In Job 6, Job replies to Eliphaz’s condemning reproof. He begins by defending himself logically and trying to help his accuser see his position more clearly.
Then Job answered and said:
2 “Oh that my vexation were weighed,
and all my calamity laid in the balances!
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 in me;
my spirit drinks their poison;
the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5 Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass,
or the ox low over his fodder?
6 Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,
or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow?
7 My appetite refuses to touch them;
they are as food that is loathsome to me. ~Job 6:1-7
Job insists that his lot is far more grievous than his friends recognize. Doubtless, it is. “Heavier than the sand of the sea” is his description…and it doesn’t get much heavier than that. As Matthew Henry rightly observes, “It is seldom that those who are at ease themselves rightly weigh the afflictions of the afflicted.“
Furthermore, Job depicts his suffering as being arrows shot at him from His God. Doubtless this is the most difficult pain of all for a godly man – a man who lived and breathed to please and honor God. To think his Lord was laying injury upon crushing injury on him out of displeasure was downright maddening.
Job, in his great suffering, cannot see past his pain even for a moment. He can neither overlook the foolish words spoken to him nor receive the wise ones. Instead, he pleads for death (Job 6:8-13) and exposes his friends’ foolishness in self-defense (Job 6:14-30.)
When God lays heavy trials upon us, it is painful enough when friends accuse and misrepresent us because of them, but it’s altogether unbearable when we cannot see or understand why the God we love would seemingly cease to be our advocate in them. Welcome to Jesus’s world. It is in this place that we learn obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8) and how to trust without understanding (Proverbs 3:5.) This also just so happens to be the moment when we most closely resemble Christ.
At the risk of sounding like an insensitive Eliphaz, this is what I gather this morning: No matter how difficult and painful life becomes, let us be encouraged in that the Word of God, as well as Jesus’s example, assures us that suffering is a privilege by which we have the greatest opportunity to look like Our Lord. If you are there, seek to embrace it with confidence in a Father who never leaves or forsakes his children.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. ~Romans 8:16-17