This is my fourth poem from the Book of Job, covering the sixth chapter. I went back this past week and did a little housekeeping, breaking up last week's long poem into two different poems since they covered two chapters in Job (Job 4-5). And, going forward, I'll write these poems "per chapter".
There isn't much to say concerning this poem. The Lord blessed me again with words and phrasings and I've really enjoyed this period of creativity. If you've read these last few poems without looking at the corresponding passages in Job, you might think I'm off my rocker. But, I think they really do follow the message and the conversations found in Job.
I have no idea if this can be sustained for the entirety of Job. I haven't read ahead to see where the story is going — I'm only aware of vague generalities. I don't even read the chapter that I'm currently writing about, although I probably should! I just start with a clean slate, read a few verses in order to figure out the rhyming scheme, and then keep a few verses in view from parallel sources. I've relied heavily on Bible Hub.
So, in the future, at least for this series, the blog may just be the poem itself — unless there is some interesting anecdote related to the process. And that's what the blogs were for anyway — to describe the process behind the poem. And, in this case, the process has been the same throughout these four poems:
Pray. Meditate. Write. Repeat.
Job's Second Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
With Friends Like These
based on Job 6
If my grief could be laid on the scales to be weighed,
with my troubles — how great would they be?
Its no wonder my words have been rash and absurd —
they'd outweigh all the sand in the sea.
For the arrows that fly from Almighty, Shaddai —
they have pierced me — I'm barely alive;
and the further they sink, the more poison I drink —
oh, my spirit will never survive.
Is the bray of the ass not complaint over grass?
Does the ox without food low to beg?
Would it not be our fault to eat food without salt?
Is there taste in the white of an egg?
But I just cannot eat for its all rotten meat.
And I only ask God one request:
for, in place of my bread, that he'd crush me instead,
then I'd truly at last be at rest.
But there's comfort to gain, for despite all my pain
I have never denied God's commands.
Little strength I have left, of my hope I'm bereft,
as the sands of time pass through my hands.
Is my strength like the stones? Have I rocks for my bones?
Am I covered in bronze as my flesh?
I'm unable to cope, at the end of my rope;
I'm without any hope of success.
But a man who despairs should have one friend who cares,
even if he no longer fears God.
Yet my brothers, it seems, are like seasonal streams,
that are empty but used to be broad
with thick ice in the flow and the melting of snow,
how the banks of the river would fail;
but it all disappears when the dry season nears,
now the river is dry as a trail.
For the Caravans died in their turning aside,
in the sands of the desert they drowned.
And from Tema, they came; and from Sheba, the same:
but the river could never be found.
Disappointed and drained when their confidence waned,
they arrived, but found nothing instead.
Now you've proven to be like those rivers to me,
for my terror has filled you with dread.
Have I asked for myself any thing from your wealth,
or be saved from the hand of my foe?
If you'd teach me, I'd learn; only help me discern
where I've erred, so I finally will know.
There is pain in the truth; what does arguing prove?
What is learned by your statements like these?
Do you mean to correct every word I inflect,
disregard my despair like the breeze?
You would even cast lots for the fatherless tots,
and would sell your own friend in disgrace.
Just one look in my eyes you would then realize
that I never would lie to your face.
Reconsider, good men, reassess me again,
vindication may yet come to light.
Are my lips that unjust? Has my tongue lost your trust?
Do you think I don't know wrong from right?
You would even cast lots for the fatherless and barter away your friend.