The Word Made Fresh
1“I hate my life. So, I will complain freely from the bitterness of my soul. 2I will say to God, ‘Don’t condemn me! Tell me why you are so against me. 3Do you think it is a good thing to grind us down until we hate the things you do and embrace the plans of the wicked? 4Are your eyes like human eyes; do you see as we do? 5Are your days like our days? Are your years like our years? 6Do you search for the mistakes I may have made? 7You know I’m not guilty, but there is no one to protect me from you.
8“‘Your own hands shaped me and made me what I am, but now you have turned against me to destroy me. 9Do you remember that you formed me from clay? Will you now turn me into dust? 10It was you who poured me out like milk and then curdled me like cheese. 11You covered me with flesh, with skin, and put me together with bones and connecting tissues. 12You gave me life, and loved me steadfastly, and your care for me has kept my spirit.
13“‘But you hid some things in your heart, and I know this is what you planned. 14You watch me to see if I sin, and you won’t forgive me if I do. 15So, if I am bad, so much for me. Even if I am good, I have nothing to be proud of. I look at my circumstances with disgrace. 16You stalk me like a lion, again and again. 17You accuse me again and again and send new calamities against me.
18“‘Why did you let me be born? I wish I had died before anyone ever saw me, 19then I could have been carried from the womb directly to the grave as if I had never existed. 20My days are numbered; leave me alone so that my spirits will be raised a little 21before I die and go to the land of gloom and darkness, never to return; 22darkness so deep it is filled with gloom and chaos where even light is dark.’”
1-22: Job’s mourning and misery now give vent to his anger at God. This again is a common stage of grief, regardless of culture or class, regardless even of religious faith. His complaint is eloquent. It seems to him that God has turned against him. It seems to him that it doesn’t matter whether he is righteous or unrighteous; God has the power and apparently the will to make him suffer regardless. He is consigned to his own end and wishes only for God to leave him alone for a little while.
To suffer without reason is the most difficult thing we ever have to face. Job’s suffering has been so extensive, reaching into every aspect of family life and physical condition. He searches for an explanation, but so far cannot find any reason for his situation. In our darkest hours, when hope is lost, faith is the only thing that can provide any comfort.