Chapter 7: What is our time on earth?
“Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? …As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work: So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.” (Job 7:1-5)
Job saw that his suffering was like discouraging work of a servant. He felt that there was no hope or reward for what he was going through. He suffered from a skin condition and long nights of insomnia.
“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope…mine eye shall no more see good… As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.” (Job 7:6-10)
Job, at this point was seeing life as meaningless and worthless.
“Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me? When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions: So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.” (Job 7:11-16)
Job cried out to God, wondering if he was some sort of monster, like that of the sea. Job is telling God to stop or end his life, because he hates what he is going through.
“What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment? How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle? I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be” (Job 7:17-21)
Job is mad at God for not curing him of his pain. He asks God if he had sinned, and then asks why he is being punished.
Chapter 8: Our time on earth is short
Bildad makes the argument; if Job was righteous, God would bless and defend him.
“Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression… If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.” (Job 8:1-4)
Bildad did not understand or take into consideration the pain that Job was experiencing. Instead Bildad chastises Job and makes it seem like it is his fault for the way he is and feels… obviously he had sinned.
“For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers:” (Job 8:8)
Bildad suggests that Job inquire of wisdom from the past and make things right with his sin. Essentially he is saying; Job, obviously you have sinned… now confess and make things right. But the truth is that Job did nothing.
“(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:) Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart? Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water?” (Job 8:9-11)
Here we learn something very important that we can apply in our own lives… We are human, we have come to this earth to learn. But in reality, even with all the science breakthroughs and knowledge we have gained over last few thousand years… we ultimately know…nothing! God knows all.
I normally do not like the New International Version of the Bible (mainly because I believe it is not as accurate and certain means can be lost), but the NIV might make a little more sense;
“for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding? Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water?” (Job 8:9-11, NIV)
The scripture goes on to say…
“Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb. So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish” (Job 8:12-13)
While the advice that Bildad was giving was not appropriate for Job, having done nothing wrong. We can learn from this advice! We don’t know everything; we are constantly learning new things daily… so for someone to say that God does not exist is absolutely absurd. Perhaps science has yet to discover him? Don’t get me wrong, I believe in science and I love science. I believe in EVOLUTION, but I also know that science had to come from somewhere… God created science and all the rules of nature. We still have a lot to learn, and having just been born and with such a short time on this earth… our life is but a shadow… and in that shadow we can choose our path. However, if we choose a path that forgets God… we will perish.