The wild words of Job

Have you ever reached a moment in life when it just didn’t make sense? When the pain was too heavy to bear? When no one understood, and words of comfort merely worsened the affliction?

Then Job responded:
“Oh, if only my grief could be weighed,
and my misfortune laid on the scales too!
But because it is heavier than the sand of the sea,
that is why my words have been wild.
Job 6:1-3 NET

The Lord was not shocked by Job’s words, but his friends, who had never gone through anything similar, answered him harshly.

What can we learn from Job’s words?

#1. Not everyone has the capacity to hear. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak in our affliction, but we can prepare ourselves for a negative reaction from those who consider us distant from the truth. Some of these people will be close to us. Somebody once said that with friends like these, who needs enemies?

#2. The Lord God allows us to feel and express our heart. Job did not sin in his words, but tried to understand his situation. His theology of prosperity couldn’t explain his experience, so he had to search out the Lord. And this was what the Lord wanted.

#3. Others do not know the affliction that someone feels. It’s not appropriate to say to one who suffers, “I know how you feel.” Job reminds us that we have no idea. We can only confess, “I can’t imagine how you feel, but I know that God is near.”

#4. The words of Job illustrate well the truth of Romans 8:28. God uses evil for good.

The greatest writers in history have recognized in the book of Job a masterpiece, but more than this the book is the work of God in the life of a man whom he wants to perfect.

And the Lord writes another book like this with each one of us.


J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

2 thoughts on “The wild words of Job

  1. Excellent article, if a series is planned you need to go into the depressive feelings of pain and suffering and how that almost no elder or member in any congregation will come and help you. I have suffered for 10 years and have yet to have a church leader discuss the psychological aspects that account for some of the changes in my behavior. They would rather not use me to teach any more or lead singing or even be visible. Randall, for many people, church membership can be hell when they are less then “normal”.

  2. Wow. Well done, Randall. I had never thought of the conflict in Job’s own mind about his adversities and righteousness as conflicting with his own theology yet it is clearly in the text. I had exclusively attributed that view to his so-called friends.

    God using evil acts committed by the devil to accomplish good, that is to grow Job (and us) in this area, is also another excellent point.

    Thank you!

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