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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Job 10

 

 

Verses 1-22

AN ATTEMPT TO REASON WITH GOD

(vv.1-22)

Since there was no mediator, Job in this chapter (from verse 2 on) directs all of his words directly to God, reasoning with Him as regards why God should deal with him in the way He was doing. He begins his compliant by repeating that his soul loathes his life, therefore he would allow himself to give free course to his bitter complaint by directly addressing God, pleading with Him, "Do not condemn me." God had certainly not condemned him, though he felt as though this was true because of his sufferings. "Show me why You contend with me" (v.2). In one respect it was true that God was contending with Job, and Job did not learn why until the last chapter of this book. He required this painful experience to learn that his own nature was sinful and to learn the pure grace and goodness of the Lord Himself.

"Does it seem good to You that You should oppress, that You should despise the work of Your hands, and smile on the counsel of the wicked?" (v.3). It is true that Job was the work of God's hands, for his own nature, as being born of God, was certainly God's workmanship. But it was not true that God was despising His own work, though Job felt that way, and specially so when he saw that wicked men appeared to prosper some of the time, but certainly all the wicked do not prosper all the time.

Do You have eyes of flesh? or do You see as man sees?" Job asks the Lord (v.4). Was God coming down to the level of a mortal man, that He should occupy Himself with searching out what might be iniquity in Job, as his three friends were doing, although, as Job says, God knew that Job was not wicked (vv.5-7). The friends might suppose that Job was guilty of hidden wickedness, but God knew this was not true. Still, God's hand was heavy on Job, and no one could deliver Job from that hand. Actually, God's hand was accomplishing blessing for Job that he did not then understand, so it was good for Job to be kept in God's hand, even when he felt it to be hard. "Your hands have made me and fashioned me, an intricate unity" (v.8). This was true of Job physically and true also spiritually. All the various members of the body are marvellous in their individual functions and marvellous in their functioning unitedly It might have helped Job to consider this more thoroughly, for none of us can understand how the eye, the ear, the tongue, the brain, the heart are able to function in the amazing way they do, and how all can act in perfect unison with one another. For this is God's work, much beyond our understanding. We should therefore expect God to do things in connection with us that are also higher than we can understand. If Job would just have patience in trusting God; then God would eventually make matters clearer to him. Complaining would accomplish nothing, yet Job complains that God now, after having wrought so marvellously in making him, is seeking to destroy him. Did he have to tell God to remember that He had made Job like clay? (v.9). But he felt he was being turned into dust again, the moisture gone out of the clay. In the past he recognised that God had spent time on him to pour him out like milk and curdle him like cheese, clothe his body with skin and flesh and join it together with bones and sinews (v.11), given life to that body and showing gracious favour to Job, caring too for more than his body, but preserving his spirit (v.12).

Since God had shown Himself most kind and considerate of Job in the past, Job could not understand why God could now be acting inconsistently with His previous dealings with him. "These things You have hidden in Your heart," he says (v.13). However, since this was true, God must have a good reason for hiding His counsels, and Job ought to have realised that God would reveal His mind in His own time.

On the one hand, Job knew that if he sinned God would mark this and not acquit him, for at that time Job did not know "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ," but for sin he could only expect "woe." On the other hand, even if he was righteous (as he considered himself to be), he could not lift up his head, for he was in a state of misery and confusion, full of disgrace (vv.14-15).

His head had been exalted, but now he feels that God is hunting him like a fierce lion, showing Himself so awesome as to inspire fear in the poor man's heart (v.16). Also God had arrayed witnesses against him in the persons of his three friends, thus increasing His indignation against Job (v.17). He felt himself continually changing from one evil to another as though his own soul was the area of warfare.

If thus Job was living only for trouble, he considered, why then had God allowed him to be born? How much better he thought it would have been if only he had died before birth, so that he not be seen on earth, but rather carried from the womb to the grave (vv.18-19). His days were few enough without having troubles multiplied. So he tells God to "cease," that is, to leave him alone (v.20). Did he not stop to think this was an insolent way to speak to his Maker? But he was too distressed to think soberly.

Should he not have a little comfort before he went to the place from which he would not return, the land of darkness and the shadow of death, where even the light is like darkness? (vv.21-22). Little did he realise that God would give him more than a little comfort in this present world, and that he would go eventually to a land of pure light and unspeakable joy. For he did not have the great revelation that believers have today, of the matchless grace of the Lord Jesus for every present need and the eternal glory of His presence into which every believer will enter in the future.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Job 10:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/job-10.html. 1897-1910.

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