Job continues his answer to Bildad, reiterating that he has a right to complain, but showing in verse 2 that he still trusts the Lord to do the right thing. Job does not deny being a sinner, but insists that he is not wicked; and he pleads with God to tell him what his sin might be that is causing this harsh judgment on him. To his credit, he does still give praise to God and recognize His loving care in verse 12:
You have granted me life and steadfast love,
and your care has preserved my spirit
In verse 15, Job points out that his pitiful condition contradicts his protestation of innocence – that it brings him shame because others perceive that his afflictions are due to his own sin. He restates his wish to die (verses 18-19). Some see many of Job’s statements as accusatory to God, and bordering on blasphemy. But if you look closely, you can see great faith and praise in many of these verses (verse 11, for example).
Chapters like this one can be very difficult to keep reading, and at times are filled with very dark poetry:
“…before I go—and I shall not return—
to the land of darkness and deep shadow,
the land of gloom like thick darkness,
like deep shadow without any order,
where light is as thick darkness.”
Do not get discouraged, keep on studying the Book of Job. It has so much more to offer than mere gloom and suffering, as we will continue to see more and more. One of the challenges is to recognize the insight it gives us to the mindset of many people who truly are suffering, and even at times see a reflection of ourselves when our faith and our endurance is tested – how we succeed in “staying the course,” as well as how we often fail to do so.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.