-Job now answers Eliphaz with a heart rendering comeback that we can learn from. He starts with the fact that his grief is so heavy. Metaphorically he says that if it, along his calamity, were actually weighed and laid in the balances, it would be heavier than the sand of the seas. Anyone who has had to pick up a few sandbags know the gravity of this comparison. Job admits his words have been rash, but he felt like the attack of the Almighty was within him. He calls them arrows, and his spirit was drinking their poison. In fact, he states plainly, “The terrors of God are arrayed against me.” He considers the advice of his friend as tasteless food eaten without salt, or as he says, tasteless like the white of an egg. He refuses to touch these comments for “they are like loathsome food to me (Job 6:1-7).”
-Job prays that his request for death might come to pass. He is in such agony on this earth and longs for release. He longs for the afterlife in other words. He wishes God would “crush” him and “cut” him “off.” However, he contrasts everything with these pertinent words, “But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” This statement shows Job’s unwavering fortitude. In poetic fashion the solemn man now contemplates, “What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should endure?” He wondered whether or not his strength was as the strength of stones and his flesh like toughness of bronze. He questioned if his help was within him, and meditated on the question of his deliverance being driven from him (Job 6:8-13). He was in new territory, and his mind had many intriguing, disturbing, and deep thoughts. At least he was yielded to his Maker in this state of destitution.
-Then, he let his comrades know what he needed. This is sage counsel for us living in the modern era too. “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; so that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.” He goes on to call these brothers wadis (Definition- A dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain or simply an intermittent stream.), torrents which vanish, like when the ice melts or sudden rains hit and then are gone leaving behind dryness and no hope of sustaining water. He complains that his friends had seen terror and were afraid. He asked them, “Have I said, ‘Give me something,’ or ‘Offer a bribe for me from your wealth,’ or ‘Deliver me from the hand of the adversary,’ or ‘Redeem me from the hand of the tyrants’?” He had asked nothing of them. Now, he wanted them to teach him. He said he would be silent if they would only honestly show him how he’d erred. These honest words would be painful, but he wondered what their argument would prove. He admitted his words of despair belonged to the wind (quickly fading), but he indeed questioned their reproof. He maintained his innocence in all this asking them to look at him and see if he was being dishonest. He finishes this section with this, “Desist now, let there be no injustice; even desist, my righteousness is yet in it (or my righteousness still stands). Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my palate discern calamities (Job 6:14-30)?” What Job was maintaining was his relationship with God even in disaster. He truly was not guilty of the sins his friends were accusing him of, not that he was perfect.
-*Application* Have we considered how to help our friends in times of intense stress, trauma, or tribulation. Grief is a scary monster, and our kindness towards those going through it is paramount. Sometimes it is just best to be present and listen not taking too seriously what they may be saying. Those words in despair, as Job points out, “belong to the wind.” If we are careless with our words to those going through an extremely difficult time, we run the risk of turning their fear of the Almighty into outright anger and hatred towards God. These are times when there is much disillusionment, suffering, and confusion. Kindness is the best way to bring them back to where they need to be (Romans 2:4). Let’s be good counselors with all the consideration, compassion, and insight of the Scriptures.
Verses to Memorize: Job 6:10, 14