Chapter 10:1-10 (ESV) - I loathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not condemn me;
let me know why you contend against me.
Does it seem good to you to oppress,
to despise the work of your hands
and favor the designs of the wicked?
Have you eyes of flesh?
Do you see as man sees?
Are your days as the days of man,
or your years as a man's years,
that you seek out my iniquity
and search for my sin,
although you know that I am not guilty,
and there is none to deliver out of your hand?
Your hands fashioned and made me,
and now you have destroyed me altogether.
Remember that you have made me like clay;
and will you return me to the dust?
Did you not pour me out like milk
and curdle me like cheese?
Question to consider: What did Job mean when he said he was the work of God’s hands?
Though Job cried out to God in his pain and anguish, he did not curse or deny God. He sought wisdom in the fashion that James told his brothers who had been scattered at the stoning of Stephen, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:2-5)
Job didn’t think he had sinned, but if his suffering was as a result of something he did unaware, he was asking God to reveal it to him. If he had sinned in ignorance, he desired to know why God sought to contend with him in this way since he was God’s handiwork. After all, there were those who invented new ways of opposing God who seemed to receive His favor while he felt singled out for wrath. To Job, it seemed like God had built him up and molded him in God’s image like clay only to crush him back into dust.
In reading this, I keyed in on the fact that Job recognized that there was none who could deliver him out of God’s hand. Paul used a similar idea in his letter to the church in Rome, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) The key difference is that Paul was using it as an assurance that none can take us out of the Lord’s protective and loving hand whereas Job saw it as none were able to deliver him out of God’s crushing hand of judgment.
Both of these ideas are true, and the only difference between God’s hand of mercy and God’s hand of judgment is the one who reconciles us to Him: Christ Jesus. Those who truly are God’s workmanship and seek the reassurance of His grace do so at the foot of the cross where Christ was suspended between heaven and earth to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the assurance of grace that we have received in Christ Jesus. Help us to see that the designs of the wicked are only temporary and confined to this world so that we may continue to stand in faith and know that our hope in Christ is secure. Amen.