Job’s Friends Are No Help
6 Then Job [a]answered,
2 “Oh that my grief were actually weighed
And laid in the balances together with my calamity!
3 “For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas;
Therefore my words have been rash.
4 “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me,
[b]Their poison my spirit drinks;
The terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5 “Does the wild donkey bray over his grass,
Or does the ox low over his fodder?
6 “Can something tasteless be eaten without salt,
Or is there any taste in the [c]white of an egg?
7 “My soul refuses to touch them;
They are like loathsome food to me.
8 “Oh that my request might come to pass,
And that God would grant my longing!
9 “Would that God were willing to crush me,
That He would loose His hand and cut me off!
10 “But it is still my consolation,
And I rejoice in unsparing pain,
That I have not [d]denied the words of the Holy One.
11 “What is my strength, that I should wait?
And what is my end, that I should [e]endure?
12 “Is my strength the strength of stones,
Or is my flesh bronze?
13 “Is it that my help is not within me,
And that [f]deliverance is driven from me?
There’s a lot of things jumping out so that it’s hard to pick one. Job first acknowledges his immense grief and essentially says, “I’m in so much grief that I’m not thinking or talking straight.” As we saw a couple days ago, that ought to be a clue to his friends to cut him some slack instead of sermonizing and trying to figure out why Job is suffering. When your friends are going through a storm, certainly they need hope, but sometimes they just need a friend who can sit beside them and listen, or just be quiet. Job’s friends weren’t very good at this, thus the apt heading to this chapter, “Job’s Friends Are No Help”.
Then, Job continues to describe how he is feeling, but takes an unexpected turn in verse 10. Job rejoices in “unsparing pain” because he has not denied God and still puts his confidence in Him. Sometimes, that’s all you’ve got, but God is enough in any situation, so hold on to Him and you will not be let down.
Job continues by asking “What is my strength…” and “Is it that my help is not within me…” Yes, there’s more to his questions, but he’s so close to hitting the nail on the head there. What is our strength? Is it inside us? Well, it’s sort of inside us, at least if we have Christ living in us. But the strength we need to make it through the storm is not of our own making. It is exactly that, from Christ living in us. “God is our refuge and strength,” as David would later note, our “ever present help in time of trouble.” (Psalm 46)
If you don’t have Christ living in you, then you absolutely need to let Him in, and surrender control of your life. You and I cannot do life on our own, at least not the way we were meant to do it. And for those that already have, remember to let God steer the ship, he knows every wave and every gust of wind before it happens, and you could have no greater pilot in this life.