Job Chapter Six, A Friend In Need...

In our study of Job chapter six, we look at the fact that our help comes from the Lord and not men with limited understanding.

Job 6:1 - 3

"Then Job replied: 'If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas - no wonder my words have been impetuous.'" NIV translation

In chapters 4 & 5, Job listened to his friend accuse him of hiding his sin. Job begins to answer by explaining how deep his frustration is at his present situation. He goes on to explain that his words may seem like they are without thought or understanding but it is to be expected when a man is faced with what has come upon him.

Job 6:4 - 7

"'The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God's terrors are marshaled against me. Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox bellow when it has fodder? Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow? I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill.'" NIV translation

Job goes on to describe his frustration and the fact that it is not without reason but he mistakenly sees his situation as a punishment from God. A big part of his frustration is in the fact that he does not know why God is "punishing him".

He goes on to describe the fact that the advice of his friend was just like bland (tasteless) food. They had seen his pain and his circumstances but, instead of sharing wisdom from God, they just gave him the old standard religious responses. Instead of comforting and helping him, his friend had brought accusation that had added to his frustration. This is a reminder to us that, when we seek counseling on things that are going on in our lives, we must be very careful to know the source. Even friends with good intentions can make a situation worse if their advice is not based on God given wisdom concerning His word. Job was strong enough in his faith to reject the words of Eliphaz where a less mature person might have stumbled under their weight.