October 10, 2008
by Charles R. Swindoll
Job is still struggling. Eliphaz left him cold. He has received neither comfort nor insight from Bildad. He has no mediator to present his case; therefore, he is very candid. Matter of fact, he's returning to questions he asked earlier. He has every right to ask them. He's confused. He still doesn't get it. So, understandably, he asks:
Why then have You brought me out of the womb?
Would that I had died and no eye had seen me!
I should have been as though I had not been,
Carried from womb to tomb.
Would he not let my few days alone?
Withdraw from me that I may have a little cheer. (Job 10:18--20)
"Why didn't He just take me from the womb and carry me to the tomb?" Oh, Job, you're back where you started. In fact, as he ends his response, he is back in the doldrums. He writes of his own "gloom" and "deep shadow" and "darkness." Out of respect for Job's private struggle, I suggest we draw all this to a close. This ends sadly, but so it is with Job as Bildad frowns, then walks away. And God stays silent. We end sadly, but not without lessons to remember.
First, when misery breaks our spirit, philosophical words don't help us cope. All Job's so-called comforting companions had to offer were hollow words in the form of philosophical meanderings and theoretical concepts. That brought him no relief, no break in his misery. Philosophical words fall flat when they're mouthed to those in misery.
Second, when a mediator can't be found, futile searches won't give us hope. We're surrounded by people today on a search for hope to go on . . . to make it through the maze of their misery. Many of them long for a mediator, someone who can represent their cause and plead their case. You may be that person. If so, you can know what Job didn't know. The mediator he longed for is not only alive, He is available and ready to hear your story. Unlike Job's friends, He's no philosopher. He's the Redeemer. His name is Jesus. Anyone who comes to Him for comfort will find it. He has more mercy than you have misery.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.