Read Job 3
3 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 He said:
3 “May the day of my birth perish,
and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’
4 That day—may it turn to darkness;
may God above not care about it;
may no light shine on it.
5 May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more;
may a cloud settle over it;
may blackness overwhelm it.
6 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.
7 May that night be barren;
may no shout of joy be heard in it.
8 May those who curse days curse that day,
those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.
9 May its morning stars become dark;
may it wait for daylight in vain
and not see the first rays of dawn,
10 for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me
to hide trouble from my eyes.
11 “Why did I not perish at birth,
and die as I came from the womb?
12 Why were there knees to receive me
and breasts that I might be nursed?
13 For now I would be lying down in peace;
I would be asleep and at rest
14 with kings and rulers of the earth,
who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,
15 with princes who had gold,
who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child,
like an infant who never saw the light of day?
17 There the wicked cease from turmoil,
and there the weary are at rest.
18 Captives also enjoy their ease;
they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout.
19 The small and the great are there,
and the slaves are freed from their owners.
20 “Why is light given to those in misery,
and life to the bitter of soul,
21 to those who long for death that does not come,
who search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22 who are filled with gladness
and rejoice when they reach the grave?
23 Why is life given to a man
whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?
24 For sighing has become my daily food;
my groans pour out like water.
25 What I feared has come upon me;
what I dreaded has happened to me.
26 I have no peace, no quietness;
I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Oftentimes we find ourselves putting on a face and pretending everything’s all right. Job, however, shows us here that faithfulness looks just the opposite. In Job 3, Job lays out his pain and sorrow before the Lord. He doesn’t hide anything, pretend like it’s all rainbows and roses, or even attempt to fix any of it himself. Instead, he calls out to the creator of the universe. Job has an intimate enough relationship with the Lord that he could fall before Him and vividly express his deep anguish and grief. Even a man as godly and blameless as Job could bring his raw and real pain to God. So can we.
How often do we think that when we face tough problems, it’s up to us to fix them? It’s like we think if we just buckle up or tough it out or smile through it, we can come out unscathed. For most of us, it’s a byproduct of the world we grew up in–it’s up to us to figure it out. Determination, perseverance, and self discipline are from the Lord (2 Timothy 2:7), but we can encounter problems when we start to believe that we are capable of handling our problems on our own, without God.
Job’s words in this chapter are words of lament. It is OK for us to lament, too. But it is also important for us to remember that the beauty of the Gospel is that we do not have to carry our burdens and sorrow on our own. If we could patch ourselves up, make ourselves pretty, and fix all our bruises and mistakes, we wouldn’t need Jesus. The truth is, no matter how hard we try, we just can’t take away the pain, sin, and brokenness of this world. But there is a God who can. God sent his one and only son to die on the cross for our sins to take away the shame, guilt, pain, and death we deserved.
There is immense freedom in this! Freedom to fall at the feet of the Creator of the universe and bring him all of your hurts, hang ups, and brokenness. You don’t have to fix yourself before you come. In fact, his only requirement is that you come–broken (Matthew 11:28). Come today to the one who loves you and cares about you. To the one who sees you in your suffering. To the one who loved you enough to send his Son to die for you, so that you might have eternal peace and joy in Him.
- What verse in Job’s lament sticks out most to you? Why is that?
- Have you been believing the lie that you have to have it all together? What is one area of your life in which you have been letting others think you everything is fine? Confess this to community today!
- What are some ways that you can seek out people around you who you know are carrying deep hurts and burdens (whether they are admitting it or not)? (Galatians 6:2)
By the Way
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 speaks about the comfort we have in Jesus when we do face times of distress like Job. Read this passage–it says the word comfort 9 times in 5 verses! Remind yourself today that He is the God of all comfort.
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3 thoughts on “Job 3”
In Job’s lament he never cursed God, even though he is trapped in unrelenting pain. One thing is evident, God welcomes our our honest questions. He is aware of our humanity, after all Christ became one of us. Isaiah 53:3-4 describes Him as a man of sorrows, acquainted with the bitterest grief, yet He carried our weakness and sorrows. When we are stuck/struck with suffering, let’s remember we are never forgotten or forsaken and chose to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him, endured the cross and despised the shame. (Heb. 12:2)
What we see here is grief taken to an hysterical extreme. The author uses hyperbole several times to convey Job’s lament is limitless. “Let the biggest, baddest cursers that ever were curse the day I was ever conceived!” Like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Job decides it would’ve been better if he had never been born at all.
It is agonizing when sorrow is so profound it tempts us to squander God’s most precious gift. (As a parent, I find Job’s desire to be born dead particularly disturbing, as if he was willing to exchange his suffering for his mother’s. While he might never have lived to grieve, she would never have stopped grieving.)
But such is the terrible, terrifying power of grief—it can render us so helpless and hopeless we see death as our only out. (And tragically, too many people choose that option. What is suicide, after all, but the most senseless solution to unending, unendurable suffering?)
However, if we are to have a full picture of suffering, both its circumstances and its sorrow must be taken to this extreme. In a world where there would seem to be no limit to human suffering, Job reminds us God is greater still.
The verse that stands out to me: Job 3:23. In the Message, it says “what’s the point of life when it doesn’t make sense, when God blocks all the roads to meaning”. I am contemplating this. There are many things in this life and circumstances I will never understand. When I look back at those times of difficulty and sorrow and asking “why” in my life, those are the times my thoughts cling to God and His promises and I actually come out on the other side closer to Him.