Job's Response to Eliphaz Continues
Eliphaz's First Speech (4:1-5:27)
Job's Response to Eliphaz (6:1-7:21)
Job Laments Life in General (1-7)
Job began to compare life to a hired day-laborer and a servant. Everything was a hard push uphill. During the day, the worker and servant longed for a moment when their work was shaded just a bit from the sun. Then even more so, the worker and servant longed for the end of the day when pay would come due and the shade of the evening would cool their tired, hot bodies (1-2).
As the day-laborer looked back at his months of labor, they were empty, vain, and futile because all the effort went into making another rich. At night, misery awaited as he pondered the uselessness of his hard labor (3).
Job then considered his own wretched night pains. The open sores on his body were either covered over with scabs and itching, or were broken open and had become a feasting ground for maggots, or were fresh boil-like ulcers oozing puss. All this pain made night a misery and yearning for the dawn (4-5).
Job's days were moving back and forth like a “weaver's shuttle" or the clicking of knitting needles. Rapidly, the loom moves back and forth, and it does not stop until it runs out of thread. Job was announcing his life was getting to the end of yarn (6).
Job Laments to God (7-10)
Job asked God to remember life is a fleeting exhale of a single breath. In the short breath, he was now at the end and he had given up. Happiness would ever elude him (7). He was seen in the present, but Job would soon not be able to be found (8). He was like a cloud—he would evaporate and not return, just as those who go to the grave and do not return to their homes and are not seen again (9-10). The lament to God was a simple prayer: "I'm at the end, hopelessly dying. If You, God, do not do something fast, my life will have been a lost cause."
Job Complains Again (11-21)
After Job's prayer, he found enough renewed energy for another outburst to express his pain and to unleash the bitterness of his soul to his friends (11).
Job declared he was no sea, as if others need worry about his unstable nature sinking their lives. Nor was he a sea monster, some mythological creature threatening to destroy their world.
Many scholars believe Babylonian mythology is being alluded to here, where the monster Tiamat, the goddess of salt water, created chaos and division at the creation as she made the seas tempestuous and agitated. She had to be slain by Marduk so the formation of earth and heaven could be made of her divided body.
Job was not vesting a belief in mythology. He was using mythology as one might use Santa Claus as a metaphor. He was simply saying he was not one in need of a slaying, not one who needed to be guarded so he would not bring harm to others. He was not seeking to destroy their lives so he could find his own. He may also have been saying, "I am not nor was I a lion secretly oppressing others to build a life of opulence for himself." He was refuting the idea that he was some kind of a secret oppressor. He was a threat to no one (12).
Next, Job asserted he was docile. Job sought comfort in sleep and upon his bed at night, where his mind could be eased from all the stress (13), but he announced that God terrified him there with dreams and visions (14). On his bed he would lapse into fits of choking and coughing, feeling as though he were being strangled to death. He had become a skeleton covered by skin (15). You wonder here if Job was saying to Eliphaz, “You think you have visions at night that scare you?”
Then Job outright defined his prayer. He hated living and remaining merely as an existence without hope of endurance. He asked for God to leave him alone for his few final days of breathing and let him die (16).
Raising another argument, Job asked God why He made him more significant than he was, vesting all this interest in his affliction. Job asked, “Why would the omnipotent be interested in visiting and testing me so thoroughly?" Job was announcing that he was not worth this much attention from God (18).
Job then called on God to give him a break, to announce a truce, to give him a moment to swallow a morsel of food or spit out some bad taste in his mouth (19).
Following along in the prayer, Job wondered why God had become a watcher, like a policeman who studies every little deed to catch, especially Job, in a misstep. Job pondered why God had marked him, to watch him, and why God had made his life His particular burden.
This reveals an awful view of God creeping into his spirit, which Job had developed through his suffering. He was beginning to see a vengeful God, looking for every little mistake anyone would make, so He could afflict those who stepped out of line (20).
Finally, Job wondered why God didn't just forgive him. If God were to take away his iniquity, no matter what it was, then fellowship could be restored. The way it was going, Job would be dead and the potential for fellowship gone. Job was viewing such an end to be a waste when forgiveness could restore what had been lost (21).
Here we see Job’s not resisting the fact that he was a sinner, but resisting the fact that his sin warranted and was equal to the suffering.