Job complains of his hardships. (1-7) He pleads with God as his Maker. (8-13) He complains of God's severity. (14-22)
Verses 1-7 Job, being weary of his life, resolves to complain, but he will not charge God with unrighteousness. Here is a prayer that he might be delivered from the sting of his afflictions, which is sin. When God afflicts us, he contends with us; when he contends with us, there is always a reason; and it is desirable to know the reason, that we may repent of and forsake the sin for which God has a controversy with us. But when, like Job, we speak in the bitterness of our souls, we increase guilt and vexation. Let us harbour no hard thoughts of God; we shall hereafter see there was no cause for them. Job is sure that God does not discover things, nor judge of them, as men do; therefore he thinks it strange that God continues him under affliction, as if he must take time to inquire into his sin.
Verses 8-13 Job seems to argue with God, as if he only formed and preserved him for misery. God made us, not we ourselves. How sad that those bodies should be instruments of unrighteousness, which are capable of being temples of the Holy Ghost! But the soul is the life, the soul is the man, and this is the gift of God. If we plead with ourselves as an inducement to duty, God made me and maintains me, we may plead as an argument for mercy, Thou hast made me, do thou new-make me; I am thine, save me.
Verses 14-22 Job did not deny that as a sinner he deserved his sufferings; but he thought that justice was executed upon him with peculiar rigour. His gloom, unbelief, and hard thoughts of God, were as much to be ascribed to Satan's inward temptations, and his anguish of soul, under the sense of God's displeasure, as to his outward trials, and remaining depravity. Our Creator, become in Christ our Redeemer also, will not destroy the work of his hands in any humble believer; but will renew him unto holiness, that he may enjoy eternal life. If anguish on earth renders the grave a desirable refuge, what will be their condition who are condemned to the blackness of darkness for ever? Let every sinner seek deliverance from that dreadful state, and every believer be thankful to Jesus, who delivereth from the wrath to come.
Job 10:1-22 . JOB'S REPLY TO BILDAD CONTINUED.
1. leave my complaint upon myself--rather, "I will give loose to my complaint" ( Job 7:11 ).
2. show me, &c.--Do not, by virtue of Thy mere sovereignty, treat me as guilty without showing me the reasons.
3. Job is unwilling to think God can have pleasure in using His power to "oppress" the weak, and to treat man, the work of His own hands, as of no value ( Job 10:8 , Psalms 138:8 ).
shine upon--favor with prosperity ( Psalms 50:2 ).
4-6. Dost Thou see as feebly as man? that is, with the same uncharitable eye, as, for instance, Job's friends? Is Thy time as short? Impossible! Yet one might think, from the rapid succession of Thy strokes, that Thou hadst no time to spare in overwhelming me.
7. "Although Thou (the Omniscient) knowest," &c. (connected with Job 10:6 ), "Thou searchest after my sin."
and . . . that none that can deliver out of thine hand--Therefore Thou hast no need to deal with me with the rapid violence which man would use (see Job 10:6 ).
8. Made--with pains; implying a work of difficulty and art; applying to God language applicable only to man.
together round about--implying that the human body is a complete unity, the parts of which on all sides will bear the closest scrutiny.
9. clay-- Job 10:10 proves that the reference here is, not so much to the perishable nature of the materials, as to their wonderful fashioning by the divine potter.
10. In the organization of the body from its rude commencements, the original liquid gradually assumes a more solid consistency, like milk curdling into cheese ( Psalms 139:15 Psalms 139:16 ). Science reveals that the chyle circulated by the lacteal vessels is the supply to every organ.
11. fenced--or "inlaid" ( Psalms 139:15 ); "curiously wrought" [UMBREIT]. In the foetus the skin appears first, then the flesh, then the harder parts.
12. visitation--Thy watchful Providence.
13. is with thee--was Thy purpose. All God's dealings with Job in his creation, preservation, and present afflictions were part of His secret counsel ( Psalms 139:16 , Acts 15:18 , Ecclesiastes 3:11 ).
14, 15. Job is perplexed because God "marks" every sin of his with such ceaseless rigor. Whether "wicked" (godless and a hypocrite) or "righteous" (comparatively sincere), God condemns and punishes alike.
15. lift up my head--in conscious innocence ( Psalms 3:3 ).
see thou--rather, "and seeing I see (I too well see) mine affliction," (which seems to prove me guilty) [UMBREIT].
16. increaseth--rather, "(if) I lift up (my head) Thou wouldest hunt me," &c. [UMBREIT].
and again--as if a lion should not kill his prey at once, but come back and torture it again.
17. witnesses--His accumulated trials were like a succession of witnesses brought up in proof of his guilt, to wear out the accused.
changes and war--rather, "(thou settest in array) against me host after host" (literally, "changes and a host," that is, a succession of hosts); namely, his afflictions, and then reproach upon reproach from his friends.
20. But, since I was destined from my birth to these ills, at least give me a little breathing time during the few days left me ( Job 9:34 , 13:21 , Psalms 39:13 ).
22. The ideas of order and light, disorder and darkness, harmonize ( Genesis 1:2 ). Three Hebrew words are used for darkness; in Job 10:21 (1) the common word "darkness"; here (2) "a land of gloom" (from a Hebrew root, "to cover up"); (3) as "thick darkness" or blackness (from a root, expressing sunset). "Where the light thereof is like blackness." Its only sunshine is thick darkness. A bold figure of poetry. Job in a better frame has brighter thoughts of the unseen world. But his views at best wanted the definite clearness of the Christian's. Compare with his words here Revelation 21:23 , 22:5 , 2 Timothy 1:10 .