Welcome to week 4 of the Question and Answer Series - a journey into Job. This week we're beginning to look at chapter seven. Job is still responding to Eliphaz's statements and accusations from chapters four and five.
The remainder of chapter six Job talked about how he thought his friends should be more loyal. He lamented
that their support had disappeared like wadis, which are unreliable desert storms. He wants understanding from his friends, not the injustice he feels he's being subjected to. At the end of the chapter he challenged them to tell him what he did wrong. (Side note: Inside I want to scream "Yes Job! You tell 'em!")
Chapter seven begins with Job lamenting his life. He says he's suffered for months like someone in a hard labor camp. He has no joy and no hope of joy (7:6-7) Job is in a dark place. And then it gets a little darker.
"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." Job 7:11 (CSB)
Oh Job. I get where he is. He's feeling defeated and devoid of joy. Anybody else been there? My original intention was to use Philippians 2:14-15 as a response. "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world" ~ Philippians 2:14-15 And this is true. We should not just complain. But in context, the Philippians verses means be mindful of your complaining so that you will not miss out on being a shining example of Christ to those who are not believers. In Job's case, he was pouring out his heart to God. He was telling God of his despair, anguish and bitterness. So my response is one of agreement.
"If you are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now if I have found favor with you, and don't let me see my misery anymore." ~ Numbers 11:15 (CSB)
These were the words of Moses, spoken directly to God. Moses was angry at the people for complaining about wanting meat. God had provided manna so they would have food, but they were not satisfied. God was angry. Moses was angry. It was a mess. The Israelites were forever complaining and Moses had had enough. I'll share the beginning part of his "rant".
“Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. (Number 11:11-14, CSB)
God did not get angry with Moses or strike him down. Instead, God offered Moses a solution to the burden of "carrying" the complaining, whining people. So, if Moses could complain to God, why not Job? Job's circumstances were more personally devastating. I understand him speaking to God from the truth he was living. It's not like God didn't already know these things anyway. I think we can also pour out our hearts to God, even when what's in there is not joyful. He's not surprised. And He can handle it. I would just leave us with this. Pour out both your heart and your praise. Yes, tell Him what ails you. But then praise Him for who He is and all He's ever done for you.