Men who are regarded like dogs by polite society, now look down on Job. His present predicament and degree of suffering is almost beyond words.
But what is worse, Job feels as though he’s been abandoned by God. In verses 16-23, Job cries out,
“and now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me. Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest. In his great power God becomes like clothing to me; he binds me like the neck of my garment. He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes. `I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me. You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm. I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living.”
Job feels as though God is persecuting him. He also feels as though God has abandoned him during his time of greatest need. But what Job fails to grasp–and which will soon be revealed to him–is that he is on the verge of being guilty of the exact same thing as his three friends–he seeks wisdom through his own experience and observation. Yet we do need to cut Job some slack. As Kline reminds us, “it must be remembered that [Job] was not a man of stone but a man of flesh, and still being crushed by the serpent’s coils.”