Friday, January 27, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Job- Chapter 7

Job 7

-As Job continues in his misery he gives a reminder of the curse brought by sin to this world upon man (Genesis 3:17-19). He asks the question, “Is not man forced to labor on earth, and are not his days like the days of a hired man?” In his toil, he has felt like “a slave who pants for the shade” and “a hired man who eagerly waits for his wages.” He believes he was dealt months of vanity (shav'- emptiness, falsehood, vanity, nothingness), and nights of trouble have been appointed to him. His dark state continues seemingly merciless. He continually tosses and turns up until dawn longing for relief from the anguish and constant pain. This is his nightmare season, and it’s a total reality in his existence. He states that his flesh is clothed with worms (could be metaphorical relating to death, but also could be literal here as he is being tormented) and a crust of dirt (`aphar- dry ground, dust, powder, ashes, earth, mortar, rubbish). His skin hardens under the strain of disease and his wounds run with puss from the sore boils (Job 2:7-8). Job sees his life as confusing as the intertwinings of a weaver’s shuttle, twisting and turning rapidly in a concocting of material, but he has found no hope in it (Job 7:1-6).

-In this hopeless estate, Job contemplates death for the next few verses. He correctly compares life to a breath (James 4:14). But, he wrongly predicts that his eye will see no more good in his lifetime (Job 42:10-17). He really thinks he’s about to pass on from the earth, and that folks will see him no longer. He mistakenly believes he will be gone like a vanishing cloud going down to Sheol never to return. Further, he thinks he will never return to his house and that those in his place will not know him anymore (Job 7:7-10). Perhaps he feels like he will be forgotten as a non-entity, a worthless fellow, a loser. Job had totally lost perspective.

-Because of these erroneous feelings, he determines that he will not restrain his mouth concerning the anguish of his spirit and the bitterness of his soul. He will speak; he will even complain about it. Job here sets his complaints on the Heavenly One pouring out his honest feeling over the situation. He first asks if he is the sea, or the sea monster, that God would set His guard over him. He has wanted his bed to comfort him and his couch to ease his complaint, but these only garnered the frightening dreams and terrifying visions Job attributes to the Father. Job claims that his soul would prefer suffocation and death rather than his pains. Job felt his life wasting away. He knew he was not going to last forever, and the brevity of life was his forethought. He wanted to be left alone. He wondered why God had magnified mankind, and why He was even concerned about him. He knew the LORD examined man every morning and tried him every moment. He asked plainly, “Will You never turn Your gaze away from me, nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle?” This last phrase may refer to the diseased condition he was experiencing in his body, or it could have been a proverbial idiom of the time to denote a need for more proper time to contemplate and figure things out on his own. Whatever the case, Job continues with his inquisition of the Sovereign, “Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O Watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, so that I am a burden to myself? Why then do You not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity?” Exasperated, Job concludes his tirade with the LORD, “For now I will lie down in the dust; and You will seek me, but I will not be (Job 7:11-21).”

-*Application* Sometimes when things go, they go from bad to worse. The struggle of trauma, disease, and affliction are real and bring out the true angst in us as human beings. We are no different than Job when we reflect on those moments in our lives when we have questioned God about things that surely weren’t going our way, even when we felt like we’d done nothing to deserve it. The LORD can absolutely take our honesty. Any seeking in the psalms of David easily identifies and proves that point. God knows our heart anyway. We might as well be truthful in our thoughts toward Him, just like we see Job doing in this passage. However, let us be cautioned to guard our tongues properly in this matter. Our testimony can be tarnished, and this can have devastating effects on those around us if we are not careful and sensitive with what comes out of our mouths. It is better to glorify and thank God in stressful situations even when we don’t totally understand what He is doing (Ephesians 5:20).

Verse to Memorize: Job 7:20

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