Job 16:5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.
6 Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?
7 But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.
8 And thou hast filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face.
9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.
Job preferred to be a help to others, not a boat anchor. Speaking the truth is always good for the soul. Those who do not want the truth will take offence to it. That does not make the truth bad. That simply means the person is not receptive to the truth.
Job’s friends obviously were not open to the truth. They had already determined that they were wiser than God and they were not going to change their minds. They were not going to allow God’s Word to affect their hearts in a good way.
The word “asswage” is found twice in these verses. The Hebrew word there means to hold back. Job desired to remove grief, not manipulate it for his own purposes. That is God’s desire and that is why He gives us the truth. When we believe the truth, it is good for our souls.
In verse 6 Job noted that even though he had sought counsel from the Lord, his grief was not held back. He was not receiving an answer from the Lord in his time, and thus he was not satisfied. Job was waiting for an answer, but his grief and his pain were not lessened while he waited. He lacked the necessary faith to trust in the Lord even when he was not clear on what was happening. He had examined his life and did not see any sin that needed to be addressed. He did not find any help in what these men were saying. In his mind, he was being left in the dark by God.
In verse 7 Job continued to assume that God was chastening him. He was made weary and he did not see any end to the trouble. Job’s family was gone. He had nowhere to turn for help. As he mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, these three men were not offering any help. Human reasoning is not the solution to spiritual troubles. God’s people need true answers from the Word of God. These men had nothing to offer there.
In verse 8 Job noted that his body was looking old. Wrinkles usually come with age. Job had lost some weight through his ordeal. The boils were also affecting his skin. As Job looked at his body, he was reminded of the suffering he was facing. He could not hide what was going on in his body. He was constantly reminded that he was facing some serious troubles and as mentioned already, he assumed they were the work of God in his life. Every time Job looked at himself, he was reminded of the severity of his current situation.
In verse 9 Job continued to accuse God of chastening him. He continued to assume that God was angry with him and that He was expressing hatred toward him. As we have noted before, Job’s mind was still working but he was not letting the truths he knew in the past to govern his thoughts. His friends were not helping him to focus on truth, rather than suppositions.
It is sad when a child of God assumes that God is his enemy. That is certainly not true. God is the friend that sticketh closer than a brother. God is never far away from His child. Sometimes we can assume He is far away and does not seem to care about us, but that is when we need to draw nigh to Him even more. That is when we need some true friends who can help us to see things as they really are.
In the time in which we are living, I realize that it could well be that some of us could end up in prison over the wicked plans of our government. We could even face solitary confinement in prison. I understand that the prisons can be very cruel to religious people that the governments do not like. Even false religious leaders have been treated very harshly in recent years. This is where memorization of Scripture is important now while we have that opportunity. Government officials may try to remove all truth from us. They may try to corrupt our minds with ungodly music and other vile things. We do not need to worry and imagine what might happen. We need to walk humbly today and each day and develop a strong and vibrant relationship with the true God so that He can sustain us in whatever situation we may face. It is very important to know that God is not the enemy of His people. If He is chastening His child, He will make it clear what the issue is. If He is not chastening His child, He will also be there to bring comfort and hope in the midst of trouble.
In verse 10 Job spoke of his three friends. They came and were astonished at what they saw. They sat quiet for seven days as they observed Job’s groanings and his words. Then they behaved themselves as though they were physically beating him up. Their words were as bad as if they were hitting him with their fists or with some weapon. There was no comfort in what they were saying.
Job was not looking for enablers. There are people who are in sin who want someone to come alongside them and comfort them in their sin. They do not want to be told they need to turn to God in repentance. They despise the truth. Job was not like that. He pleaded with God to show him his sin. He wanted to know the truth. These three men were not giving him the truth and Job knew that. He was not blocking out the truth. We know that because we have the entire book of Job to study.
We also have the entire Bible to study and if we are saved, we can know when we are disobedient to God’s Word. If we are guilty of distorting the truth, godly people can come alongside and help us to look at things in a proper light. God wants His children to know His blessings in the midst of difficult times.
We know that Paul and Silas were singing praises to God at midnight after they had been beaten and were bound in stocks and in prison. They knew they had done nothing wrong against God. They knew the lost Jews hated them and they knew that lost Jews had connections with the Roman government. They were not discouraged. They could rejoice in God in a situation that was not physically pleasant. The result of their attitude was that God could work in the jailer’s life as well as the other prisoners. When God sent the earthquake and all the prisoners were freed, none escaped. The jailer wanted to kill himself, assuming the prison was empty. Paul was able to stop him from taking his life and he was also instrumental in leading the jailer to repentance before God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
Job would soon be encouraged by God and he would also find comfort in knowing God in a more intimate manner. His three friends would likely be stunned to hear God rebuking them for their false doctrine. They were so sure they were right and Job was wrong.
We need to be sure we are a true child of God and we need to be part of a good church where we can grow in the Lord so that we can have that hope that we need in every situation we find ourselves in. The Christian who seeks to withdraw from Godly fellowship will suffer most in times of persecution. Don’t be guilty of that. If you are saved, be sure you obey God’s Word and follow His way. Trust in Him and serve Him faithfully.
If you are not saved, don’t listen to the smooth talkers who are skilled at twisting God’s Word. If you are lost you have put yourself in a very vulnerable place. You do not have the Holy Spirit indwelling you. You are easily played by the devil. The good news is that God will be working to show you the basic truth you need to know. He will show you your need of salvation.
II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Humble yourself and listen to someone who will tell you the truth. God is good and He will bring a true believer into your life that can help you to know the truth if you will submit to Him.