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Job 16

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 1 Then Job answered and said,

 2 "I have heard many such things; you are all miserable comforters.

 3 Shall your vain words ever stop? What emboldens you that you answer?

 4 I also could speak as you do. If your soul were in my soul's place, I could heap up words against you, and shake my head at you.

 5 Instead, I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips would relieve your grief.

 6 Though I speak, my grief is not relieved; and though I stop, how am I eased?

 7 But now he has made me weary; you have made all my household desolate.

 8 And you have shriveled me up, which is a witness against me; my leanness rises and bears witness to my face.

 9  He who hates me tears me in his wrath; he gnashes upon me with his teeth; my enemy sharpens 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.

 11 God has delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked.

 12 I was at ease, but he has broken me apart; he has also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.

 13 His archers surround me, he splits my kidneys open, and does not spare; he pours out my gall upon the ground.

 14 He breaks me with thrust upon thrust, he runs upon me like a giant.1

 15 I have sewn sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my strength to the dust.

 16 My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death; [Job speaks of his spiritual eye; he is cut off from the light he previously enjoyed; he sits in darkness hoping for the light to arise again in his heart.]

 17 Though not for any injustice in my hands; also my prayer is pure.

 18 O earth, do not cover my blood, and let my cry have no place.

 19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.

 20 My friends scorn me; but my eye pours out tears to God.

 21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleads for his neighbor!

 22 When a few years have come, then I shall go the way from which I shall not return."

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1 Although Job ascribes his pains and afflictions to God, clearly Job is speaking of supernatural torturers, demons, surrounding him, with their fiery darts, with their continuous ridicule. They are there with God's permission, but he restrains them within prescribed limits. As Paul testified: Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Eph 6:16. Several of the Psalms speak to being surrounded by mighty men, like bees, with burning darts, snares, evil words, etc. See Psalms 17, 23, 25, 31, 35, 38, 43, 44, 56, 64, 66, 71, 86, 88, 118, 120, 139, 141; which are some of the many other references to these supernatural adversaries. God gives the demons permission to sift a man, to try a man — but to the purpose of making that man even stronger and even more perfect. And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith does not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:31-32.


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