Job 30 (NLT)
Job Speaks of His Anguish
Job’s loss of respect in the community:
“But now I am mocked by people younger than I,
by young men whose fathers are not worthy to run with my sheepdogs.
2 A lot of good they are to me—
those worn-out wretches!
3 They are gaunt with hunger
and flee to the deserts,
to desolate and gloomy wastelands.
4 They pluck wild greens from among the bushes
and eat from the roots of broom trees.
5 They are driven from human society,
and people shout at them as if they were thieves.
6 So now they live in frightening ravines,
in caves and among the rocks.
7 They sound like animals howling among the bushes,
huddled together beneath the nettles.
8 They are nameless fools,
outcasts from society.
Job thought of what worthless men were now his loud critics, and how unjust it all was.
9 “And now they mock me with vulgar songs!
They taunt me!
10 They despise me and won’t come near me,
except to spit in my face.
Job enriches our language.
Here is a quotation which has become a part of our everyday speech: spit in my face. In current American usage the phrase is metaphorical and involves no saliva! The expression is used to indicate an insult.
11 For God has cut my bowstring.
He has humbled me,
so they have thrown off all restraint.
12 These outcasts oppose me to my face.
They send me sprawling
and lay traps in my path.
13 They block my road
and do everything they can to destroy me.
They know I have no one to help me.
14 They come at me from all directions.
They jump on me when I am down.
The NIV has it: They advance as through a gaping breach; amid the ruins they come rolling in.
“Verse 14 is very vivid. Job thought of himself as a city with a wide, gaping breach in its wall. The stones come crashing down, and amid the rubble the instruments of siege warfare roll through. The tranquility and dignity he had so enjoyed have vanished like a cloud.”
15 I live in terror now.
My honor has blown away in the wind,
and my prosperity has vanished like a cloud.
The misery of his present pain, both spiritual and physical:
16 “And now my life seeps away.
Depression haunts my days.
17 At night my bones are filled with pain,
which gnaws at me relentlessly.
18 With a strong hand, God grabs my shirt.
He grips me by the collar of my coat.
19 He has thrown me into the mud.
I’m nothing more than dust and ashes.
Mason commented on the long and intense struggle Job had with God, and on the ultimate outcome for Job: “Classically there are two ways of soliciting the favor of God. One way is by trying very hard to be very very good and hoping that God will take notice. The other way is to beg God for His blessing and to refuse to let Him off the hook until He comes through. . . . It is those who refuse to give up on God who end up with His blessing.”
20 “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer.
I stand before you, but you don’t even look.
21 You have become cruel toward me.
You use your power to persecute me.
22 You throw me into the whirlwind
and destroy me in the storm.
23 And I know you are sending me to my death—
the destination of all who live.
The misery of the injustice done to Job:
24 “Surely no one would turn against the needy
when they cry for help in their trouble.
25 Did I not weep for those in trouble?
Was I not deeply grieved for the needy?
“It is impossible to read this section without feeling that protest was approaching revolt in the soul of this man. He did definitely charge God with cruelty (see verse 21), and his questions, ‘Did I not weep for him that was in trouble? Was not my soul grieved for the needy?’ (verse 25), he was contrasting God’s attitude toward him with his own attitude toward suffering men in the days of his prosperity and strength.”
–G. Campbell Morgan
26 So I looked for good, but evil came instead.
I waited for the light, but darkness fell.
27 My heart is troubled and restless.
Days of suffering torment me.
28 I walk in gloom, without sunlight.
I stand in the public square and cry for help.
29 Instead, I am considered a brother to jackals (KJV has — to dragons)
and a companion to owls.
30 My skin has turned dark,
and my bones burn with fever.
31 My harp plays sad music,
and my flute accompanies those who weep.
Something to cheer you up (?) — HERE is “Gloom, Despair, and Agony” from the old television show Hee Haw. Just one!
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved