After listening to Eliphaz and responding to him, Job cries out to God.
“I cannot keep from speaking. I must express my anguish. My bitter soul must complain. Am I a sea monster or a dragon that you must place me under guard? I think, ‘My bed will comfort me, and sleep will ease my misery,’ but then you shatter me with dreams and terrify me with visions. I would rather be strangled—rather die than suffer like this. I hate my life and don’t want to go on living. Oh, leave me alone for my few remaining days.
“What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often? For you examine us every morning and test us every moment. Why won’t you leave me alone, at least long enough for me to swallow! If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of all humanity? Why make me your target? Am I a burden to you? Why not just forgive my sin and take away my guilt? For soon I will lie down in the dust and die. When you look for me, I will be gone.”
Job stopped talking to Eliphaz and spoke directly to God. He had lived a blameless life, but now he was beginning to doubt the value of living in such a way. By doing this, he was coming dangerously close to suggesting that God didn’t care about him and was not being fair. Later God reproved Job for this attitude (Job 38:2).
Job referred to God as a watcher or observer of humanity. He was expressing his feeling that God seemed like an enemy to him—someone who mercilessly watched him squirm in his misery. We know that God does watch over everything that happens to us. But we must remember that he sees us with compassion. He looks on us with eyes of love.
Job felt deep anguish and bitterness, and he spoke honestly to God about his frustrations. If we express our feelings to God, we can deal with them without exploding in harmful words and actions. Satan always exploits these thoughts to get us to forsake God. Our suffering, like Job’s, may not be the result of our sin, but we must be careful not to sin as a result of our suffering.
The next time strong emotions threaten to overwhelm you, express them openly to God in prayer. This will help you gain an eternal perspective on the situation and give you greater ability to deal with it constructively.