Job
Introduction 1-10 If Only I Had Never Been Born! 11-19 If Only I Had Died as a Baby! 20-26 What Is the Sense of an Existence Like Mine?
Introduction

This is where the largest, and in many ways, most complicated part of the book begins. It contains a large number of arguments, charges, accusations, imputations, denials, partly correct theories, philosophies and theology. Here we see a ray of faith and hope. Everything that is said happens in beautiful poetic language, often using beautiful oriental imagery. This is in contrast to the beginning of the book (Job 1-2) and its end (Job 42:7-177It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.8Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you [according to your] folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”9So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite [and] Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job.10The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.11Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold.12The LORD blessed the latter [days] of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.13He had seven sons and three daughters.14He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch.15In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers.16After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations.17And Job died, an old man and full of days.). Both parts are written as poetry, narration.

Job’s complaint in this chapter is the beginning of this large section. We can divide this chapter into three more or less equal parts:
1. Job curses his birthday (verses 1-101Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his [birth].2And Job said,
3“Let the day perish on which I was to be born,
And the night [which] said, ‘A boy is conceived.’
4“May that day be darkness;
Let not God above care for it,
Nor light shine on it.
5“Let darkness and black gloom claim it;
Let a cloud settle on it;
Let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6“[As for] that night, let darkness seize it;
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
Let it not come into the number of the months.
7“Behold, let that night be barren;
Let no joyful shout enter it.
8“Let those curse it who curse the day,
Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
9“Let the stars of its twilight be darkened;
Let it wait for light but have none,
And let it not see the breaking dawn;
10Because it did not shut the opening of my [mother’s] womb,
Or hide trouble from my eyes.
);
2. Job curses that he be kept alive as a baby (verses 11-1911“Why did I not die at birth,
Come forth from the womb and expire?
12“Why did the knees receive me,
And why the breasts, that I should suck?
13“For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
14With kings and [with] counselors of the earth,
Who rebuilt ruins for themselves;
15Or with princes who had gold,
Who were filling their houses [with] silver.
16“Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be,
As infants that never saw light.
17“There the wicked cease from raging,
And there the weary are at rest.
18“The prisoners are at ease together;
They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
19“The small and the great are there,
And the slave is free from his master.
);
3. Job curses the fact that he must continue to live (verses 20-2620“Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,
21Who long for death, but there is none,
And dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22Who rejoice greatly,
[And] exult when they find the grave?
23“[Why is light given] to a man whose way is hidden,
And whom God has hedged in?
24“For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries pour out like water.
25“For what I fear comes upon me,
And what I dread befalls me.
26“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”
).


If Only I Had Never Been Born!

1Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his [birth]. 2And Job said,
3“Let the day perish on which I was to be born,
And the night [which] said, ‘A boy is conceived.’
4“May that day be darkness;
Let not God above care for it,
Nor light shine on it.
5“Let darkness and black gloom claim it;
Let a cloud settle on it;
Let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6“[As for] that night, let darkness seize it;
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
Let it not come into the number of the months.
7“Behold, let that night be barren;
Let no joyful shout enter it.
8“Let those curse it who curse the day,
Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
9“Let the stars of its twilight be darkened;
Let it wait for light but have none,
And let it not see the breaking dawn;
10Because it did not shut the opening of my [mother’s] womb,
Or hide trouble from my eyes.

“Afterward” (verse 11Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his [birth].) means after all the preceding days and events, up to and including the past seven days, that his friends sit with him silently. But during the silence the thoughts do not stand still. That appears when Job and then the friends open their mouths.

Job’s patience has run out, he can no longer remain silent. He sees no hope of enlightenment or consolation in his fate. He can no longer stand it and collapses. His first words are words of curse. This curse concerns the day of his birth (cf. Jer 20:14-1814Cursed be the day when I was born;
Let the day not be blessed when my mother bore me!
15Cursed be the man who brought the news
To my father, saying,
“A baby boy has been born to you!”
[And] made him very happy.
16But let that man be like the cities
Which the LORD overthrew without relenting,
And let him hear an outcry in the morning
And a shout of alarm at noon;
17Because he did not kill me before birth,
So that my mother would have been my grave,
And her womb ever pregnant.
18Why did I ever come forth from the womb
To look on trouble and sorrow,
So that my days have been spent in shame?
). His curse does not concern God! He does not curse God, but holds on to Him all through everything. He who wrestles with someone is at the same time very closely connected to such a person (cf. Gen 32:2424Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.). He who struggles with someone does not want to get rid of him, but wants to overcome him.

It is more often the case that a person endures a great trial, but collapses when, over time, the pain of the situation begins to penetrate. Especially overwhelming events sometimes give a superhuman strength to endure the shock. But when silence comes after the shocking events, the struggle often comes too.

Job is the first to break the silence (verse 22And Job said,
). He takes the floor to give an answer to the situation in which he has ended up. The spiritual tone of Job’s life changes dramatically here. The man of patience and faith sinks into a state of despair and spiritual depression. This is a situation that is so often the main problem for those who have to endure severe and prolonged physical illness or weakness.

It is conceivable that the change in Job’s behavior is the result of a change of thoughts about God. The word ‘God’ is here for the first time the singular Eloah instead of the common Elohim (God in the plural). This shows the question marks that Job has here about God. First Job saw Him as the good Director and Controller of the elements. But it seems that as the trial continued, Job began to doubt God’s righteousness and goodness.

It feels to him as if he is in the hands of a judiciary that makes him suffer for what he has not done, without a way to escape. This makes him desperate, and that is why he wishes he had never been born. The only one who has ever been declared that it was better if he had not been born – and that by the Lord Jesus Himself – is Judas, the traitor of the Lord (Mt 26:24-2524The Son of Man [is to] go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”25And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus *said to him, “You have said [it] yourself.”).

As long as his suffering is external or physical, Job is calm; but when doubts about God enter his heart, he collapses. Nevertheless, satan does not triumph here either, for never does Job curse God. He curses the day of his birth, but not God. He continues to hope on God, no matter how much he despairs because of what God has done to him (Job 13:15a15“Though He slay me,
I will hope in Him.
Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.
).

This chapter is a source of consolation for those who are similarly tested when they see that even a great man like Job can have such a struggle with faith. God prefers that we speak frankly to Him, even in moments of deepest somberness, rather than express ourselves in vague clichés that are far removed from reality.

We must also consider the following. In Job we have an example of unprecedented suffering, and we can take comfort from his history when something bad happens to us. Job did not have such an example. He had to settle it all by himself with God. That aspect also makes him unique.

Only the Lord Jesus rises above Job. He has gone through all the suffering that can afflict any human being. He has never been rebellious in this, for He entrusted everything to Him Who judges righteously (1Pet 2:2323and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting [Himself] to Him who judges righteously;). On top of that, He has also been in a suffering that could only afflict Him and that is the substituting suffering because of sin.

In a terrible complaint Job pours out his heart over his birth (verse 33“Let the day perish on which I was to be born,
And the night [which] said, ‘A boy is conceived.’
). It is a wild outburst of a stuffed-up and unstoppable stream of feelings. The bomb bursts. He wishes that he had not been born, or even better, he wishes that that day and that moment had not existed at all. The day that is a day of remembrance every year must disappear from the calendar. It must become a day that never existed, because there is no joy attached to that day, but deep misery. In addition to the day he was born, he also mentions the night nine months before, when he was conceived. This will be worked out later in verses 6-96“[As for] that night, let darkness seize it;
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
Let it not come into the number of the months.
7“Behold, let that night be barren;
Let no joyful shout enter it.
8“Let those curse it who curse the day,
Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
9“Let the stars of its twilight be darkened;
Let it wait for light but have none,
And let it not see the breaking dawn;
.

That day must be a dark place on the calendar (verse 44“May that day be darkness;
Let not God above care for it,
Nor light shine on it.
). No man should be able to discover it. And God, for Whom the darkness is light as the day, should not ask for it. Nor should He concern Himself with it from His exalted abode, as Job seems to suggest to Him. That day must disappear into the darkness as if he never existed. No ray of light must fall on it, for there is no ray of light connected with that day. We can also think of the darkness in Genesis 1 when God began the creation of light (Gen 1:33Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.). With this, Job wants to ask God to reverse the act of creation of his birth.

That day may be claimed by the darkness and shadow of death (verse 55“Let darkness and black gloom claim it;
Let a cloud settle on it;
Let the blackness of the day terrify it.
). This is where his day of birth belongs and not in the land of light and life. The sun must not shine over it; that is why Job wishes there to be clouds settle on that day. That day is presented as a person who is frightened by sudden eclipses.

But the night must also be taken away by darkness (verse 66“[As for] that night, let darkness seize it;
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
Let it not come into the number of the months.
) – the shadow of death (Job 10:21-2221Before I go—and I shall not return—
To the land of darkness and deep shadow,
22The land of utter gloom as darkness [itself],
Of deep shadow without order,
And which shines as the darkness.”
). The night must remain night and not see daylight. The joy of the daylight of its birth is undesirable and inappropriate. There is no reason to rejoice at his birth. That night must remain barren and not be united with the daylight of life; that day must disappear from the days of the month.

The night of his conception must be barren (verse 77“Behold, let that night be barren;
Let no joyful shout enter it.
). The joyful chanting of his birth, “a boy is conceived” (cf. verse 33“Let the day perish on which I was to be born,
And the night [which] said, ‘A boy is conceived.’
) – to which greater expressions of joy were attached than to the birth of a girl – is completely out of place. The expressions of joy must be silent, for there is no reason to be cheerful about the birth of someone who has been struck by such terrible disasters without any cause.

The day of his birth is so terrible for him, that he not only pronounces the curse on it himself, but also calls upon all those who can curse that day, who have made it their profession, such as a Balaam (verse 88“Let those curse it who curse the day,
Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
; Num 22:5-65So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, [in] the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me.6Now, therefore, please come, curse this people for me since they are too mighty for me; perhaps I may be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”). A believer should not seek the help of a conjurer. But we must imagine here that Job’s need is so great that he would, so to speak, accept the help of conjurers.

These conjurers are described as those who are able to awaken the Leviathan. This Leviathan, a destructive sea monster (Isa 27:11In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
With His fierce and great and mighty sword,
Even Leviathan the twisted serpent;
And He will kill the dragon who [lives] in the sea.
), could then disrupt creation in such a way that the night of Job’s conception and the day of Job’s birth would be nullified.

Not even the twilight of the stars should be seen, for all that is fitting for that day is utter darkness (verse 99“Let the stars of its twilight be darkened;
Let it wait for light but have none,
And let it not see the breaking dawn;
). Therefore the twilight of the stars, which does not make it completely dark after all, must be eclipsed. The night may wait for the light, but it will not come. In beautiful language Job speaks of the dawning of a new day as the opening of “the eyelids of dawn”, as it is literally. By this he can also mean the newborn life that opens its eyes to a new world.

Job was born because the womb did not remain closed, because the doors of the womb in which he was, opened (verse 1010Because it did not shut the opening of my [mother’s] womb,
Or hide trouble from my eyes.
). That is why it has come so far that the troubles in which he now finds himself have not remained hidden from his eyes, but must now be seen by him. He no longer sees life as a gift of God and in relation to Him, but now measures the value of his life according to the misery in which he finds himself.


If Only I Had Died as a Baby!

11“Why did I not die at birth,
Come forth from the womb and expire?
12“Why did the knees receive me,
And why the breasts, that I should suck?
13“For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
14With kings and [with] counselors of the earth,
Who rebuilt ruins for themselves;
15Or with princes who had gold,
Who were filling their houses [with] silver.
16“Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be,
As infants that never saw light.
17“There the wicked cease from raging,
And there the weary are at rest.
18“The prisoners are at ease together;
They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
19“The small and the great are there,
And the slave is free from his master.

In verse 1111“Why did I not die at birth,
Come forth from the womb and expire?
Job asks God the first “why” question. More ‘why’ questions follow (Job 3:12,2012“Why did the knees receive me,
And why the breasts, that I should suck?
20“Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,
; 7:20,2120“Have I sinned? What have I done to You,
O watcher of men?
Why have You set me as Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?
21“Why then do You not pardon my transgression
And take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust;
And You will seek me, but I will not be.”
; 10:1818‘Why then have You brought me out of the womb?
Would that I had died and no eye had seen me!
; 13:14,2414“Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
And put my life in my hands?
24“Why do You hide Your face
And consider me Your enemy?
; 21:77“Why do the wicked [still] live,
Continue on, also become very powerful?
; 24:11“Why are times not stored up by the Almighty,
And why do those who know Him not see His days?
). To none of them does God answer Job, for He is God. But He doesn’t blame Job for it either.

God already sees the time as present that all ‘why’ questions have turned into praise. Then Job, and we, will see that every day, the happy and the sad, was there because He wanted it. And His will is good. Then we will praise Him retrospectively, as it were, for every day that has been given to us on earth.

In verses 1-101Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his [birth].2And Job said,
3“Let the day perish on which I was to be born,
And the night [which] said, ‘A boy is conceived.’
4“May that day be darkness;
Let not God above care for it,
Nor light shine on it.
5“Let darkness and black gloom claim it;
Let a cloud settle on it;
Let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6“[As for] that night, let darkness seize it;
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
Let it not come into the number of the months.
7“Behold, let that night be barren;
Let no joyful shout enter it.
8“Let those curse it who curse the day,
Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
9“Let the stars of its twilight be darkened;
Let it wait for light but have none,
And let it not see the breaking dawn;
10Because it did not shut the opening of my [mother’s] womb,
Or hide trouble from my eyes.
Job has cursed his day of birth. However, He could not prevent his birth. “But,” he exclaims, “why did I not die immediately at my birth instead of giving me the spirit when I came out of the womb?” (cf. Gen 49:3333When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.). Any love service after his birth, the care given to the infant Job, he sees as a cruel act.

Job abhors the lovely sight of a mother who lovingly takes a newborn child to her knees and gives him the breast (verse 1212“Why did the knees receive me,
And why the breasts, that I should suck?
). Those knees or the womb on which he was laid and pampered and by which he was carried (Gen 50:2323Joseph saw the third generation of Ephraim’s sons; also the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph’s knees.; Isa 66:1212For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river,
And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees.
) and the breasts that fed him have caused him so much misery now. Had they not done so, he would at least have died.

Job prefers death to life. Compared to his present existence, death is an enviable fate for him. To describe the benefit of this situation he uses four expressions (verse 1313“For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
). He would
“lay down”
“be quiet
“sleep”
“be at rest.”

“Laying down” gives the thought of beneficent rest. “Be quiet” means not to be in trouble or to be afraid of them coming. “Sleep” is not only silence, but also not being aware that there might be danger somewhere. He would then “be at rest” instead of experiencing the present misery.

He sees the realm of the dead as a dwelling place where he is together with kings and counselors who were so powerful that they rebuilt cities to keep their names alive (verse 1414With kings and [with] counselors of the earth,
Who rebuilt ruins for themselves;
). He also sees himself together with princes, people who had succeeded in life and who had gold and abundance of silver (verse 1515Or with princes who had gold,
Who were filling their houses [with] silver.
).

Another option is that he would not be there as a miscarriage, as a small child which never saw the light of day (verse 1616“Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be,
As infants that never saw light.
; Ecc 6:3-53If a man fathers a hundred [children] and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a [proper] burial, [then] I say, “Better the miscarriage than he,4for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity.5It never sees the sun and it never knows [anything]; it is better off than he.; Psa 58:88[Let them be] as a snail which melts away as it goes along,
[Like] the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun.
). In any case, there is rest in the realm of the dead, both for the wicked and for those who are exhausted (verse 1717“There the wicked cease from raging,
And there the weary are at rest.
). There is also rest for the prisoners there (verse 1818“The prisoners are at ease together;
They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
). They no longer have to do forced labor. They don’t hear the voice of the slave-driver there. In the realm of the dead there is no distinction between large and small, old and young, considerable and despised (verse 1919“The small and the great are there,
And the slave is free from his master.
). Also the slave is free.

For Job the kingdom of the dead is the liberation from all misery, unrest and bondage. But Job seeks in death what only God can give. What Job says of the realm of the dead in these verses, is only so externally. The Lord Jesus shows how it really is and that there is a distinction between believers and unbelievers in the realm of the dead (cf. Lk 16:22-2322Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.23In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.).


What Is the Sense of an Existence Like Mine?

20“Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,
21Who long for death, but there is none,
And dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22Who rejoice greatly,
[And] exult when they find the grave?
23“[Why is light given] to a man whose way is hidden,
And whom God has hedged in?
24“For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries pour out like water.
25“For what I fear comes upon me,
And what I dread befalls me.
26“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”

Job cannot erase the day of his birth (verses 1-101Afterward Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his [birth].2And Job said,
3“Let the day perish on which I was to be born,
And the night [which] said, ‘A boy is conceived.’
4“May that day be darkness;
Let not God above care for it,
Nor light shine on it.
5“Let darkness and black gloom claim it;
Let a cloud settle on it;
Let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6“[As for] that night, let darkness seize it;
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
Let it not come into the number of the months.
7“Behold, let that night be barren;
Let no joyful shout enter it.
8“Let those curse it who curse the day,
Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
9“Let the stars of its twilight be darkened;
Let it wait for light but have none,
And let it not see the breaking dawn;
10Because it did not shut the opening of my [mother’s] womb,
Or hide trouble from my eyes.
) or undo his birth (verses 11-1911“Why did I not die at birth,
Come forth from the womb and expire?
12“Why did the knees receive me,
And why the breasts, that I should suck?
13“For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
14With kings and [with] counselors of the earth,
Who rebuilt ruins for themselves;
15Or with princes who had gold,
Who were filling their houses [with] silver.
16“Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be,
As infants that never saw light.
17“There the wicked cease from raging,
And there the weary are at rest.
18“The prisoners are at ease together;
They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
19“The small and the great are there,
And the slave is free from his master.
). Then the question remains as to what further sense his life has, now that he is in such misery. He wonders why God leaves people alive who prefer to die. This is what the verses 20-2620“Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,
21Who long for death, but there is none,
And dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
22Who rejoice greatly,
[And] exult when they find the grave?
23“[Why is light given] to a man whose way is hidden,
And whom God has hedged in?
24“For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries pour out like water.
25“For what I fear comes upon me,
And what I dread befalls me.
26“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”
are about. Such a question probably didn’t occur to him when he was in prosperity. He measures the value of his life according to his circumstances, not to God’s intention. Don’t we do that often?

Job is a wretched man and counts himself among those who are “bitter of soul” (verse 2020“Why is light given to him who suffers,
And life to the bitter of soul,
). He speaks in plural. It is a category of people longing for death (verse 2121Who long for death, but there is none,
And dig for it more than for hidden treasures,
). For them death is the end of all their bodily suffering and all the bitterness of their souls. But death does not show itself.

Then they will look for death, searching for it, that is to say, searching for it with the greatest possible effort, for they are eager to find it. They will search for it with even more zeal than they would search for hidden treasures. Even if they were to find so much hidden treasure, they know that the greatest treasure cannot deliver them from their suffering and bitterness. According to them, only death can do that. That’s why they are happy “rejoice greatly and exult when they find the grave” (verse 2222Who rejoice greatly,
[And] exult when they find the grave?
). Then they finally have peace.

Job does not see how his path will be able to continue (verse 2323“[Why is light given] to a man whose way is hidden,
And whom God has hedged in?
). Despairingly, he asks why God gives the light of life to someone who doesn’t know how to go on, what path to take. In all his struggles there is nothing to detect an indication that he wants to take his life into his own hands and commit suicide. That was not an option for Job. Suicide means that all hope and sight of God is lost. That is not the case with Job. On the contrary, he is engaged in a passionate conversation with God, that is to say, he expresses everything that is in his heart of incomprehension about what God has allowed to happen to him.

Job even blames God for obstructing him in every way (cf. Lam 3:99He has blocked my ways with hewn stone;
He has made my paths crooked.
). For Job it is as if God, Who first protected him and his possessions from all sides and thus shielded him from all evil (Job 1:1010Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.), now places him in the midst of all evil and hedged him in in such a way that he cannot escape, gives him no way out (cf. Lam 3:2-72He has driven me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
3Surely against me He has turned His hand
Repeatedly all the day.
4He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away,
He has broken my bones.
5He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship.
6In dark places He has made me dwell,
Like those who have long been dead.
7He has walled me in so that I cannot go out;
He has made my chain heavy.
). If we find ourselves in such a situation and do not see a way out, God wants to focus our gaze on the only way out that always remains: the way up (2Cor 4:8b8[we are] afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;).

For Job, God is the causer of the evil that has afflicted him, not satan. Nowhere does Job speak of satan as the author of his disasters. He has not, like us, looked behind the scenes and does not know about the actions of satan. He doesn’t think about the possibility of that. He only thinks of God, also in his further struggle. This is a hallmark of true godliness.

He knows that God gave him food (verse 2424“For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries pour out like water.
). There is nothing left of that. Everything has been taken away from him. The only thing that gives him any relief is groaning. Nor does he have water. His lamentation has taken its place. It also indicates that the pains go over him like a never-ending stream.

In verse 2525“For what I fear comes upon me,
And what I dread befalls me.
we see that Job, during all the prosperity he enjoyed, was also plagued by the fear that his prosperity would one day be taken away. He was afraid of disaster. A great number of catastrophes have come upon him in all their ferocity. In his prosperity Job already had no peace and security. And now he has none at all (verse 2626“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”
). The silence has disappeared. Already he was not at all calm, but now the inner turmoil has come to pass to the full, and has taken on such great proportions that it has driven him to despair.


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