Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
But Job answered and said,Job 6:1 f
The sixth and seventh chapters are molten from end to end, and run in one burning stream.... Everything which can be said by a sick man against life is in these chapters. The whole of a vast subsequent literature is summed up here, and he who has once read it may fairly ask never to be troubled with anything more upon that side.
—Mark Rutherford, The Deliverance, p. 13 f.
'When He does smite,' wrote General Gordon to his sister from the Red Sea in 1879, 'His arrows are almost too sharp for one to bear: I will not say too sharp, for He tempers His wind to the shorn lamb, but it is a wearisome life, and I am tired.... The spite in my own heart and in those round me fills me with hatred of any human being. A more detestable creature than man cannot be conceived, and yet you and I are cased, or sheathed in man. But do not fear for me, for, even if He multiplies my woes a million times, He is just and upright, and will give me the necessary strength. What enrages the flesh is, that I am in a cul de sac, a road which has no débouche, a hole out of which I see no exit. Everything I do will be misconstrued. This shows I have not faith. I do care for what man says, though, in words, I say I do not. I have not overcome the world. Read Job 6:4; that is the bitter feeling I have. Job was a scoffer—vide chap. 12:2, 3—and so am I in heart and tongue.'
Reference.—VI. 6.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxix. No. 1730.
In describing Dr. Donne's grief after his wife's death, Izaak Walton writes: 'How grief took so full a possession of his heart, as to leave no place for joy. If it did, it was a joy to be alone, when, like a pelican in the wilderness, he might bemoan himself, without witness or restraint, and pour forth his passions like Job in the days of his affliction: "Oh that I might have the desire of my heart! Oh that God would grant me the one thing that I long for!" For then as the grave is become her house, so would I hasten to make it mine also, that we two might then make our beds together in the dark.'
Reference.—VI. 10.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxv. No. 1471.
'I have many friends and many enemies,' Swift wrote to Stella, 'and the last are more constant in their nature.'
Never man had kinder or more indulgent friends than I have had; but I expressed my own feeling as to the mode in which I had gained them, in this very year 1829, in the course of a copy of verses. Speaking of my blessings, I said, 'Blessings of friends which to my door unasked, unhoped, have come'. They have come, they have gone; they came to my great joy; they went to my great grief.
—Newman, Apologia, chap. 1.
References.—VII. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlvi. No. 2705. VII. 1.— W. F. Shaw, Sermon Sketches, p. 89. G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 286. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxi. No. 1258.
Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!
For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.
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.
Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?
Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!
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.
What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life?
Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?
Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?
To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.
My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away;
Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid:
What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.
The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.
The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.
They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.
For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.
Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance?
Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?
Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.
How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?
Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?
Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.
Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.
Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.
Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?