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Bible Commentaries
Job 30

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-31

Chapter 30

But now, chapter 30, he tells of the present condition. And just as glorious as was the past, so depressing is the present.

But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished? For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste: Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat. They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) To dwell in the cliffs in the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks ( Job 30:1-6 ).

These people are just the off-scouring of the earth.

Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth. And now I am their song, yea, I am their byword. [They're looking down on me.] They abhor me, they flee far from me, they spare not to spit in my face ( Job 30:7-10 ).

Spitting, of course, is an insult in the Orient. It's an insult any place to spit in a guy's face, I suppose. But in the Orient it is a sign of great disdain. Many times, walking in Israel, through the old city, you can see hatred in the eyes of some of the Arabs there. And as you go by, they'll spit. Sometimes they'll spit on you. But it is just a sign of utter contempt and disdain. It's about the worst insult that the Oriental can heap upon you, is to spit on you.

We have a friend who went to Okinawa as a missionary and there was a lot of anti-American feeling on Okinawa after the war. And his little boy, who was in first grade, had to go to an all-Oriental school. And every day when his little boy would come home from school, they'd have to bathe him because he was covered with spit all over his body as the children were showing their hatred and disdain of the ugly American. And the dad was so torn up and upset over it he was thinking about just leaving the mission field and his little boy said, "No, Daddy." He said, "I'm doing it for Jesus and it's alright with me." And he said, "I'm just praying that the Lord will help them to know His love and maybe I can show it to them." But he said it was sickening, as the poor little kid would get home from school just covered head to toe. Kids would spit on him.

And so Job speaks of this horrible thing. And, of course, it wasn't just the mouth saliva, it would be the (clears throat)'ing kind. (Sorry about that, honey, I just... facts are facts.) My wife doesn't like me to say things like that, but you know, you might as well know the truth, even though it's ugly.

Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me ( Job 30:11 ),

Talking about God. "Because God has afflicted me."

they have also let loose the bridle before me. Upon my right hand rise the youth ( Job 30:11-12 );

Now here's what these kids were doing. Rotten little kids.

they push away my feet ( Job 30:12 ),

In other words, they trip me as I'm walking along.

and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction. They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me. Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passes away as a cloud. And now my soul is poured out upon me; and the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it binds me about as the collar of my coat. He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes. I cry unto thee, and you do not hear me: I stand up, and you don't regard me. You have become cruel to me: with your strong hand you've opposed yourself against me. You lift me up to the wind; and you cause me to ride upon it, and dissolve my substance. For I know that you will bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction. Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. I am a brother to the dragons, a companion to owls. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep ( Job 30:12-31 ).

Oh, what a sad, tragic condition this Job was in. From this position of honor, esteem and all, to the bottom. Just absolutely to the bottom.

In chapter 38, light finally comes. So cheer up, we're going to get out of this hole. But oh, how long? Many times we go through bitter experiences that we cannot understand. And while we are in those experiences, it always seems forever. They say that time is relative, and I'm convinced of that. If you're having an extremely pleasurable experience, an hour can go by so quickly. But if you're hurting, an hour seems like eternity. The relativity of time.

Job, going through these experiences, it seemed like forever. Even as sometimes as you are going through trials and testings, it seems like forever. "Oh, God, why?" And if we did not have, as Job, basic foundational truths undergirding us, surely we would fall. So one thing the book of Job really brings out and enforces in our minds is the necessity of the foundational truths being established within our lives: God is good, God is righteous, God loves me. I know that. What I don't know is why, when He loves me, He allows certain things to happen to me. He allows me to experience sorrows, griefs, pain. But I must just be satisfied with the fact that I know He does love me and nothing comes to me but what it isn't filtered through His love. God knows the way that I take and when I am tried, I am going to come out like gold.

Father, we thank you for Your love and for Your goodness. Be patient with us, Father, as we seek to understand that which cannot be understood by us: Your ways, Your purposes, Your dealings. And Lord, may we walk in Your love and may Your Spirit increase our faith. In Jesus' name. Amen. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 30". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-30.html. 2014.
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