everything we do?
Why have you made me your target?
    Have I become a burden to you?[a]
21 Why do you not pardon my offenses
    and forgive my sins?
For I will soon lie down in the dust;
    you will search for me, but I will be no more.”

Go Deeper

Job 7 is the continuation of the previous chapter. This chapter is important in the story of Job because he gives us insight into his theology in the midst of deep pain. What is interesting about this section is that we get to see that his thoughts towards God are correct, while also lacking important context. Job’s response towards God in his agony is important for us because oftentimes our theology will look similarly in our pain.   

One of Job’s greatest grievances with God in this chapter is that God is so involved with Job’s life. Really, Job just wants God to go somewhere else! He writes in verses 17-19 “What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention, that you examine them every morning and test them every moment? Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?” He thinks that God is so focused on Job’s life for the sole reason of bringing him pain as a punishment for sin. However, this is a very different picture from the one we get from Jesus. He says in Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” 

 So while Job knew that God was involved in his life, he thought it was to bring him harm. Jesus tells us that God is aware of our circumstances because we are regarded as valuable to Him. God doesn’t take joy in bringing us pain, but deeply desires to comfort us in it.   

In Job’s grief he again looks towards God and says in verse 21, Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins?” Again, we know in the context of Jesus that God does count our sins against us (2 Cor 5:19). He does not punish us for our sins, but rather He has taken on our punishment so that we might have peace.   

While in this moment Job believed God to be involved in his life for his harm, we can know that our God is involved for our good. He desires not to harm us, but to give us a life abundantly. This chapter is an opportunity to solidify your theology today before pain inevitably comes tomorrow. Don’t let your circumstances define who you know your Savior to be!

Questions

  1. Is anything that Job says about God surprising to you? 
  2. How does pain and discomfort affect your theology? 
  3. What do you believe about God now that you want to remember whenever you go through pain? 

By The Way

David took what was written here and used it as the foundation of Psalm 8. That chapter is written in a different tone. Go read it and compare their ideas of God.

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4 thoughts on “Job 7”

  1. I’m recalling Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” Yes, all our days, the good, bad, and average ones, and this is true for Job as well. Job brings his frustrations and anguish to God, as he knows Him to be a safe place to express them. My greatest nugget of truth today, is that even when my circumstances say differently, God sees us with love and compassion and ultimately has a good plan for our lives. When we can’t trace His hand, we can trust His heart.

  2. No sooner had I read today’s chapter, than I saw this daily reflection from Wild at Heart (John and Stasi Eldredge). Timely, wouldn’t you say?

    THE STORY’S CENTRAL CHARACTER

    “Does God have a good heart? When we think of God as Author, the Grand Chess Player, the Mind Behind It All, we doubt his heart. As Melville said, “The reason the mass of men fear God and at bottom dislike him is because they rather distrust his heart, and fancy him all brain, like a watch.” Do you relate to the author when reading a novel or watching a film? Caught up in the action, do you even think about the author? We identify with the characters in the story precisely because they are in the story. They face life as we do, on the ground, and their struggles win our sympathy because they are our struggles also. We love the hero because he is one of us, and yet somehow rises above the fray to be better and wiser and more loving as we hope one day we might prove to be.

    The Author lies behind, beyond. His omniscience and omnipotence may be what creates the drama, but they are also what separates us from him. Power and knowledge don’t qualify for heart. Indeed, the worst sort of villain is the kind who executes his plans with cold and calculated precision. He is detached; he has no heart. If we picture God as the mastermind behind the story—calling the shots while we, like Job, endure the calamities—we can’t help but feel at times what C. S. Lewis was bold enough to put words to: “We’re the rats in the cosmic laboratory.” Sure, he may have our good in mind, but that still makes him the “vivisectionist”—the experimenter.

    We root for the hero and heroine, even come to love them, because they are living in the drama. They feel the heartache, they suffer loss and summon courage and shed their own blood in their struggles against evil. What if ? Just what if we saw God not as Author, the cosmic mastermind behind all human experience, but as the central character in the larger story? What could we learn about his heart?”

    -John Eldredge, “The Sacred Romance”

    1. Stephanie Gilbertson

      Thank you Pam for adding your daily reflection! It was such a valuable addition to today’s reading and commentary.

      Thank you Ella for your dedication and commitment in sharing your thoughts each day. Your responses are powerful and greatly appreciated.

    2. Annemarie Schroeder

      Thank you Ella and Pam for sharing your insights and the part from “Wild at Heart””. God is close at all times and through His Word and experience, I can trust Him because I know His character and His heart even when my circumstances are hard! Job reminds me that I can be honest with God and He wants me to cry out to Him!

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