Job 7 Commentary

Job 7 Commentary

Human life is a struggle. It is a life sentence to hard labor. Life is lived in anticipation of a better existence. Nighttime should be a moment of rest but it never is. You cannot wait for it to be all over. This is Job’s observation of life in the first section of this chapter. We really don’t know if Job would write the same during his days of feasting and abundance.

All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. Psalm 90 verse 9. Moses appears to have the same opinion about life.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans comments on the purpose of this sad state of affairs: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” Mortals must hate this kind of existence and find solace in the El-Shaddai God.

And that’s exactly what Job does here. He turns his attention to the LORD God. Now he must address the LORD God in view of the observations he has just made.

What is mankind that the LORD makes so much of them? Job knows mankind is important to God. What they do or don’t do becomes important in the eyes of the LORD. So, what has Job done to deserve this kind of attention from the Almighty? If he has sinned, as the case may be, why hasn’t the generous God forgiven Job?

It’s at this point that the reader is tempted to jump into the story and tell Job that his suffering has nothing to do with righteousness or lack of it. Therefore, the issue of forgiveness or the absence of forgiveness doesn’t arise.

Nevertheless, the reader remains content with the lessons drawn from the chapter. If suffering brings you to this point, then it has already served a significant portion of its purpose. Romans 8 verses 20 and 21 put it this way: the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice,… in the hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay. Suffering serves a higher purpose.

Within the context of this story, confusion still reigns. Job wasn’t exactly the ungodly man whose life needed suffering as an encouragement to seek the LORD. But in the context of the storyline of the entire Bible, this confusion completely disappears. The over-cup-of-coffee contest between the LORD and satan becomes an all-important, history-long battle that started in the Garden of peace and tranquility.

The LORD has confronted satan over the fake ‘life and essence’ that satan introduced to mankind. The LORD enters the ring with a man who has seen through it and rejects its offers. Job is not real; the LORD Jesus Christ is. He is this man who said no to this fake life so that those who accept the gift of the LORD can also begin to live like Him. We don’t want to lose this thought.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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