Poetic Metaphors

Re:Verse passage – Job 7:1-21 (day seven)

Am I the sea, or the sea monster,
That You set a guard over me? vs 12

Why is Job written primarily in poetry as opposed to narrative? Poetry tells a story that narrative cannot. Narrative is fact. Poetry shows us emotions. It becomes a bottomless pit of creativity as each line of the poem takes on its own image that can have a multitude of meanings. Here for example, Job asks God if he is the sea. Why? Because Job feels in this moment “that his suffering is disproportionate to the weight of his being” (ESV Study Bible). He feels that God has given him a burden that is too big for a human to carry. Job is single handedly refuting the modern catchphrase (not from scripture) that says, “God won’t give you more than you can handle?” He feels in this moment that God has given him more than he can handle. He is able to communicate all those feelings to us by simply drawing out a metaphor in one line of one verse of one chapter of his entire lament. Isn’t poetry beautiful?

Author: Rick Henderson

Rick Henderson is the Associate Pastor for Students.

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