Job Continues: A Plea to God
10 “I loathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
let me know why you contend against me.
Does it seem good to you to oppress,
to despise the work of your hands
and favor the designs of the wicked?
Have you eyes of flesh?
Do you see as man sees?
Are your days as the days of man,
or your years as a man’s years,
that you seek out my iniquity
and search for my sin,
although you know that I am not guilty,
and there is none to deliver out of your hand?
Your hands fashioned and made me,
and now you have destroyed me altogether.
Remember that you have made me like clay;
and will you return me to the dust?
Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese?
You clothed me with skin and flesh,
and knit me together with bones and sinews.
You have granted me life and steadfast love,
and your care has preserved my spirit.
Yet these things you hid in your heart;
I know that this was your purpose.
If I sin, you watch me
and do not acquit me of my iniquity.
If I am guilty, woe to me!
If I am in the right, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
and look on my affliction.
And were my head lifted up, you would hunt me like a lion
and again work wonders against me.
You renew your witnesses against me
and increase your vexation toward me;
you bring fresh troops against me.
“Why did you bring me out from the womb?
Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
and were as though I had not been,
carried from the womb to the grave.
Are not my days few?
Then cease, and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer
before I go—and I shall not return—
to the land of darkness and deep shadow,
the land of gloom like thick darkness,
like deep shadow without any order,
where light is as thick darkness.”
Job 10 Commentary
by Hank Workman
They stand in a Hall of Fame recorded within Scripture. Being inducted to such a well known place though is not something I would want. However if we’re honest with ourselves, we all are probably up for placement there from time to time; the difference is our stories are not recorded in black and white for all to read. The rank of people includes Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, the entire nation of Israel and as we’ve been reading, Job. These are the people who have suffered personally or have undergone tremendous hardship and have deflected to self-pity.
Job turns toward this destructive emotion in today’s passage. This attitude is a selfish mindset that sweeps in upon us when we are having struggles and hardships. It’s playing the victim card over and over again. It’s an exaggerated indulgent pity over our circumstance or placement in life. There is no doubt we all have times we deflect to this.
Although it becomes a personal defense mechanism that can help us later when we’ve wrestled through it – it also can become a habit. And if we get stuck there it not only will halt our progress in life personally, it puts a strain on our relationship with God, other people and if not dealt with properly can become a self-sabotage move in many situations. In an overview it simply can stunt our growth.
I read an article by a person who struggles with it. She lined out some points that speak toward our deflection to the attitude. If these are in our mindset we may indeed give way to its destruction.
- You crave drama.
- You find it hard to laugh at yourself.
- You crave sympathy.
- You separate yourself often from others.
- You live in the past.
- You struggle with low self-esteem.
- Deep down you don’t believe you’re worthy of love.
- You are self-absorbed.
- Subconsciously you feel guilty about everything.
There is no doubt Job has had tremendous loss and devastation. His pain has lured him toward feeling sorry for himself. It’s normal. We all do it. But staying stuck there can avoid our own personal responsibility in whatever matter we’re doing this with or can cause us to avoid action.
It’s been labeled one of the most dangerous emotions and indeed it certainly can fit that bill. This is where as Believer’s we need to continually work through these feelings with the Holy Spirit’s help. This is where we must dig deep down into Him, praying consistently for His strength for whatever situation we are battling.
The reality is a person who wallows in self-pity is not very attractive. When we are operating in this emotion we turn others off those who would maybe be key to helping us through it. I believe we need strong accountability on this issue as well. As we deflect to this natural but dangerous emotion, unless we have people who will call us out on it, we will not grow through it.
As I recognize I can go through these same feelings, I’ve invited someone in who can call me out. I’ve been honest with myself and them of this being a defense mechanism. And believe me, they do ask me about this attitude when it begins showing itself. Do I like it? Absolutely not. But I would rather grow through this fault than wallow in it.
Step back and look at your own reactions to things. Do you give way toward self-pity more often than not? Address the issue head on. Admit this emotions control to God and ask Him to help you work through it. Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you. Bring someone who is a straight shooter, who you respect and are willing to honestly open yourself up to so they can draw you into accountability. God has called us to grow through all things into more of His likeness.
Stop calling the Wah-bulance and take whatever steps necessary to gain a foothold over this killer of emotion that is affecting many things in your life.
Job 10 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Job’s attitude takes a turn in this chapter. When I read these passages I picture a courtroom scene. God is the prosecution and Job is the defense. Job is complaining that since the prosecution has brought no evidence against him, he has a right to demand a resolution. And so his language in this chapter seems very defensive. He begins to grill the prosecution (God) on what charges are against him.
I will say to God: “Do not declare me guilty! Let me know why You prosecute me.Job 10:2 HCSB
At this point, it’s almost as if Job would prefer God just do something. Condemn me and kill me, or acquit me and restore me. It’s an “all or nothing” attitude.
Interestingly, in a somewhat peculiar way, Job is asking God for a mediator.
Do You have eyes of flesh, or do You see as a human sees? 5 Are Your days like those of a human, or Your years like those of a man, 6 that You look for my wrongdoing and search for my sin, 7 even though You know that I am not wicked and that there is no one who can deliver from Your hand?Job 10:4-7 HCSB
I find this so fascinating because the problem Job seeks is what all humanity seeks. We need a deliverer. We wish for someone who can reveal God in the flesh. This is not uncommon today. People want to know who could possibly bridge the gap between us and God! The good news is, we have a mediator in Jesus Christ who became our deliverer. In a way, I feel this is exactly what Job in longing for. Essentially, Job is saying, “If your ways are so much bigger than me, then who in the world can help to mediate my current condition and your mysterious sovereignty?”
Jesus Christ came to mediate a relationship between us and God. He died so that we could approach the Father in righteousness and bear His image on Earth. Without Jesus, we have no business approaching God in our sinful state. I am so thankful for His sacrifice.