Interestingly, Job has not, until chapter seven, addressed his complaints to God. The fact that he has not, incites Eliphaz to urge Job to prayer: “But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”
Eliphaz will live to regret that counsel, for when Job turns to God in chapter seven, he’s far from the meek dependent penitent soul Eliphaz likely has in mind. Job cries: “What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment? Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant? If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of men? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.”
In other words: “I’ll be dead soon God and you won’t have old Job to kick around any more.”
Chapter seven gives us more insight to Job’s suffering. An ancient work known as the “Testament of Job” says Job suffered for seven years. Here, Job mentions not being able to sleep, having a decaying body inhabited by worms, broken and festering skin and depression as deep as the sea (“my eyes will never see happiness again” – vs. 7). What misery!
Please remember: the contest between Satan and God is over. We would expect God to respond immediately, pick Job up and restore him. But God doesn’t. Perhaps the length of Job’s misery is God’s way of proving to Satan that a righteous man really will serve God for nothing.
Job will do it. But not silently.
No one need think that bearing agony in silence is a mark of spiritual maturity. Such certainly did not mark Job.