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Job: I Loathe My Life


“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 schemes of the wicked?


Do you have eyes of flesh?

Do you see as humans see?


Are your days like the days of mortals,

or your years like human years,


that you seek out my iniquity

and search for my sin,


although you know that I am not guilty,

and there is no one to deliver out of your hand?


Your hands fashioned and made me;

and now you turn and destroy me.


Remember that you fashioned me like clay;

and will you turn me to dust again?


Did you not pour me out like milk

and curdle me like cheese?


You clothed me with skin and flesh,

and knit me together with bones and sinews.


You have granted me life and steadfast love,

and your care has preserved my spirit.


Yet these things you hid in your heart;

I know that this was your purpose.


If I sin, you watch me,

and do not acquit me of my iniquity.


If I am wicked, woe to me!

If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head,

for I am filled with disgrace

and look upon my affliction.


Bold as a lion you hunt me;

you repeat your exploits against me.


You renew your witnesses against me,

and increase your vexation toward me;

you bring fresh troops against me.



“Why did you bring me forth from the womb?

Would that I had died before any eye had seen me,


and were as though I had not been,

carried from the womb to the grave.


Are not the days of my life few?

Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort


before I go, never to return,

to the land of gloom and deep darkness,


the land of gloom and chaos,

where light is like darkness.”


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Verses 1–7

Job, being weary of his life, resolves to complain, but he will not charge God with unrighteousness. Here is a prayer that he might be delivered from the sting of his afflictions, which is sin. When God afflicts us, he contends with us; when he contends with us, there is always a reason; and it is desirable to know the reason, that we may repent of and forsake the sin for which God has a controversy with us. But when, like Job, we speak in the bitterness of our souls, we increase guilt and vexation. Let us harbour no hard thoughts of God; we shall hereafter see there was no cause for them. Job is sure that God does not discover things, nor judge of them, as men do; therefore he thinks it strange that God continues him under affliction, as if he must take time to inquire into his sin.

Verses 8–13

Job seems to argue with God, as if he only formed and preserved him for misery. God made us, not we ourselves. How sad that those bodies should be instruments of unrighteousness, which are capable of being temples of the Holy Ghost! But the soul is the life, the soul is the man, and this is the gift of God. If we plead with ourselves as an inducement to duty, God made me and maintains me, we may plead as an argument for mercy, Thou hast made me, do thou new-make me; I am thine, save me.

Verses 14–22

Job did not deny that as a sinner he deserved his sufferings; but he thought that justice was executed upon him with peculiar rigour. His gloom, unbelief, and hard thoughts of God, were as much to be ascribed to Satan's inward temptations, and his anguish of soul, under the sense of God's displeasure, as to his outward trials, and remaining depravity. Our Creator, become in Christ our Redeemer also, will not destroy the work of his hands in any humble believer; but will renew him unto holiness, that he may enjoy eternal life. If anguish on earth renders the grave a desirable refuge, what will be their condition who are condemned to the blackness of darkness for ever? Let every sinner seek deliverance from that dreadful state, and every believer be thankful to Jesus, who delivereth from the wrath to come.