Do you intend to rebuke my words, And the speeches of a desperate one, which are as wind? Job 6:26
Job is frustrated that his friends haven’t really heard him. Job is in anguish. It is God who has assaulted him and so left him hopeless. Job has asked his friends for nothing but their devotion and gotten advice that impugns his integrity.
Personal application. Hurting people need comfort, not sermons.
6:1 When Job answered, he did not respond directly to Eliphaz. This may be the reason the text does not specify a name here. Job usually responded to all three of his friends, not to one individually (6:24-30). His friends in turn did not respond point-by-point to what Job said. Consequently the dialogue is not so much a conversation between friends as it is a speech contest in which one speaker tries to win a debate and impress his audience with his rhetoric.
1 Then Job answered and said: 2 “Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, And my calamity laid with it on the scales! 3 For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea– Therefore my words have been rash. 4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me.
God’s arrows (6:4) Job sees God behind the events which cause his suffering. How can God be a source of hope? The answer will come much later.
4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me.
“The devotion of his friends” (6:14). A hand to hold, a loving touch, a person to sit close and be there – these are the gifts of devotion that a despairing person needs from a friend. No advice, however well meant, can match these gifts that comfort and sustain.
14 “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
My integrity (6:29). Job has nothing left but his inner self. He will not surrender his inner identity, but will speak out in utter honesty.
29 Yield now, let there be no injustice! Yes, concede, my righteousness still stands! 30 Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern the unsavory?
Why? (6:17-21). In Job’s speeches he often shifts from addressing one of his friends to speak directly to God. His anguished cries of “why” express doubts any person might feel in similar circumstances. It’s not wrong to question God or His ways. Job’s questioning can be an act of faith, for though Job does not understand, he holds fast to the conviction that God is.
Wadi a valley, ravine, or channel that is dry except in the rainy season.
15 My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, Like the streams of the brooks that pass away, 16 Which are dark because of the ice, And into which the snow vanishes. 17 When it is warm, they cease to flow; When it is hot, they vanish from their place. 18 The paths of their way turn aside, They go nowhere and perish. 19 The caravans of Tema look, The travelers of Sheba hope for them. 20 They are disappointed because they were confident; They come there and are confused. 21 For now you are nothing, You see terror and are afraid.