Job 10:8-22 (ESV)
“Your hands fashioned and made me, and now you have destroyed me altogether. Remember that you have made me like clay; and will you return me to the dust? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. Yet these things you hid in your heart; I know that this was your purpose. If I sin, you watch me and do not acquit me of my iniquity. If I am guilty, woe to me! If I am in the right, I cannot lift up my head, for I am filled with disgrace and look on my affliction. And were my head lifted up, you would hunt me like a lion and again work wonders against me. You renew your witnesses against me and increase your vexation toward me; you bring fresh troops against me.
“Why did you bring me out from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave. Are not my days few? Then cease, and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer before I go—and I shall not return— to the land of darkness and deep shadow, the land of gloom like thick darkness, like deep shadow without any order, where light is as thick darkness.”
Job’s view of things is getting darker – literally. In Chapter 3, he spoke of the grave in positive terms. I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest … There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. – Job 3:13, 17 (ESV)
Now his view is gloomier. Then cease, and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer before I go—and I shall not return— to the land of darkness and deep shadow, the land of gloom like thick darkness, like deep shadow without any order, where light is as thick darkness.
But there is still one ray of hope. He knows that God is in control, and may yet, “cease, and leave me alone, that I may find a little cheer before I go.”
Job is right about that. His torment isn’t a done deal. At any moment God could relent.
In fact, God will grant this request.
Some prayer requests take longer than others. It’s not easy to keep praying for something after you’ve watched your request be denied over and over. But Jesus was absolutely clear on this.
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” – Luke 18:1-5
The toughest prayers are the most glorifying.
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