Job 30 has Job down in the dumps again, having a pity party about how difficult his life is. He’s just gone through the story of his life calling out all the honor and power that God had entrusted to him. And now, the tables are turned. “But now they laugh at me, men who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock”. The youngsters laugh at him. The younger generations see no value in what he has done or knows. He’s an old man taking up space in their eyes.
It bothers Job. He is used to a very different stature in his community. “I have become their song; I am a byword to them. They abhor me; they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me”. It isn’t just the three friends that have written him off as wicked and useless. That attitude has spread and impacts all those in his patch. They no longer treat him with respect – they have cast off any restraint in his presence. They treat him like he isn’t even there.
Job laments his ongoing suffering and just how bad life really is. And he again calls on God and calls Him out for not responding. Life is bad. Job is crying for help. There is no apparent response. “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help”? He feels alone and all by himself. God’s not listening, or certainly not responding the way he expects. Job is waiting for the light to come, but all he seems to get is darkness and silence. He’s lonely and looking for God.
What do we do when it seems like God is not there? The old saying goes ‘if you don’t feel close to God, guess who moved’. Most often we will not have an experience like Job’s which was not based on Job moving away from God, but God having another motive and plan and going silent during this test and trial. Usually the approach to fixing the issue is to run back to God, with all the speed we can muster. It isn’t about how we feel, but what we know to be true. God is the source of all goodness, all wisdom, all grace and mercy. We need to run toward him with all we have!