Job Reproaches His Pitiless Friends (Job 16:1 – 22)

Job opens his next speech by calling his friends “miserable comforters.”  He states that he could accuse himself if he were in their shoes, but he would couple it with comfort to relieve their grief.  He describes how his enemies gnash at him and accuse him.  Then he describes how God has shattered him and pirce his heart.  As a result, he is in sackcloth and ashes, and weeps non-stop.  Yet his hands are clean and his prayer in pure.  He concludes with this:

20 My friends scorn me;

My eyes pour out tears to God.

21 Oh, that one might plead for a man with God,

As a man pleads for his neighbor!

22 For when a few years are finished,

I shall go the way of no return.

Job is venting to those around him about his angst, his pain.  He unloaded on his friends, accusing them of being useless to him during his pain.  He identified his enemies, including the fact that even God was attacking him.  He is a man in mourning, and knows his days are short.  Pain and suffering can often cause the stress that would produce the symptoms Job presented, including depression, despair, and hostility.  When your friends are hurting, be a comforter, and put up with their edge.  One day you may need for someone to be patient with your pain as well.

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