Job 6

Job 6 has his reply to his friend Eliphaz.  It is a bit of a complaining rant – so we know Job is human.  Eliphaz has been calling him to repent of his sin, but Job focuses on the depth of his suffering knowing that what Eliphaz has been saying is not true.  Job admits he had come close to cursing God – “my words have been rash” referring to his rant back in chapter 3.  But he explains that it was because of the heaviness of his suffering and grief.  He’s had a rough time.

Job begins his response with the picture of God shooting arrows at him.  “For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me”.  The suffering was much like this as it came upon him swiftly and suddenly without warning.  They wounded him deeply.  So deeply that Job longs to escape through death.  He never seems to contemplate suicide but certainly wishes God would end his life.  “Oh that I might have my request, and that God would fulfill my hope, 9 that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off”!  He pleads that God might simply launch more arrows and end his life

Job teaches us that it is ok to be real with God.  While his situation is difficult, his response can bring us some comfort for the simple reason that we learn it is allowable to feel and express rage in front of God.  We don’t have to hold it all in and pretend life is ‘fine’.  He also teaches us how to relate to those around us when times are tough.  “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty”.  Job accuses Eliphaz of not being kind in the midst of his circumstances, but rather being an unreliable friend that will vanish like the snow when spring comes.

Job comes to tell his friends the reality that they offered no real help.  All he wanted from them were words of comfort and instead he got a week of silence and then a lecture which was based on lies from the enemy.  He makes it clear he never asked for money or deliverance by his friends, just some comfort.  Job challenges the words of Eliphaz and presses hard on his accusations.  He throws some insults at his friends and we certainly see the gravity of his suffering driving their relationships to the edge.

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