| I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.|
Job prays to God
Job prays, ‘Do not punish me’
v1 I do not want to live. So, I will complain. I will speak, because my spirit is sad.
v2 This is my prayer to God:
Do not punish me. Tell me why you accuse me. v3 Tell me why you oppose me. You seem to oppose your own work. But you allow the plans of wicked men to succeed. v4 You are not like a man. You can see things that we cannot see. v5 And you do not have a short life, like a man. v6 But you check my errors. And you discover my evil actions. v7 You know that I am not wicked. And nobody can rescue me from you.
In this chapter, Job was not thinking about himself. Rather, he was thinking about God.
Job could not explain God’s attitudes. God carefully designed Job’s body. But now God seemed to be punishing Job without any reason.
Job did not know what to say to God (Job 9:14). He was afraid of God’s great power (Job 9:17). But Job was not afraid that God might kill him. Job’s troubles were so great that he wanted to die.
God created Job’s body.
So Job was God’s ‘own work’.
But now God seemed to oppose Job.
And God seemed to help wicked men.
This did not seem sensible to Job.
But Job did not have any other explanation.
Job did not know that the devil caused Job’s troubles.
Job tried to work out another explanation. Perhaps God had a plan that people could not see.
Job knew that God is not like a man. But in these verses, Job realized that God knows all about each person. God knows everything. So God knew Job’s character. This was a wonderful thing for Job to realize. But this fact still did not explain Job’s problem.
God designed our bodies
v8 God, you designed my body. You made me. But now you attack me. v9 You made me from the earth, like a pot. Soon my body will die, and it will become dust again. v10 As a man makes cheese from milk, you made my body. v11 You provided skin to cover my body. And you made bones to join my body’s parts together. v12 You caused my body to live. You were kind to me. You protected my spirit.
Job could see that God designed the human body. And Job could see that this was not a simple task. God acted carefully when he made Job’s body. God did not cause Job to live by accident. Rather, God showed great kindness to Job.
These facts made Job’s problem seem even stranger. Surely, God would not cruelly destroy the person that he made so carefully.
Job thinks that God is punishing Job
v13 But you had a secret plan. I know that you did this. v14 You watch my behaviour. You punish my evil actions. v15 If I am guilty, I shall suffer your punishment. But even an innocent man must suffer. I suffer shame. I suffer troubles. v16 If I am proud, you hunt me like a lion. And you show that you are powerful.
v17 Now witnesses accuse me. Your anger increases. And you attack me again and again.v18 God, I do not know why you permitted my birth. I wish that I never lived. v19 I wish that I never existed. Or, that I was dead at birth. v20 My short life will soon end. Leave me! Then I will be happy for a moment. v21 Then I will die. And I will never return from the darkness of my grave. v22 There, it is always night. There is confusion. Even light and darkness seem the same.
Job suggested a more complex explanation. Perhaps God had a secret plan. Perhaps God wanted to prove that all people were evil. So God made Job. God watched Job’s actions. Job was much better than other people; but everybody does some wrong things. So God punished Job in public to warn everyone about their evil deeds.
This idea was also wrong. In fact, the devil wanted to show that Job was evil (Job 2:4-5). God wanted to show that Job was a genuine servant of God (Job 2:3).
In verse 15, Job too realized that this idea was wrong. Job was an innocent man. But he still had to suffer.
Job’s troubles seemed constantly to increase. And Job thought that God caused those troubles.
Job realized that he could not explain his troubles. His pain was great. He wanted to die. He returned to the subjects that he discussed in chapter 3.
Job knew that all life comes from God (Acts 17:28).
Without God, Job would die.
So Job prayed that God would leave him.
Then, Job’s troubles would end for a brief moment.
And so Job would die.
He saw how dead bodies slowly disappear into the earth. Nobody can disturb a person who has died.