READ: Job 6

BACKGROUND: The last 2 chapters have been Eliphaz speaking to Job and basically telling him that all this bad stuff is God punishing him for his sin, and chaper 6 kicks off Job’s response.
By verse:
4 – Job seems to share Eliphaz’s theology in believing that God’s punishment is upon him.
5-6 – This is a two-fold complaint: 1. God has wounded him & 2. His friends haven’t helped.
9-10 – Job is still intent on not cursing God’s name or turning from him, but in his pain he feels tempted. So he wishes for death – to be totally crushed – as a way to escape the pain while avoiding that sin.
29 – Job is pleading that his friends will take back their false accusations

THINK: Roy Clark and his father sat in the family car in the funeral home parking lot for several minutes. As a teenager, he wasn’t sure how to respond when his dad put his head in his hands and moaned, “I don’t know what to say!”

A friend from their church had been in a car accident. She had survived, but her three daughters had all died when a truck hit their vehicle. What could they say to their friend at a time like this?

In the Bible we are told that during Job’s time of grieving, his three friends came to mourn with him and to comfort him. For the first 7 days they sat and wept with him because he was in deep sorrow (Job 2:11-13). “No one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great” (v.13). Their presence alone was a comfort to him.

But then they began to lecture. They told Job he must have sinned and that God was punishing him (4:7-9).

When Job was finally able to respond, he told his friends what he needed from them. He asked for reasons to continue hoping (6:11), for kindness (v.14), and for words that did not presume guilt (vv.29-30).

Remembering the story of Job and his friends may help us when we don’t know what to say.

From Our Daily Bread, Anne Cetas, October 18, 2007

ASK: Am I naturally more likely to listen or to lecture? Is there anyone I know who is hurting that could use some listening and encouragement today?

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