I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. I say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked? Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees? Are your days like those of a mortal or your years like those of a strong man, that you must search out my faults and probe after my sin— though you know that I am not guilty and that no one can rescue me from your hand? Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. “But this is what you concealed in your heart, and I know that this was in your mind: If I sinned, you would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished. If I am guilty—woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction. If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion and again display your awesome power against me. You bring new witnesses against me and increase your anger toward me; your forces come against me wave upon wave. – Job 10:1-17
This passage is a continuation of Job’s reply to Bildad. Job is wondering out loud “giving free rein to his complaint”. Job is wondering why bad things happen to good people. This is an age old philosophical question. Job does not provide a definitive answer and neither can I…but God can. The insight this verse provides is that sometimes there a things happening in the spiritual realm that we do not know or understand — including what looks very much like bad things happening to good people.
After posing this question Job poses two more very interesting questions directed at God: “Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees?” What Job is looking for is a God who sees him. The God who see with human eyes is something that is to come — the God-man Jesus, who will have eyes of flesh and see as a mortal sees. Jesus looks on those who follow or seek Him with both spiritual eyes that look into our souls, and with earthly eyes that can see the “mortal coils” that our earthly bodies must navigate.
Job goes on to give God credit for his very existence. God made the “soul ship” which carries Job’s soul. He formed him from clay and he feels like God has turned him to dust. Job’s body has become battered and torn on the rocks that God has allowed Job to traverse. The damage to Job’s soul vessel threatens t to maroon him in a place separate from God.
The last sentence is where water comes in with the statement that God’s forces will come upon Job like wave upon wave. This sounds like dangerous surf which threatens to sink Job and his ability to faithfully follow God.
The only thing Job can do is batten down the hatches, tie down the sails, and place his fate in God’s hands. This is easy to say, but hard to do in practice. When rip currents and raging torrents threaten our health or life circumstances seem to be raging against us we must do the same as Job… batten down the hatches, tie down the sails, and place our fate in God’s hands. He has our souls firmly in His grasp, assuming we have placed them in His hands.
Prayer: God it is difficult to separate our earthly bodies from the soul that inhabits them. Help us to focus on following You even when waves are battering our earthly bodies.