In chapter six, Job’s friends fail him, essentially in their inability to sympathize with him. His friends seem to focus on their theology which says in effect “It’s all about God,” while the one thing Job wants from them is their sympathy, i.e., “It’s all about me.” And it’s hard to blame him really, considering the extent of his suffering.
In chapter seven, Job revisits his complaint, comparing himself with an employee who receives no pay and no time off. Job has begun to feel that he’s running out of time (and life) and implores God to restore their former relationship. Then in 7:16-17, Job does an “about face” and asks God to leave him alone:
I loathe my life; I would not live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him,
We know, given the entire body of scripture that is the Bible, that our holy God has a fixed predisposition against evil, which is in fact the essence of “his wrath.” Nevertheless, especially given his plight, Job asks what seems to him to be a fair question in 7:20:
If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?
Why have you made me your mark?
Why have I become a burden to you?
Job must wait a long while yet for God’s answer, which is not really an answer but another set of questions that begins with 38:1-3:
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
But I’m getting ahead of myself aren’t I?