Job’s Reply to Bildad (26:1 – 31:40) — continued
The opening words of this chapter (“But now”) signal a contrast to the thoughts of the previous chapter. Job’s present (chapter 30) was quite a contrast to his noble past (chapter 29). Job lamented that in his present miserable condition even the children of desert riffraff mocked him. Job was mocked and abused by the children of men whom Job would not have employed to work with his sheep dogs. Verse 9 begins with the words “And now.” Once again these words serve to contrast Job’s present condition with his past. Job presently found himself detested and threatened by street urchins. They treated him as one lower and more detestable than themselves.
Again the words “And now” point out Job’s present and apparently hopeless condition. Apart from having to endure the taunts of others, Job’s disease was strangling him and draining him of life.
Job lamented that even God had turned on him and would not listen to him. He misinterpreted God’s silence as lack of concern. He felt that God was persecuting him.
Job could not understand why he received nothing but indifference and criticism from both God and man in light of his altruistic record of service to others in need. He felt that he had become a “brother to jackals, and a companion to ostriches” (30:29). Both of these animals are known for their lonely cries. Job sounded just like them. Job’s self-pity and discouragement is understandable. He had suffered incredible losses, suffered illness for a long-period of time, and suffered through the pious theologizing of his friends. As Job took inventory of his life he felt that, beyond losing his health, he had lost the respect of others. He felt that he had lost the comfort and friendship of God. He felt that his prayers were not getting through to heaven. He felt alone and forsaken.