Job Continues: My Life Has No Hope
7 “Has not man a hard service on earth,
and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?
Like a slave who longs for the shadow,
and like a hired hand who looks for his wages,
so I am allotted months of emptiness,
and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’
But the night is long,
and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt;
my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle
and come to their end without hope.
“Remember that my life is a breath;
my eye will never again see good.
The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
while your eyes are on me, I shall be gone.
As the cloud fades and vanishes,
so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up;
he returns no more to his house,
nor does his place know him anymore.
“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.
Am I the sea, or a sea monster,
that you set a guard over me?
When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
my couch will ease my complaint,’
then you scare me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,
so that I would choose strangling
and death rather than my bones.
I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him,
visit him every morning
and test him every moment?
How long will you not look away from me,
nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?
If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?
Why have you made me your mark?
Why have I become a burden to you?
Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in the earth;
you will seek me, but I shall not be.”
Job 7 Commentary
by Hank Workman
There is a strange phenomenon the older you get. It feels like time flies faster than it ever did. Like, it’s crazy actually. Years at times speed past. The seasons feel as soon as they arrive the next is on the heels. I am sure a large part of this could be our own hectic schedules and daily appointments or responsibilities that keep us driven where the days seem to have ended as soon as they begun. But it is the weirdest thing ever.
As Job continues his response to Eliphaz he touches on this.
There are a couple of interesting thoughts to ponder in what he speaks. In the first 6 verses, he refers to feeling like a servant, a hired hand, being in forced labor as one upon the earth. Each word is descriptive no doubt but what I found interesting is according to Adam Clarke, the term for laboring is descriptive of military service. As Clarke points out – the translation is the life of man is warfare on the earth. Putting it in an even easier thought – life is a battle. Job is making the claim he’s been drafted unwillingly to a battle he never signed up for.
How many times have we felt that way? We suddenly find ourselves in some situation we never wanted to be part of. And if it’s a battleground – goodness – it can be a very extended time. “I didn’t sign up for this!” we claim as we face the situation every single day. Where Job continues in his thought is how the days meld together and in the end he’s serving his time and well — as the years are flying quickly past, he’s not seeing much good.
I believe it’s too easy to get in this mindset. I know I can struggle with it from time to time. The reality is our life is a battlefield. We are in a war not between political factions and uprising but a war for our soul from the god of this earth and Prince of Peace. We need our perspective. Oh yes, there are times life seems futile. Same thing different day. But there is purpose to be found in our lives in particular if we are under the Commander in Chief of Jesus Christ.
We have but one life. One. The moment we are in today will never be given again. How are you making the best of your situation? How are you relying on Jesus as your Rock, even in the turmoil. Catastrophes come and go at times within our lives. Job knew this firsthand. And yes, we are reading of his struggle through it – but as we know, the end result of the book, He circles back to God and trusts Him.
So where will you be left standing today as it comes to a close? Will you be able to look back and believe you responded the best way possible to what you faced? Will you buckle up for the battle and be prepared for whatever comes your way? Living life in a mediocre ‘come what may’ attitude does not do anything. Well, actually it does as we settle into the futility of life itself. Through whatever you face, rely on the sovereignty of God and dig deep into His purpose and strength. You have but one life. Our life is but a breath.
Job 7 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Job now turns his attention to God. He is fully convinced that he will die soon, and the only option he has is to convince God not to prolong his suffering, but to speed up the process. The attitude and posture of Job begins to turn in this chapter as he is working through accepting his circumstances instead of offering unrealistic solutions. In a strange way, Job is reaching out to God for reconciliation in his unbearable condition. He has reached a turning point.
The vivid detail of Job’s suffering is unbelievable. He seeks his bed and couch for just a moment of relief but is awakened with frightening dreams that are “sent by God.” The phrase in verse 15 conveys he is struggling to catch his breath. Many have speculated he was describing seizures that overtook his body, which he preferred would have strangled him to death. He can find no relief, either by day or by night.
There are even maggots breeding in his skin sores! This is why he asks God if He will ever look away from him long enough to simply swallow.
With every attempt to make sense of his situation, Job’s affliction interrupts his thoughts. He cannot escape the nightmare of his reality. The faith he has in God is the foundation for his wrestling because it challenges everything he has believed.
On one hand, he knows God is in control and over this suffering, but on the other hand, he cannot fathom the meaning and purpose behind all of it. Have you ever been there? Are you there right now?
Look, if Job didn’t have faith, he would not address or even plead with God. He would slander God and probably take his own life. If, indeed, the Lord has forgotten him and is not a good and loving Father, Job would have no reason to persevere. The fact that he is searching and wrestling shows his deep commitment to the sovereignty of the Lord. He is determined to uncover the truth. He believes deep in his heart that there must be a purpose behind all this.
Overall, Job’s speech here is far more optimistic than his opening rant from Chapter 3. He is actually considering being free from his relief here in Job 7 rather than just ceasing to exist. This is the process we all go through when we face something that we do not understand. He hope and we trust because we believe there is more than what we can see on the surface.
We live in a horrible world with challenges every single day. Initially, when we are personally affected, we are drawn to self-pity. As we work through some of that with the Lord and seek Him in our darkest moments, we begin to find peace and comfort in the Lord. For those of us today, we have the ultimate comforter in the Holy Spirit who affirms that no matter what happens in this life, the shed blood of Jesus covers all.