The DEEP

Job 6:1-13 – Job Laments His Birth

There's no point in pretending to be superman.

Job 6:1-13 (ESV)

Then Job answered and said:

“Oh that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; therefore my words have been rash. For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me. Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass, or the ox low over his fodder? Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow? My appetite refuses to touch them; they are as food that is loathsome to me.

“Oh that I might have my request, and that God would fulfill my hope, that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off! This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One. What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient? Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze? Have I any help in me, when resource is driven from me?

When Job says, “For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me,” he sounds like David in Psalm 22.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. (ESV)

He knows this isn’t just random bad luck; he understands who is the first cause of all things. But his patience has expired and he actually wants God to end his life. “Oh that I might have my request, and that God would fulfill my hope, that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off! This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

If he could just die now, his pain would end and he would have succeeded in enduring his trials to completion without sinning against God. Then he could rest in peace.

But God has other plans.


This passage sounds like a prayer. If it is a prayer, it’s a prayer of lamentation with a request for God to end his life. That’s pretty strong stuff, but is it wrong?

The Bible has many lamentations – a whole book of them. That can’t be wrong. Anything that’s OK to say, is OK to say to God.

What’s not OK is wearing a mask. Being phony before God doesn’t work. He sees right through you.

If grief and anger are what’s on your heart, then pray your grief and anger. Being honest is essential to prayer. Cursing God is obviously wrong, but lamenting and questioning are just fine.

Just be yourself. You’re the one He loves.


To download a study guide with this week's devotionals, plus some discussion questions, see:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/9928-job-week-3-a-tale-of-two-perspectives

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.