Job 10 Summary: And God’s merciful relationship to Job in times past was not limited to his initial formation in his mother’s womb. God was tender and merciful to Job even after his birth. Verse 12.
12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, [chesed…]
and thy [visitation/care/intervention] hath [preserved/watched over] my spirit.
And, even though it seems like – from the way that God is acting toward Job now – that God is almost trying to hide the fact that at one point he was merciful to Job. Nevertheless, Job remembers these things, as he says in verse 13.
Job 10 Summary | Remember
13 [And/Yet/But] these things hast thou [hid/concealed] in thine heart:
I know that this is [with/within] thee.
But all those tender thoughts seem to just dissolve as Job brings back to the forefront of his thinking the seeming fact that God is punishing him as if he were a sinner in verses 14 and 15.
Job 10 Summary | Sinner
14 If I sin, then thou [markest/would take note of/would watch] me,
and thou [wilt/would] not acquit me from mine iniquity.
15 If I be [wicked/guilty], woe unto me;
and if I be [righteous/innocent], yet [will/dare] I not lift up my head.
So, in Job’s mind, he can’t do right.
If he sins – he feels like God will mark him for it and not forgive him and keep punishing him. If he’s wicked, there’s nothing but woe in his life from this God who is punishing him for no apparent reason. And yet, even if Job acts completely righteously – like he has been for most of his life, according to chapter 1 – even then it’s not like Job can boast of anything and “lift up his head” in that sense.
Job 10 Summary | Confusion
So, whether Job is wicked or righteous – it doesn’t seem to matter – especially in light of how God has been treating him. And all of those realities cause great confusion to Job.
I am full of [confusion/shame];
[therefore see thou/and satiated with/and conscious of] mine affliction;
And so, Job is going to detail his affliction at the hand of God in verses 16 and 17.
Job 10 Summary | Affliction
16 [For it increaseth/If I lift myself up]. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion:
and again thou [shewest/display] [thyself marvellous upon/your power against] me.
17 Thou [renewest thy/bring new] witnesses against me,
and increasest thine [indignation/anger] [upon/toward/against] me;
[changes and war/relief troops] [are/come] against me.
So, Job’s afflictions are increasing. Job pictures God as a lion stalking him to kill him. In Job’s mind God is marvelous… but marvelously powerful and violent against him – like a lion.
And then in verse 17 we saw Job speak of God constantly renewing his attack on Job. God is pictured as constantly bringing in new witnesses against him in a court of law. God’s anger is constantly renewed against Job. It’s as if God is constantly bringing new troops to fight against the beleaguered Job.
Constant. Renewal. Of attacks. On the part of God against the righteous Job.
Job 10 Summary | Why?
And because of this practical bullying that Job feels that he’s receiving at the hands of God, Job wonders why God even brought him out of the womb, after having formed him there – as Job was musing on earlier in this chapter. Verses 18 and 19.
18 Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb?
Oh that I had [given up the ghost/died], and no eye had seen me!
19 I should have been as though I had not been;
I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
If God is going to pummel Job as he has been doing, then Job is once again letting his mind fixate on the “what-ifs” associated with the thought of his dying before entering this world.
Job 10 Summary | Desperate
And then, Job ends this chapter on a very desperate and morbid note wherein he pleads with God to just leave him alone.
20 Are not my days few?
cease then, and let me alone,
that I may take comfort a little,
21 Before I go whence I shall not return,
even to the land of darkness and [the shadow of death/deepest shadow];
22 A land of [darkness/utter gloom/utter darkness], [as/like] [darkness itself/the deepest darkness]; and of the shadow of death,
without any order, and where [even…] the light is as darkness.
Again, Job is picturing death as just darkness and disorder. And I think we need to keep in mind that Job is not giving a polished and reasoned speech on eschatology here. Job is uttering his bitterness without holding back – as he said he was going to do at the beginning of this chapter.
And therefore, I don’t think that we should take what he says to be didactic – or teaching – on what death really is like. We should not base our theology of the afterlife on what Job says, generally.
Job 10 Summary | Resurrection
It’s hard to know what Job would actually understand about life after the death of his body. I do think that we see later in the book that he believes in a resurrection. And yet, that’s not where he’s letting his mind go here. Here in this chapter, Job is simply focused on the physical, tangible, visible aspects of death – which is, that’s the end. For your physical body, it’s darkness and shadow. And there’s no return to your old life.
And so, that’s how Job ends his response to Bildad. He’s utterly confused. He can’t understand God’s ways. He’s not really at the point where he is trusting God’s wisdom, either.