How would you respond after losing everything? What would your response be? Would it be pointing fingers or blame? Would it be looking for answers or excuses? Imagine if it was as bad as what happened to Job where he first lost everything and then was afflicted by painful boils all over his body. Today we will see how he responds to this attack of the devil who is trying to get him to curse God, turn his back on God, give up on God, give up on his trust in God, give up on his faith in God.
‘After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth . And Job said, “Let the day on which I was born perish, And the night which announced: ‘There is a man-child conceived.’ May that day be darkness; Let God above not care about it, Nor light shine on it. Let darkness and gloom claim it for their own; Let a cloud settle upon it; Let all that blackens the day terrify it (the day that I was born). As for that night, let darkness seize it; Let it not rejoice among the days of the year; Let it not be counted in the number of the months. Behold, let that night be barren [and empty]; Let no joyful voice enter it. Let those curse it who curse the day, Who are skilled in rousing up Leviathan. Let the stars of its early dawn be dark; Let the morning wait in vain for the light, Let it not see the eyelids of morning (the day’s dawning), Because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb, Nor hide trouble from my eyes. “Why did I not die at birth, Come forth from the womb and expire? Why did the knees receive me? And why the breasts, that I would nurse? For now I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then, I would have been at rest [in death], With kings and counselors of the earth, Who built up [now desolate] ruins for themselves; Or with princes who had gold, Who filled their houses with silver. Or like a miscarriage which is hidden and put away, I would not exist, Like infants who never saw light. There [in death] the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners rest together; They do not hear the taskmaster’s voice. The small and the great are there, And the servant is free from his master. “Why is the light given to him who is in misery, And life to the bitter in soul, Who wait for death, but it does not come, And dig (search) for death more [diligently] than for hidden treasures, Who rejoice exceedingly, And rejoice when they find the grave? Why is the light of day given to a man whose way is hidden, And whom God has hedged in? For my groaning comes at the sight of my food, And my cries [of despair] are poured out like water. For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, And that of which I am afraid has come upon me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, and yet trouble still comes [upon me].”’— Job 3
Notes from the Study:
After the loss, after the pain, after the mourning, after the friends coming to mourn with him, Job speaks. Job doesn’t curse God though, we see as the chapter starts when he decides to start speaking, he curses his birth date. After all the loss and suffering, he questions what was the point of him being born. All that he had held dear and the fears of them all have all come to him. We learn about Job’s feeling through all of his suffering through the poetry. We will read as the study continues about the interactions between him and his friends.
We learn through today’s reading how Job wishes that he had never been born because the joys of his life weren’t worth the pain he has and is going through. We learn how in comparison he would have rather never been born than to have suffer, never to have been born than to have had wealth and lost it, and never to have been born than to have had children who were all killed. We read how he would rather have his birthday perish, never to be remembered, and even removed from the calendar. We learn how broken down Job had become. We learn how depressed he had become to the point that he didn’t care about himself anymore. Through it all, he still didn’t curse God.
Looking into the book of Job, we learn how the book starts in the format of prose in chapters 1 and 2 and then through most of the rest of the book (3:3-42:6) it is written in poetry.
See how Job didn’t jump to conclusions or point fingers at God? Ever noticed how people can have a tendency to quickly jump to judgement from God when something bad happens or a problem arises? Ever considered that Satan doesn’t need to bother with the people who are already on his side or have already walked away from God? Ever considered that it is true believers that Satan goes after? Ever considered that the attacks are because you are doing something for God and Satan is trying to stop you or worse make you give up?
As we read through today’s chapter, we see in the words of Job the parallel of Jeremiah 20:14.
‘Cursed be the day on which I was born; Do not bless the day on which my mother gave birth to me! ‘— Jeremiah 20:14
We need to consider the source of our desires. The desire to die based on a desire to be free from sin is a mark of grace whereas if it was based on a desire to escape troubles it is a mark of corruption. We need to persevere! We need to press on in times of troubles. We need to take heart when we face troubles of many kinds because Jesus has overcome the world. We need to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because of the process that is being worked out in and through us and the outcome that comes from the experience. We learn through today’s reading the severity of Job’s grief by the severity of what he wanted to curse and give up. We learn through his venting how this low was so severe he questioned the highs he had lived through previously.
Job and Jeremiah have very similar expressions during their suffering and lows in their responses as we read in verse 14 earlier and then even if we move forward one verse it continues.
‘Cursed be the man who brought the news To my father, saying, “A son has been born to you!” Making him very glad. ‘— Jeremiah 20:15
Oh the pain, the suffering, the loss that would push Job to wish that he had never been born. We see how overwhelming it was to him. To understand Job 3:5 further, we need to jump ahead a bit to learn what he means:
‘Before I go—and I shall not return— To the land of darkness and the deep shadow [of death], The [sunless] land of utter gloom as darkness itself , [The land] of the shadow of death, without order, And [where] it shines as [thick] darkness.”’— Job 10:21-22
Job speaks throughout chapter 3 not only about cursing the day he was born but then even to the day he was conceived. He wants them taken off the calendar. With the pain and sorrow he is feeling, he is wanting there to be no joy to be put on that day. It is so hard at this point that Job has forgotten all the good and only remembers these last short times of loss and suffering. You can hear hopelessness in and through his words.
Job didn’t turn on God but rather his past, his birthday, his conception, and his birth. Ever noticed when people are faced with severe illnesses and great pain how then tend to act similarly to Job and question why would they have been born? Ever consider the sadness in this world where even without the severity of what Job went thru there are so many who give up without faith in God and kill themselves? We see that had it not been Job’s faith in God, he probably would have done something that radical himself.
We learn about Job’s view of death through verses 13-19:
‘For now I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept then, I would have been at rest [in death], With kings and counselors of the earth, Who built up [now desolate] ruins for themselves; Or with princes who had gold, Who filled their houses with silver. Or like a miscarriage which is hidden and put away, I would not exist, Like infants who never saw light. There [in death] the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners rest together; They do not hear the taskmaster’s voice. The small and the great are there, And the servant is free from his master. ‘— Job 3:13-19
But can contract that with the more complete pictures in 1 Corinthians 15:
‘Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how is it that some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain [useless, amounting to nothing], and your faith is also vain [imaginary, unfounded, devoid of value and benefit—not based on truth]. We are even discovered to be false witnesses [misrepresenting] God, because we testified concerning Him that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised, either; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and powerless [mere delusion]; you are still in your sins [and under the control and penalty of sin]. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hoped only in this life [and this is all there is], then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied. But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, [and He became] the first fruits [that is, the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body, foreshadowing the resurrection] of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. For since [it was] by a man that death came [into the world], it is also by a Man that the resurrection of the dead has come . For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s [own will be resurrected with incorruptible, immortal bodies] at His coming. After that comes the end (completion), when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has made inoperative and abolished every ruler and every authority and power. For Christ must reign [as King] until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished and put to an end is death. For H e (the Father) has put all things in subjection under H is (Christ’s) feet . But when He says, “All things have been put in subjection [under Christ],” it is clear that He (the Father) who put all things in subjection to Him (Christ) is excepted [since the Father is not in subjection to His own Son]. However, when all things are subjected to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One (the Father) who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [manifesting His glory without any opposition, the supreme indwelling and controlling factor of life]. Otherwise, what will those do who are being baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people even baptized for them? [For that matter] why are we [running such risks and putting ourselves] in danger [nearly] every hour [if there is no resurrection]? I assure you, believers, by the pride which I have in you in [your union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [I face death and die to self]. What good has it done me if, [merely] from a human point of view, I fought with wild animals at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised [at all], let us eat and drink [enjoying ourselves now], for tomorrow we die . Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Be sober-minded [be sensible, wake up from your spiritual stupor] as you ought, and stop sinning; for some [of you] have no knowledge of God [you are disgracefully ignorant of Him, and ignore His truths]. I say this to your shame. But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body will they come?” You fool! Every time you plant seed you sow something that does not come to life [germinating, springing up and growing] unless it first dies. The seed you sow is not the body (the plant) which it is going to become, but it is a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each kind of seed a body of its own [is given]. All flesh is not the same. There is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are also heavenly bodies [sun, moon and stars] and earthly bodies [humans, animals, and plants], but the glory and beauty of the heavenly is one kind, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is a glory and beauty of the sun, another glory of the moon, and yet another [distinctive] glory of the stars; and one star differs from another in glory and brilliance. So it is with the resurrection of the dead. The [human] body that is sown is perishable and mortal, it is raised imperishable and immortal. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in strength; it is sown a natural body [mortal, suited to earth], it is raised a spiritual body [immortal, suited to heaven]. As surely as there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body . So it is written [in Scripture], “The first man , Adam, became a living soul (an individual);” the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving spirit [restoring the dead to life]. However, the spiritual [the immortal life] is not first, but the physical [the mortal life]; then the spiritual. The first man [Adam] is from the earth, earthy [made of dust]; the second Man [Christ, the Lord] is from heaven. As is the earthly man [the man of dust], so are those who are of earth; and as is the heavenly [Man], so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly [the man of dust], we will also bear the image of the heavenly [the Man of heaven]. Now I say this, believers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit nor be part of the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (mortal) inherit the imperishable (immortal). Listen very carefully, I tell you a mystery [a secret truth decreed by God and previously hidden, but now revealed]; we will not all sleep [in death], but we will all be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed], in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [the sound of] the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [who believed in Christ] will be raised imperishable, and we will be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed]. For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us that is capable of dying] must put on immortality [which is freedom from death]. And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “D eath is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever). O death , where is your victory ? O death , where is your sting ?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin [by which it brings death] is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [as conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].’— 1 Corinthians 15:12-58
and 1 Thessalonians 4:
‘Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life]. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [as in fact He did], even so God [in this same way—by raising them from the dead] will bring with Him those [believers] who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For we say this to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are still alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede [into His presence] those [believers] who have fallen asleep [in death]. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up (raptured) together with them [the resurrected ones] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord! Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words [concerning our reunion with believers who have died].’— 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
As we read about how God speaks to the futility of building thing that won’t last but rather die themselves, it makes me consider the things that will last and the importance of spending our lives pouring into things that will last. It makes me think of verses like “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” as well as when we learn about true love through 1 Corinthians 13 that the things that will last are faith, hope, and love with the greatest being love. So we need to be pouring our energy and our lives into the people God brings into our lives so that their souls can also spend eternity with God rather than apart from God. It’s not about stuff that we can store up for ourselves on earth that will be destroyed or stolen.
As we look at verse 19, it is interesting too as it speaks to the fact that God is no respecter of persons for all go to either the same heaven or the same hell with no connection back to the position they once held on earth. Today we all get a choice where we will end up. We all have the choice to pick from God’s grace and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior and go to heaven or not and go to hell.
We learn through this chapter how even though Job kept asking “why”, suicide never was an option or a consideration. He questioned what it was that would have allowed God to persevere his life if it was to come down to this. We see in both the old (like here with Job) as well as in the New Testament how God’s people can ask why and yet God is not obligated to give an answer in the moment. Some New Testament examples include Matthew:
‘About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud [agonized] voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” ‘— Matthew 27:46
‘And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” —which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” ‘— Mark 15:34
In the midst of the pain and the sorrow, it is interesting to note that through all of Job’s lamenting, he speaks of a better place awaiting. There are people who will have it hard and miserable here on earth and yet will go from this dark world into the place where it is never dark in the presence of God in heaven. Consider the be attitudes in the New Testament:
‘ “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted]. “Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied. “Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God. “Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. “Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God. “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ‘— Matthew 5:3-12
We see how Job is counting himself because of the pain and suffering as one of those who seek death. He compares himself to many others who are down and seeking death too. He understands that there is a coming day when all the pain and suffering would be gone. In our time, we have the benefit of the book of Revelation where we know too and read:
‘and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” ‘— Revelation 21:4
Today’s study shares these points verbatim for us to consider and contemplate:
Job 3:20 “Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter [in] soul;” Wherefore giveth He light, namely, God. Often omitted reverentially (Job 24:23; Eccl. 9:9). Light, that is, life. The joyful light doesn’t suit the mourners. The grave is most in unison with their feelings. In this chapter, all the way through, Job was speaking of a better place awaiting. Those that live in abject poverty on this earth, will live in splendor in heaven. There are some who have a miserable plight on this earth. It seems, they live where there is no light, but in heaven where God dwells, there is continuous light.
Job 3:21 “Which long for death, but it [cometh] not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures;” I.e., desire and pray for it with as much earnestness as men dig for treasure. But it is observable that Job did not lay violent hands upon himself, nor do anything to hasten or procure his death. But notwithstanding all his miseries and complaints, he was contented to wait all the days of his appointed time, till his change came (Job 14:14). Job counts himself among those who seek death. He was miserable in life, as the people he mentioned were miserable. He knew there was coming a day, when all pain and suffering would be done away with.
Job 3:22 “Which rejoice exceedingly, [and] are glad, when they can find the grave?” To be thus impatient of life, for the sake of the trouble we meet with, is not only unnatural in itself, but ungrateful to the Giver of life, and shows a sinful indulgence of our own passion. Let it be our great and constant care to get ready for another world: and then let us leave it to God to order the circumstances of our removal thither. Even Paul looked forward to the death of the physical body, so that he could be with the LORD. He knew it was necessary to live on this earth, until he had completed his mission. However all believers’ sin. Those in Christ are looking forward to that heavenly home, where all the sorrows of this life are done away with. Verse 22 is not speaking of suicide. It is speaking of rejoicing on that day, when we shed this physical body, and rise to heaven in our spiritual bodies.
Job 3:23 “[Why is light given] to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?” “Hedged in”: Satan spoke of a hedge of protection and blessing (1:10), whereas Job spoke of this hedge as a prison of living death. Job was speaking of himself here. He had lived in the light. He felt that God had given the Light of God to him. The Light seems to be unable to get him out of this time of being hedged in. Job felt useless to witness of that Light at this point. He felt this was from God and there was nothing he could do about it.
Job 3:24 “For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters.” “Sighing … roarings”: These destroyed any appetite he might have had.
Verses 25-26: “Which I greatly feared”: Not a particular thing but a generic classification of suffering. The very worst fear that anyone could have was coming to pass in Job’s life, and he is experiencing severe anxiety, fearing more.
Job 3:25 “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Compare Prov. 28:14). It means that he had always had in remembrance the uncertainty and instability of earthly things, and yet he had been overtaken by a calamity that mocked his carefulness and exceeded his apprehensions. These two Scriptures (24-25), in my opinion, have been grossly misunderstood. We are told in the beginning of these lessons, that Job feared God. We are not told that he feared anything else. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. His fear of God is what he was speaking of here that had come true. Job wanted to please God in all that he did. He was careful to keep the relationship with God open. He prayed and sacrificed regularly. We know that God found no fault in Job’s fear, because it was God who told Satan that Job was perfect and upright. Job, in a verse above, knew that it was God who allowed him to be hedged in. I believe that greater than Job’s pain from the sores on his body, was a feeling in his heart that he might have in some way offended God. There was no error on Job’s part. This was an attack of Satan on a righteous man. His roarings were like a mourning. He desired that close fellowship with God he had known in the past.
Job 3:26 “I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” This cannot refer to the time of his prosperity; for he certainly then was in safety. God having set a hedge about him, so that none of his enemies, nor even Satan himself, could come at him to hurt him. “Neither had I rest, neither was I quiet”: Which also was not true of him before his afflictions, for he did then enjoy great peace, rest and quietness. He lay in his nest at ease, and in great tranquility; and thought and said he should die in such a state (see Job 29:18). Nor is the sense of these expressions that he did not take up his rest and satisfaction in outward things. And put his trust and confidence in his riches, and yet trouble came upon him. But this relates to the time of the beginning of his troubles and afflictions, from which time he was not in safety, nor had any rest and peace. There was no intermission of his sorrows; but as soon as one affliction was over, another came. “Yet trouble came”: Still one after another, there was no end of them. or, as Broughton renders it, “and now cometh a vexation”; a fresh one, a suspicion of hypocrisy; and upon this turns the whole controversy, managed and carried on between him and his friends in the following part of this book. Trials and troubles come to everyone. It is not the number or severity of the trials that come that make us different. It is the way we handle those troubles when they come. Christians are not exempt from trials. The following is what Jesus said about this very thing. John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Our peace is not because there is no tribulation. Our peace is in Christ. In the middle of terrible tribulation, we can experience His peace. I would rather be like Job, who wanted to please God in whatever circumstance he was in. If I were not experiencing any hardships, I would be concerned that Satan did not find me a threat to him.— Book of Job – Job 3
We need to trust God more than our situation. We need to trust God more than our circumstances. We need to know that we are not alone and that He will never leave us nor abandon us. We need to put on the full armor of God. We need to stand firm and when he attacks again stand again. We need to resist the devil and trust in God so that Satan will flee. We need to lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge God.
We need to stand up for our family and friends. We need to stand with our family and friends. We need to speak life and love into and over our family and friends. We need to come together because where 2 or 3 come together in Jesus’s name, He is with us. We need to stand with our friends keeping God in the center, so they are not alone and we can take hold of the promises of Ecclesiastes 4 that say:
‘Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up. Again, if two lie down together, then they keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ‘— Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.