This is Episode #153 and today we’ll read Job chapters 5-7 together. As the saying goes, with friends like these…who needs enemies?
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #153 and today we’ll read Job chapters 5-7 together. As the saying goes, with friends like these…who needs enemies?
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Job Chapter 5
Call out! Will anyone answer you?
Which of the holy ones will you turn to?
For anger kills a fool,
and jealousy slays the gullible.
I have seen a fool taking root,
but I immediately pronounced a curse on his home.
His children are far from safety.
They are crushed at the city gate,
with no one to rescue them.
The hungry consume his harvest,
even taking it out of the thorns.
The thirsty pant for his children’s wealth.
For distress does not grow out of the soil,
and trouble does not sprout from the ground.
But humans are born for trouble
as surely as sparks fly upward.
However, if I were you, I would appeal to God
and would present my case to him.
He does great and unsearchable things,
wonders without number.
He gives rain to the earth
and sends water to the fields.
He sets the lowly on high,
and mourners are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the schemes of the crafty
so that they achieve no success.
He traps the wise in their craftiness
so that the plans of the deceptive
are quickly brought to an end.
They encounter darkness by day,
and they grope at noon
as if it were night.
He saves the needy from their sharp words
and from the clutches of the powerful.
So the poor have hope,
and injustice shuts its mouth.
See how happy is the person whom God corrects;
so do not reject the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds but he also bandages;
he strikes, but his hands also heal.
He will rescue you from six calamities;
no harm will touch you in seven.
You Will Know that Your Tent is Secure
In famine he will redeem you from death,
and in battle, from the power of the sword.
You will be safe from slander
and not fear destruction when it comes.
You will laugh at destruction and hunger
and not fear the land’s wild creatures.
For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field,
and the wild animals will be at peace with you.
You will know that your tent is secure,
and nothing will be missing when you inspect your home.
You will also know that your offspring will be many
and your descendants like the grass of the earth.
You will approach the grave in full vigor,
as a stack of sheaves is gathered in its season.
We have investigated this, and it is true!
Hear it and understand it for yourself.
Job Chapter 6
Job’s Reply to Eliphaz
Then Job answered:
If only my grief could be weighed
and my devastation placed with it on the scales.
For then it would outweigh the sand of the seas!
That is why my words are rash.
Surely the arrows of the Almighty have pierced me;
my spirit drinks their poison.
God’s terrors are arrayed against me.
Does a wild donkey bray over fresh grass
or an ox low over its fodder?
Is bland food eaten without salt?
Is there flavor in an egg white?
I refuse to touch them;
they are like contaminated food.
If only my request would be granted
and God would provide what I hope for:
that he would decide to crush me,
to unleash his power and cut me off!
It would still bring me comfort,
and I would leap for joy in unrelenting pain
that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
What strength do I have, that I should continue to hope?
What is my future, that I should be patient?
Is my strength that of stone,
or my flesh made of bronze?
Since I cannot help myself,
the hope for success has been banished from me.
A despairing man should receive loyalty from his friends,
even if he abandons the fear of the Almighty.
My brothers are as treacherous as a wadi,
as seasonal streams that overflow
and become darkened because of ice,
and the snow melts into them.
The wadis evaporate in warm weather;
they disappear from their channels in hot weather.
Caravans turn away from their routes,
go up into the desert, and perish.
The caravans of Tema look for these streams.
The traveling merchants of Sheba hope for them.
They are ashamed because they had been confident of finding water.
When they arrive there, they are disappointed.
Reconsider My Righteousness
So this is what you have now become to me.
When you see something dreadful, you are afraid.
Have I ever said, “Give me something”
or “Pay a bribe for me from your wealth”
or “Deliver me from the enemy’s hand”
or “Redeem me from the hand of the ruthless”?
Teach me, and I will be silent.
Help me understand what I did wrong.
How painful honest words can be!
But what does your rebuke prove?
Do you think that you can disprove my words
or that a despairing man’s words are mere wind?
No doubt you would cast lots for a fatherless child
and negotiate a price to sell your friend.
But now, please look at me;
I will not lie to your face.
Reconsider; don’t be unjust.
Reconsider; my righteousness is still the issue.
Is there injustice on my tongue
or can my palate not taste disaster?
Job Chapter 7
Isn’t each person consigned to forced labor on earth?
Are not his days like those of a hired worker?
Like a slave he longs for shade;
like a hired worker he waits for his pay.
So I have been made to inherit months of futility,
and troubled nights have been assigned to me.
When I lie down I think,
“When will I get up?”
But the evening drags on endlessly,
and I toss and turn until dawn.
My flesh is clothed with maggots and encrusted with dirt.
My skin forms scabs and then oozes.
My days pass more swiftly than a weaver’s shuttle;
they come to an end without hope.
Remember that my life is but a breath.
My eye will never again see anything good.
The eye of anyone who looks on me
will no longer see me.
Your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.
As a cloud fades away and vanishes,
so the one who goes down to Sheol will never rise again.
He will never return to his house;
his hometown will no longer remember him.
Therefore I will not restrain my mouth.
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Am I the sea or a sea monster,
that you keep me under guard?
When I say, “My bed will comfort me,
and my couch will ease my complaint,”
then you frighten me with dreams,
and terrify me with visions,
so that I prefer strangling —
death rather than life in this body.
I give up! I will not live forever.
Leave Me Alone
Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
What is a mere human, that you think so highly of him
and pay so much attention to him?
You inspect him every morning,
and put him to the test every moment.
Will you ever look away from me,
or leave me alone long enough to swallow?
If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
Watcher of humanity?
Why have you made me your target,
so that I have become a burden to you?
Why not forgive my sin
and pardon my iniquity?
For soon I will lie down in the grave.
You will eagerly seek me, but I will be gone.
And so begins the diatribe between this poor, suffering, righteous man and the not-so-comforting friends. Don’t get me wrong. Job’s friends seem like righteous men in their own right and they speak plenty of wisdom. But their offerings reek a little of heresy…taking a half-truth – or a whole truth for that matter – and building a doctrine around it. And drawing all kinds of wrong conclusions about both Job and God.
My heart goes out to Job. I agree with him…he has every right to complain. I want to say, “I’m your friend, Job! I understand. You must feel bitter. I will listen.”
But wait. Would I say those things? Would I consider the impetus for his words? Or would I try to correct, or worse, react defensively to his anger – making it about me instead of him? I must confess that I’m not as practiced at being an insightful friend as I’d like to think. The book of Job teaches what a caring, listening counselor/friend looks like. Well, actually, what one doesn’t look like, but we can definitely learn from that too. Share your thoughts with me at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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