Job is hard to look at. If Dr. Mayhew is correct, Job is suffering from an extremely advanced for of Leprosy, which so distorts one’s appearance that the are grotesque and often unrecognizable, which was the case with Job.  He’s repulsive and it’s difficult to maintain eye contact with him.

Being unable to do that, Job’s friends resort to an intellectual debate over the cause of his situation, rather than ministering to Job in the midst of his suffering. Job answers, “Do you think your words are convincing when you disregard my cry of desperation?”  Job is crying out for help, comfort and support in chapter three from the pit of despair. His friends stand around the edge of the pit, and talk about how Job got into the pit in the first place when what he needs is help at the moment. It’s like the blind man who cried out for Jesus. The disciples told him to be quiet he was making a scene. They were unconcerned about his plight. There was no compassion.

Finally, Job shouts, “Look at me!” But they don’t want to. He’s too repulsive. He’s too hard to look at. He wanted them to see his suffering, to acknowledge his pain, to empathize with his situation. He knew if they would open their hearts, then open their eyes, they would recognize his need is not intellectual debate, but compassion and comfort. But he gets none!

Israel as a nation was suffering in unimaginably repulsive ways. Unlike Job, they brought the suffering on themselves because of their rebellion and disobedience to God. But Isaiah, doesn’t focus on the cause effect reasoning, but tells them there will come a great comforter who will be their Messiah. Isaiah writes what this Messiah will do and say. “Comfort, comfort ye, my people. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and tell her that her iniquity is pardoned.” (Isaiah 40:1-2)

In his suffering Job needed comfort. So do we! We need the Messiah, Jesus. Who will come and sit next to us in the pit of despair. The “man of sorrows” who is “well acquainted with grief” will take our hand in his own nail-pierced hands and comfort us in our pain and He will lift us out of the pit.


“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21)