-Job turns his attention away from the good ole days to his current malaise in this chapter. He is mocked by younger men now, whose fathers he wouldn’t even have allowed to be put with the dogs of his flock. These were contemptable people that were of no use to him. Their vigor, or might we say work ethic, had perished from them. They were gaunt scavengers, that from want and famine, went about gnawing “the dry ground by night in waste and desolation.” They plucked the plant of the salt marshes (called mallow) whose food is the root of the broom shrub. These were the ones driven from this ancient society because of their laziness and thievery. They dwelt in dreadful valleys, in the holes of the earth and of the rocks. They were fools without names, scourged from the land, crying out among the bushes and gathering together under the nettles. These despicables became Job’s taunt, and he had become a byword even to them. His humiliation was indeed great. They would stand aloof from him and abhorred him. They didn’t even refrain from spitting at Job’s face (Job 30:1-10).
-Why was this happening? Job says that the LORD had, “loosed His bowstring and afflicted me.” His enemies brood arose against this innocent man of God. They tripped Job up and built up against him their “ways of destruction.” They broke up the righteous man’s path and even profited from his devastation. No one restrains them as they do this. “As through a wide breach they come, amid the tempest they roll on.” What a plight. Terrors are turned against Job, he states, and these low lives pursue his “honor as the wind.” Job lets the reader know that his “prosperity has passed away like a cloud.” In a brilliant expression of what it’s like to go through this type of torment, Job proclaims that his soul is poured out within him. Days of affliction had seized him up like he was in a cage. There was no rest. At night, his suffering pierced his bones within him and gave him gnawing pains. By a “great force” his garment is distorted; it binds him about as the collar of his coat. God, he concludes, has cast him into the mire (Psalm 40:1-4; 69:2, 14), and he has “become like dust and ashes.” Job has called out to the LORD for help, but he’s gotten no answer up until this point. When he has stood up, Job feels the LORD has turned His attention against him. He really felt the LORD had become cruel towards him. By now he fully realized the full weight of persecution allowed by the Almighty. He states that he has been lifted up to the wind and carried away with it. Job felt kind of like a kite. Now he believed God had dissolved him in the storm. He just knew that God was bringing him to death, which he describes as “the house of meeting for all the living (Job 30:11-23).”
-Job poses a new question as the last section of the chapter starts, “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, or in his disaster therefore cry out for help?” He maintained his righteousness in saying that he wept for the one whose life was hard. His soul had been grieved for the needy. But, when he expected good, then evil came, and when he waited for light, the darkness came. This caused him to seethe within, and he could not relax. Days of affliction were confronting him. He went about mourning without comfort. He stood up in the assembly and cried out for help, but there was none. He relates his condition as “a brother to jackals, and a companion of ostriches.” His skin was turning black from the torture, and his bones burned with fever. His joyous harp had been turned into mourning and his delightful flute transformed to the sound of those who lament (Job 30:24-31).
-*Application* For Job, these were the worst of times. Sometimes, when we feel lost, disappointed, unsupported, or abandoned, we too cry out for help when there seems to be deaf ears and blind eyes. We start to wonder, “Will justice ever prevail? Will redemption ever come? Will the righteous ever be vindicated?” Sometimes it just seems so long in the offering when we are going through affliction. In these times, remember from the outcome of Job that God is still with us and that a new day will eventually dawn (Job 42:9-17). We sow in tears, but reap with abundant joyful shouting (Psalm 126:5). God is the God of the turnaround and the bounce back.
Verses to Memorize: Job 30:16, 27