But now, Job continues, younger men mock him—pitiful outcasts whom the land has rejected. Yet to such men, Job has become a “byword” because of the way God has humbled him. The masses pursue him, eager for his ruin.
Job shifts to his plight in the present. It’s a total reversal of his life in the past—far from being honored, he’s mocked and humiliated by those who once looked up to him. Instead of flocking to him for advice, people join forces to destroy him.
Job is racked with relentless pain. He feels that God has thrown him to the ground and that he has become like “dust and ashes.” When Job cries to God, God doesn’t answer; it’s as if God just stands and looks at him. God has turned cruel to Job, and Job knows that God will bring him to death.
In contrast to the days when he felt that God was a nearby friend, now Job feels abandoned by God. He receives the opposite of blessing from God now—only pain, dishonor, silence, and the threat of death. Still, Job doesn’t stop calling out to God for help, suggesting his faith is intact, if battered.
Didn’t Job himself once weep for the needy? But when Job looked for good for himself, he only found evil. He’s now in turmoil, and he walks around in constant gloom. He is “a brother of jackals, and a companion of ostriches.” His skin is decaying, his bones burn, and he can only sing mourning songs on his lyre.
Job underscores the basic injustice of his present position. Though he once showed concern for the suffering, he now receives no sympathy—he’s like an animal that scavenges in the desert, unfit for human company. Where he once enjoyed riches and peace, now his body and spirit are relentlessly afflicted.