But Job answered and said,…
Even the strong man cries for help and release. Job, in his extreme sufferings, desires that a fair judgment may be formed of them and of his complaint. Put this into one seals, and them into the other, and behold which of them is the lighter. Thus he describes them -
I. THE INSUFFERABLE WEIGHT OF HIS AFFLICTION. It is as the unknown weight of the sand of the seashore. Affliction is truly as the pressure of a great weight upon the frail body. The idea of patience is gained from bearing up under a load. Heavy is the load, indeed, under which this servant of the Lord is bowed down. It is not to be estimated. No onlooker can determine it. Therefore should judgment be withheld when from the life of the sufferer there escapes the sigh of complaint. He only knows his sufferings; and he may know that his cry does not fully represent them. The untouched observer but hears the cry, and cannot put that into comparison with a pain that he feels not, and the measure of which pain the cry is supposed to represent. How shall a just judgment, therefore, be given?
II. THE KEENNESS OF THE PANG OF HIS SUFFERINGS. They pierce as doth an arrow; and are as poisoned arrows; and as arrows shot forth by no feeble arm, but by the Almighty. They penetrate to the inner spirit. The strength of their burning poison drinks up - burns up his spirit. He does not encounter a feeble foe. "The terrors of God set themselves in array" against him. Is it wonderful that his words are hasty? Is there not a cause? "Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass?"
III. THE ABHORRENT CHARACTER OF THE THINGS WITH WHICH HE HAS TO DO. "That which my soul refused" - from which I turned away in disgust - I am compelled to take as my daily bread. Yea, that which should give me comfort, even my refreshing food, is loathsome to me. Sadly does he thus represent the nature of the foul disease that cleaveth to him. The onlookers are pained, but they taste it not. To him it is as his food.
IV. HE FURTHER DESCRIBES HIS SUFFERING CONDITION AS SO SAD THAT HE LONGS FOR DEATH. "That it would please God to destroy me!" How low is life reduced when there seems to be no release but in the gravel Worn to the earth, this sufferer cries for an end to be put to his pains. He has not strength to bear up patiently under the weight of them. He cannot desire prolonged life; for what shall the end of it be? Weary, indeed, is that spirit that craves rest in the tomb. Job feels himself so utterly powerless, that continued endurance is impossible to him. He little knew that he could survive all - that he could yet pass through all, and bear honour to God, and perceive in the end the testimony of the Divine approbation. To him it was true, and he would prove it, though the words had not fallen on his ear, "With man it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible." Job's history, therefore, illustrates the sufficiency of the Divine grace to sustain men beneath the uttermost pressure of sorrow. - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: But Job answered and said,
WEB: Then Job answered,