We believe in the sun even when it is hidden behind a cloud, therefore we should not doubt the goodness of God when His face seems for a time to be hidden from us. The Great Physician has never taken down a wrong bottle.
1 Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?
2 As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work:
3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.
4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
5 My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.
6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
7 O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.
8 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not.
9 As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.
10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.
11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?
13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;
14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:
15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.
16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
17 What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?
18 And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?
19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?
20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?
21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.
Job 7:1-21 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 7 – Longing for the Evening
The servant eagerly longs for the lengthening shadow, which tells him that his day of labor is at an end, and we may allow ourselves to anticipate the hour of our reward and deliverance.
In plaintive words, which have so often been on the lips of heavy sufferers, Job tells the story of his sorrow and bitterness. The sufferer addresses God directly—almost suggesting at first that God was persecuting him without cause. Let those who have been disposed to think God unmindful and hard in His dealings, ponder these words. Even this saint of patience has trodden that path before them, and he came out right at last. But a softer tone follows; Job realizes that he has sinned, pleads to be forgiven, and asks that the word of forgiving love may not tarry, lest it be too late. The psalmist uses expressions similar to Job 7:17-18, but with a more wholesome application, Psalm 8:4; 144:3.
Notice that wonderful name for God–the preserver of men, Job 7:20. Not to discover their sins, but to learn their sorrows and needs with the intent of helping them with His saving strength. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Job 7:17-18—What is man… that thou shouldest visit him every morning?
God visits us with mercy every morning. Before we are awake He is at work in the world, baptizing it with dew, feeding the birds and wild things, taking pleasure in the jasmine and heliotrope, the honeysuckle, and the rose; and with all His care for His world, He does not forget man, whom He has placed there to be its tenant. There is no life so mean and abject, so suffering and wretched, that He does not visit in order to comfort and relieve it. No heart so forlorn that He does not knock at the door: no window so selfishly curtained and shuttered, at which He does not tap. “Open to me,” the heavenly visitor entreats (Song of Solomon 5:2), “my love, my dove, my undefiled.” Alas for us! that we keep the doors and windows closed to Him—as the poor widow to a beneficent friend, who called to relieve her, but she mistook him for the rent-collector.
But probably Job meant that God visits us in discipline, training, education. He is the watcher of men; not to detect their failures, but to discover opportunities of leading them on to richer, fuller experiences of His grace and life. Surely, as we consider all the time and pains which God has expended on us, we too may cry, with the patriarch, “What is man?” (v. 17). Man is more than we guess, else God would never take such time and pains with him. When a lapidary spends years over a single diamond, the most careless observer begins to appraise properly its intrinsic value.
Every morning God visits thee, with holy thoughts and warnings, with miracles and parables, with anticipations and forecasts—oh, realize how much thou art to Him: give Him love for love, thanks and loving recognition, a child’s welcome and trust. —Our Daily Homily