Job Chapter Three

If Only...

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In our study of Job chapter three, we see the depths of his sorrow as he wishes that he had never even been born. In this, we will see how the indirect attacks from Satan can be even tougher to bear than the physical.

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Job 3:1-3

After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: 'May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, "A boy is conceived!"'

The "After this" refers to the seven days of sitting silently with his three friends as they all mourned his situation. His friends had never seen him as a poor man sitting in a heap of trash as they knew that he had been a very rich man. Though no words were said, you can imagine the air of judgment as his friends would have been sure that he had brought this on himself through sin. This same sort of thing happens even today among Christians as we may see a brother or sister that is struggling and automatically assume that their situation is due to a "hidden sin". Many of us have probably heard a teenager say something like: "I wish I had never been born." and many of us, as adults, may have said the same thing. Job goes there with the "If only I had never been born" attitude. He goes so far as to say that he wished that he had never even lived a second as he speaks of being conceived. This is just a little reminder to all of us that, real life begins at that moment that is commonly called conception.

Job 3:4-7

'That day - may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it. May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it. That night - may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it.'

Job goes on to wish that the joy of creating a new life be removed and even the very day and night forgotten by God. We see how torn up the man is and the fact that he is walking a very fine line and yet he still does not curse God as the devil wanted. He wishes that he had never been born but he does not blame God for the day.

Job 3:8

'May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.'

ob goes on and speaks of fortunetellers (like Balaam) that were hired to pronounce curses on people, days, etc. He refers to the end days and the Messianic banquet of Jewish legend. According to Jewish legend, at the end of days Leviathan, the serpent, will be raised from the deep and served to God's people at the Messianic banquet.

Job 3:9 & 10

'May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn, for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.'

Job asks that the day be cut short as we are reminded that the Jewish day begins at sunset. He asks that it be stopped before the morning light because he had not been stopped from being born on that day.

Job 3:11 & 12

'Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed?'

We see the "If only I had died during birth" attitude as he questions the meaning of his life based on his current situation. It appears that the devil's plan is working as Job continues to spiral deeper and deeper into depression as he sees no purpose or meaning to his life as he looks back on it. This is one of the favorite tactics of the devil even today with Christians. If Satan can get us to doubt our purpose for living, then, he thinks he can stop whatever God has planned for us. We are reminded of the fact that God has prepared things for each and every one of us to do and, even if we may not see their purpose now, He does. Job did not see the purpose for his suffering and was hoping that his life would be ended but he did not know that, in the end, his story of faith would be shared with millions and even billions of people to build them up. He did not know but God did.

Job 3:13-15

'For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest with kings and rulers of the earth, who built for themselves places now lying in ruins, with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.'

Job continues as he compares the rest in the grave as a dead child to the doom and gloom that he is now facing. He is right in the fact that, if he had died during childbirth, he would have gone to sleep and waited for the Lord. After Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, he would have rose with Christ and gone to heaven. Even so, he is missing the fact that God is in control of all things and has a purpose for all of us. He has lost sight of the fact that God knows all things and desires what is best for us.

Job 3:16-19

'Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day? There the wicked cease from turmoil, and there the weary are at rest. Captives also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver's shout. The small and the great are there, and the slaves are freed from their owners.'

Job continues to sink further into depression as he wonders why he did not die at the moment of birth. An infant would have the same fate as the child that was not carried to term as they would now be in heaven with Jesus but the "wicked" are not. Here, we see a misunderstanding that Job had which many people of today also share. That is the thinking that the "wicked" (those that do not know the Lord) are resting in the grave. Although it is true that they are in the grave, it is not a time of rest as they can only look forward to the time where they will be judged and sentenced to hell. While men are yet alive, they can deny the existence of God and deny His Son but, upon death, they find out that they were very wrong.

Job 3:20-22

'Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter in soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?'

Job now has the attitude of "if only it would all end" as he has accepted God's will in giving him birth and the life that he has led so far. But, now, he asks the question of why God does not just "call him home". This is still a struggle in his mind with the sovereignty of God and the fact that God has him going through this for a purpose. At some point in our lives, we have all probably had this same type of struggle. We must remember and realize that it is during the toughest struggles that we learn to rest in God and grow in our faith. Job was thinking that it would all be better if his life on this earth would just end but, once again, he does not know everything that God does. This same type of crying out for life to just end will occur again during the Great Tribulation where, at that time, the people on the earth will cry out for the mountains to crush them to save them from the wrath of God (see Revelation 6:16).

Job 3:23-26

'Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water. What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.'

In a way, Job is once again acknowledging the power of God as he recognizes that God is protecting his life but he just does not understand why. We see that Job describes his fear and we are reminded that fear is not from God but is a tool of the devil. He describes how his peace and rest through his faith in God is being taken away by fear. When we see fear creeping into our lives, we, like Job, must remember to rest in our faith in the goodness of God.

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