|Terrors are turned upon me: |
they pursue my soul as the wind:
Job makes a list of his troublesThe worst people insult Job
v1 But now, men laugh at me, although they are younger than me. I would not have employed the fathers of such men to work with the dogs on my farm.
v2 Their fathers were too weak to work for me. They had no energy. v3 They were lonely men because of their hunger. So, they had to wander in the desert by night. v4 There, they gathered wild plants. And they ate the roots of trees. v5 Other men chased them away. Other men shouted at them, as if they were thieves. v6 So, they had to live in the desert. They lived among the rocks. Or, they lived in holes in the ground. v7 They shouted behind the bushes. They gathered together under the bushes. v8 These men were terrible men. They were the children of fools. This is why other men forced them to leave the country.
v9 But now, their sons insult me in their songs. They use my name when they swear. v10 They hate me. They do not want to look at me. They spit at me. (That is: ‘They empty the contents of their mouths onto my face.’) v11 God has made me weak. He made me suffer these troubles. So, these youths do not respect me.
Formerly the most important people would gather to listen to Job. And they respected Job greatly.
But now, the worst youths would gather to see Job. They would insult Job. And they would laugh at him.
Job had known the fathers of these youths. But the fathers did not impress Job. Job would not employ them. They were too lazy. They did not want to work.
These fathers were not responsible men. Perhaps they were drunks. Perhaps they were always asking other people for money. So the people in the city forced these men to leave.
These youths were like their fathers. They swore. They insulted Job. They laughed at him. And they caused trouble.
And these youths even thought that they were better than Job.
Job’s enemies are like an army
v12 They are like an army that attacks a city. And I am like that city.
· The army comes from my right side. The soldiers make traps. They place ladders against the city walls. v13 They destroy the roads. They will succeed. They do not need anyone to help them. v14 Then, the city’s walls break. The soldiers rush in to destroy the city.
v15 So, I suffer great terror. Nobody still gives honour to me. My honour was like wind that blew far away. And my security was like a cloud that disappeared.
Job watched the youths as they talked. And Job thought that they were making plans to attack him. Job felt too ill to avoid them.
Of course, a city cannot move when its enemies attack. So Job thought that he was like such a city.
At the time of the Bible, walls surrounded a city. So, before soldiers attacked the city, they would make plans. They needed to climb over the walls. Or, they needed to break through the walls
Job felt like the inhabitant of such a city. He was merely waiting for the youths to attack. And he could not escape when they did attack.
Before Job’s troubles, Job was confident. He thought that people would respect him for his whole life. He had great security (Job 29:18-20).
Job is dying
v16 Now, I am dying. I suffer greatly during the daytime. v17 By night, my bones suffer great pain. I cannot rest. v18 This great power that causes my pain is like clothing. This power is like a collar that holds my neck firmly. v19 So, my body will lie in the mud. My body will become like dust and ashes.
v20 God, I cry to you. But you do not answer me. When I stand, you merely watch me. v21 You are cruel to me. You are strong, and you oppose me. v22 I am like dust that the wind blows about. And now, there is a storm.
v23 I know that I shall die. You have selected this fate for everything that lives.
v24 Nobody should attack a suffering man when he cries for help. v25 I used to sympathise with people who had troubles. I cared about poor people. v26 I hoped that I would have a good life. But, in fact, I have a terrible life.
v27 My pain never stops. I suffer every day. v28 The sun did not cause my skin to be dark. (My illness made my skin dark.)
When people gather, I cry for help. v29 They think that I am a noisy animal. I sound like a dog or a bird.
v30 But my skin is dark because of my illness. My skin burns, because my body is too hot.
v31 And I do not still sing. Instead, I cry, like someone who sings sad songs at a funeral.
Job was suffering pain because of his illness. The pain reminded him of clothing that someone cannot remove. So the pain affected Job’s whole body. Soon, Job might be unable to breath. So Job would die. His friends would place his body in the mud of his grave. In the end, his body would become like dust.
Job accused God. God seemed so powerful. And Job was very weak. Job thought that God was using his great power to kill Job.
It seems strange to remember Job 2:3.
Job did not deserve these terrible troubles. Good people do not always have good lives.
Job spoke about the terrible illness that affected his skin. Job had painful spots over his whole body (Job 2:7). In these verses,
Job explained that his skin had become dark.
And it felt too hot.
Job called for help.
But the people did not want to help him.
His voice sounded like a noisy animal to them.
Formerly, Job played music. Then the sounds that he made were happy, like the sound of the children in Job 21:12.
But now the sounds that Job made were sad. He would cry because of his pain. He sounded like someone at a funeral.