Job 7 … Consider Him, the Watcher of Men

“Have I sinned? What have I done to You,
O watcher of men?
Why have You set me as Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?
(7:20).

Oh, how often our perceptions, shaped by our pain, distort our understanding

“What is man that You magnify him,
And that You are concerned about him,
18 That You examine him every morning
And try him every moment?
19 “Will You never turn Your gaze away from me,
Nor let me alone until I swallow my spittle [long enough for me to swallow]?
(7:17-19).

What is becoming clear to me in these early chapters of Job, is the fallout that occurs when we combine what we are physically able to ascertain from the circumstances of life with His eternal Truth. And in that merger, we misconstrue both the integrity and intentions of Holy God.

Much of Job’s assessment about reality on earth is accurate. Man is resigned to labor during his transient time on this planet and that is often attended by seasons of darkness and sickness (7:1-6); and life is fleeting and ultimately ends in death (7:7-10).

And Job, reeling from what he has deemed to be an unjust punishment regarding an offense he has no clue about, directs his attention to God. And it is in this place of perplexity permeated with anguish and pain, that Job just can’t contain his complaint.

“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul,”
(7:11).

Job addressed his questions to God about what he deemed to be especially unfair treatment. But remembering what God had repeated about Job, “For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:8; 2:3), we have to believe that Job’s questioning of God was never intended to dishonor God.

But completely befuddled, in all honesty Job presents his question to the Only One Who has the answer; his question that sounds something like, “Have I been like the sea or sea monster, so out of control that You have hemmed me in, to such an extent that I can’t even find rest in my sleep?’  And once again, the idea of death sounds like the better option (7:12-16).

And then Job flat out asks,

“Have I sinned? What have I done to You,
O watcher of men?
Why have You set me as Your target,
So that I am a burden to myself?
(7:20).

Job is genuinely stumped, and even he is beginning to believe there must be some hidden sin to explain this horrific dilemma that has made him the weary target of God’s discipline. And his question, addressing God as “Watcher of Men,” takes on a bitter tone. And that’s when I went looking to the original language.

Consider Him, the Watcher of Men

Watcher: “5341. נָצַר nāṣar:  A verb meaning to guard, to keep, to observe [watch], to preserve, to hide. The word refers to people’s maintaining things entrusted to them… Sometimes the word refers directly to God’s preservation and maintenance of His people…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

He is the Watcher of Men. And while Scripture is clear that He does indeed Watch those who reject His way of salvation and renders His just and righteous judgment, Scripture emphatically reiterates that He Watches those who belong to Him through faith in Jesus Christ to guard, keep, watch, preserve, and hide… maintaining all who have been entrusted to Him.

  • He is the Watcher of Men, maintaining all who have been entrusted to Him…
    • …as He Guards us
      • The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
        From this time forth and forever,
        (Psalm 121:8).
      • For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day, (2 Timothy 1:12).
    • …as He Keeps us
      • Thus says the Lord,
        “In a favorable time I have answered You,
        And in a day of salvation I have helped You;
        And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people,
        To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;
        (Isaiah 49:8).
      • who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, (1 Peter 1:5 NKJV).
    • …as He Watches us
      • I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
        I will counsel you with My eye upon you,
        (Psalm 32:8).
        “For the Lord watches the righteous, and he pays attention to their prayers. But the Lord opposes those who do wrong,” (1 Peter 3:12 ISV).
    • …as He Preserves us
      • You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
        Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me,
        (Psalm 40:11).
      • Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass, (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
    • …as He Hides us
      • You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man;
        You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues,
        (Psalm 31:20).
      • For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God, (Colossians 3:3).

How do we respond to Him, the Watcher of Men?

Because He is the Watcher of Men, He will faithfully maintain all who are entrusted to Him through faith in Christ. But we know all too well that the voice of the enemy is relentless in its raging attempts to drown out the Truth amidst the crashing waves of our adversity, afflictions and agony.

One of my very best friends in the world reminds me of Job. I’m not kidding. The tragedies that have encompassed my sweet friend and her beloved family bring me to tears even as I type these words. And if anyone has reason to drown in her sorrows and sufferings, she certainly does. But she is hanging on, admittedly sometimes by what feels like a mere thread of faith; but she refuses to let go. And even in all of it, over the last two years, she blesses her God in worship.

And while I was studying this chapter, she texted me the following:

“It’s not that God is silent, it’s that our distractions are sometimes too loud.”

We are so utterly desperate for His Truth to drown out the distractions and to tune our ears to hear and our eyes to see. And He has provided exactly we need in His Word and by His Holy Spirit.

And even in our confusion, we need to refuse to let go of Truth. The Truth that He is the Watcher of Men to do us good and never harm, no matter what life heartlessly catapults our way.

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,'” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Today, we will close out our time with two lengthy passages; passages demonstrating His provision as the Watcher of Men to guard, keep, watch, preserve and hide us.

His Word
If we will receive His Truth and seek for it as though it is the most valuable treasure we can ever find; His Word will guard, keep, watch, preserve, and hide us in His Truth.

My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice,
And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart

And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,
12 To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things;
13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness;
14 Who delight in doing evil
And rejoice in the perversity of evil; (Proverbs 2:10-14).

His Holy Spirit
If we will trust His Holy Spirit, more than what our eye sees, our ear hears and our mind imagines; His Holy Spirit will guard, keep, watch, preserve, and hide us in His Wisdom and Spiritual Truth.

No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God –his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. (1 Corinthians 2:7 New Living Translation).

Father, please grow us to interpret the events of this life through Your Truth, trusting that You will guard, keep, watch, preserve, and hide us; for You have promised to maintain all who have been entrusted to You. Please grow us in our faith, through Your Word and by Your Holy Spirit, that we would in turn, entrust ourselves to You; for You are the faithful and able Watcher of Men.

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day, (2 Timothy 1:12).

Let’s Grow Together!

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