Job 6 – The misery Job feels is heavier than the sands of the seas. It is no wonder then that he speaks a little wildly – carelessly. “Don’t I have a right to complain? Don’t wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen below when they have no food?” (5:5)
“”Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant my desire. I wish he would crush me. I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me. At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One, but I don’t have the strength to endure” (5:10-11).
The pain God has permitted him to suffer has taken away Job’s desire to live but not his desire to be faithful to his God.
His friends have accused him “without any fear of the Almighty,” without any regard for the truthfulness of what they say. “Stop assuming my guilt, for I have done no wrong. Do you think I am lying? Don’t I know the difference between right and wrong?” (5:29-30).
Job 7 – “Is not all human life a struggle? Our lives are like that of a hired hand, like a worker who longs for the shade, like a servant waiting to be paid. I, too, have been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery. Lying in bed, I think, ‘When will it be morning?’ But the night drags on, and I toss till dawn” (7:1-4).
He feels that his life is “but a breath” and that he will “never again feel happiness” (7:7).
And Job is a man who cannot stop talking about and reflecting on his misfortune. “’I cannot keep from speaking. I must express my anguish. My bitter soul must complain . . . I would rather be strangled—rather die than suffer like this. I hate my life and don’t want to go on living” (7:11-15).
And then, turning the words of a well-known psalm [Psalm 8] a little on its head, Job says, “’What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often? For you examine us every morning and test us every moment’” (7:17-18).
“If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of all humanity? Why make me your target? Am I a burden to you?” (7:20).
Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians
13 – Stand firm “in the precepts of the Lord and the Apostles, so that everything you do, worldly or spiritual, may go prosperously from beginning to end in faith and love, in the Son and the Father and the Spirit, together with your most reverend bishop and that beautifully woven spiritual chaplet, your clergy and godly minded deacons. Be as submissive to the bishop and to one another as Jesus Christ was to His Father, and as the Apostles were to Christ and the Father; so that there may be complete unity, in the flesh as well as in the spirit” (74).
14 – “Remember me in your prayers, so that I may win my way to God; and remember the church in Syria too, of which I am an unworthy member. I beg for your united prayers and love in God, so that our Syrian church may be refreshed with a sprinkling of dew from yours” (74).
15 – Ignatius conveys greetings from those with him from Ephesus, where he is writing this letter. “Like yourselves, they are here for the glory of God, and they have been a comfort to me in every way. So too has Polycarp, the Smyrnaean bishop . . . Farewell. See that there is a godly unity among you, and a spirit that is above all divisions; for this is Jesus Christ” (74).