Job is Sick at Heart

Dr. Park Tucker, former chaplain of the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, told of walking down the street in a certain city, feeling low and discouraged and worried about life in general. As he walked along, he lifted his eyes for a moment to the window of a funeral … More


Job launches into a complaint about his sufferings. His friends mock him (vv. 1-15), his body hurts him (vv. 16-19), his God has deserted him (vv. 20-23), and his hope has fled from him (vv. 24-31). To suffer extreme loss as Job did was humiliating. Job had lost his family, possessions, health, position, and good name. However he was wise enough to know that he needed to escape the memory of the past and face the reality of the present. By refusing to live in the past, and by honestly facing the present, Job took a giant step in maturity and integrity.

He starts out by saying “I have told you how it used to be, but now these young scoundrels come around and throw rocks at me. I would never have hired their fathers to tend my flocks” (v. 1). They were prematurely old, and because of their impoverished condition, they had wasted away (vv. 2-3). Their food consisted of whatever they could scavenge (v. 4). As a result of their condition they were driven into the wastelands where they wandered like wild animals” (vv. 5-8).

Job had become the subject of their mocking songs (v. 9). He was held in contempt, and no one was willing to take up his cause (vv. 10-15). He endured unbearable suffering, and at night God wrestled with him, making his clothes like a straightjacket, and threw him in the mud (vv. 16-23). Job had wept for others (v. 25) but now he cries out for himself (v. 24) as only suffering and darkness came (v. 26). His afflictions brought inner turmoil (v. 27). He could not speak encouraging words to others when he himself was in the pit of discouragement (vv. 28-31).


To suffer extreme loss as Job did was humiliating. But to suffer abuse at the hand of young upstarts added insult to injury. I once heard Jerry Falwell say that he never knew God to use a discouraged person. When I start to get down I can’t live in the past or dwell on the present, but must concentrate on the future hope.

Job 30:1-31 (English Standard Version)

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