Job 6

No one can judge another justly without much prayer for divine guidance. Affliction does not necessarily prove one to be a hypocrite or a wicked man.

1 But Job answered and said,

2 Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!

3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.

4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.

5 Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?

6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

7 The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.

8 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!

9 Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!

10 Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.

11 What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life?

12 Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?

13 Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?

14 To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.

15 My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away;

16 Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid:

17 What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.

18 The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.

19 The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.

20 They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.

21 For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.

22 Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance?

23 Or, Deliver me from the enemy’s hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?

24 Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.

25 How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?

26 Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?

27 Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.

28 Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.

29 Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.

30 Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?

Job 6 – “A Deceitful Brook”

   The burden of Job’s complaint is the ill-treatment meted out by his friends. They had accused him of speaking rashly, but they had not measured the greatness of his pain, Job 6:4, or they would have seen it to be as natural as the braying and lowing of hungry and suffering beasts, Job 6:5. A man would not take insipid food without complaint; how much more reason had he to complain whose tears were his meat day and night, Job 6:6-7! So bitter were his pains that he would welcome death, and exult in the throes of dissolution, Job 6:8-10. It could hardly be otherwise than that he should succumb, since he had only the ordinary strength of mortals, and both strength and wisdom were exhausted, Job 6:11-13.
   Job next characterizes the assistance of his friends as winter brooks, turbid with melted ice and snow, which bitterly disappoint the travelers who had hoped to find water, and perish beside the dry heaps of stones, Job 6:17. They had found fault with his words, which, in the circumstances, were not a true index to his heart, Job 6:26; but a look into his face would have sufficed to attest his innocence of the sin of which they accused him, Job 6:28-30. 
   From these complaints of faithlessness and disappointment we turn to Him who, having been made perfect through suffering, has become “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him,” Hebrews 5:9. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Job 6:15—As a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away.

   Job complains of his three friends. He was glad when they first came to his side, as likely to yield him comfort in his sore distress. Instead of this, however, they began probing his heart and searching his life, to find the secret sin on account of which his heavy troubles had befallen him. Their philosophy was at fault. They held that special misfortune is always the result of special sin; and since there was nothing in job’s outward conduct to account for his awful sufferings, they felt that he was hiding some secret defection, which they urged him to confess. Job felt that in all this they. cruelly misunderstood him, and compares them in these words to one of the desert streams that are choked with ice and snow in the time of the winter rains, but dwindle and dry up on the first approach of summer. And when the weary caravans come to their banks, lo, their bed is a mere heap of stones. “They were confounded” and “they came thither” (v. 20).
   Is it not so with human friendships? We hoped that they would quench the raging thirst of our souls; this hope increases when they draw nigh us in days of sorrow; but how often they fail us—stones for bread, scorpions for fish, and scorching pebbles instead of water-brooks. How great a contrast to the love and friendship of Jesus! Not like a brook that dries in the time of drought, but like a well of water springing up within the heart forever. He does not merely give consolation and sympathy, but He is what He gives, He imparts Himself. His promise chases away our fears as His Spirit reminds us of the words (Hebrews 13:5), “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Nothing gives Him greater joy than to be the perfect circle of which earth’s friendships are broken arcs. —Our Daily Homily