“1Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling? 2As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work: 3So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. 4When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day. 5My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome. 6My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.” (Job 7:1-6)
In verse one, Job begins to ponder the brevity of life. Man only lives only so long before God’s appointed time for him comes. Job compared life to a hireling; that is, a temporary worker. The hireling would take the place of a regular worker for a short time. When he had served his appointed time, he would come for his money, take it quickly, and be gone. The hireling has only one goal – earn more money. As soon as he receives his money, he departs to another place.
In verses two and there, Job compared life to the labor of a servant. The servant works hard all day long. Perhaps he must labor in the heat of the day or toil under a heavy load. How he longs for the time with the shadows lengthen, for that will be the time of his allotted rest.
It seemed to Job that his life was like both the hireling and the servant. For a time, his life was full of activity. He was a master who owned servants, and he was in the spotlight. His life was exciting and enjoyable. But, like the hireling who eagerly snatched up his pay and departed, those days had quickly taken their glory and were gone. Now, life seemed to be worthless and vain. Every hour of it was full of labor, and he longed for rest; but rest did not come. Each night was filled with tossings to and fro, wishing for the morning. His skin was broken with infection. Though he rubbed clay on it, it was painful and dry and irritated. His open sores were infested with maggots. Oh how miserable he felt!
Finally, morning came. But Job found no relief. His desire for things to change was for naught. Life continued on the same. He had no hope of things ever getting better. The days passed very quickly for him, quicker than a weaver’s shuttle. At the end of each of these short days was a long, miserable, dark, painful night. In the morning, he would awaken to begin the same cycle all over again. Job longed for the evening of his life to come. Then he could go to the grave where he would receive his reward.
“O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.” (verse 7) Though Job longed for death, he felt a certain amount of regret at dying as he was. As he looked at his present state, it seemed to him that everything good was gone. There was a time when God had bestowed many blessings upon him. He knew he was in favor with God. Now he believed that God must be against him. Sadness filled his heart when he thought that he would die without seeing the blessings of God’s goodness upon him again. With heavy heart he said, “mine eye shall no more see good.”
In verses eight through ten, Job thought about what he would miss when he died, “8The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more : thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. 9 As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more . 10He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.” Job knew that God could see him. He believed God was looking on him with displeasure. One angry look from God, and Job would be no more. Job was like a cloud, a vapor that vanishes away. Once he was great, but he had been brought very low. Now he was wasting away and would soon be gone altogether.
Sorrow filled Job’s heart as he thought about his house and his dwelling place. It had probably gotten run down since Job had become sick, but he still loved it. It was his home. Soon he would go away, and he would never see it again. Not only would he have to die in poverty, but also in sickness and sorrow. The thought of this was too overwhelming for Job. He turned to the only one who could help him. Verses eleven through twenty one contain his words as he poured out his heart to God.
Though Job felt alone, God was with him. He could not see God or feel God; but deep down he knew God was there. Life was short and the way was dark, but he could lift up his eyes to his Maker. If your way is dark and hard and painful, you can lift up your eyes to your Maker too. Pour out your heart to Him. Things may be so hard that you cannot see God or feel Him, but God can see you and hear you.
“5My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. 6He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. 7In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. 8Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (Psalm 62:5-8)