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Scripture reading – Job 3
Review (Job 1)
Job felt he had lost everything. His servants were slain (1:15), his flocks destroyed (1:16), and his sons and daughters killed by “a great wind” that caused the walls of the house to fall upon them (1:18-19). The news shocked Job, and he began to despair of life. Nevertheless, rather than curse God (1:22), he “fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:20-21).
Review (Job 2)
Satan, finding Job maintained his spiritual integrity in spite of his losses (1:22), once again interrupted God’s heavenly council (2:1-3). That wicked one asserted, “put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face” (2:5). In other words, rob Job of his health, and “he will curse [God to His]face” (2:5). The LORD, knowing the faith of Job and his spiritual integrity (2:3), permitted the devil to afflict the man physically, only stopping short of taking his life (2:5-6). Boils covered Job’s flesh, and in his solitude, he scratched his skin with broken shards of pottery in a vain attempt to find relief (2:7-8).
Finally, even Job’s wife declared his spiritual integrity, and charged him, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die” (2:9). Even then, Job would not despise the LORD, and reproved his wife. In spite of his trials and sorrows, Job did not sin nor protest against God (2:10).
Job 2 concluded with the arrival of “three friends” (2:11), whose counsel we will follow throughout the Book of Job. Those friends, having heard of Job’s trials, came “to mourn with him and to comfort him” (2:11b). When they arrived, they were shocked by the physical toll of Job’s trials (2:12a). With empathy and sorrow, “they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven” (2:12b). For “seven days and seven nights,” they sat on the ground with Job, and never spoke a word, “for they saw that his grief was very great” (2:13).
Job 3 – The Silence is Broken
Seven days later, the silence was broken when Job spoke, and said, “3Let the day perish wherein I was born, And the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived” (3:3). Contrary to Satan’s slander, Job did not curse his Creator (1:11; 2:5). Instead, he lamented his suffering and losses, considering them so great, he thought it would be better if had he never been born (3:1).
The balance of Job 3 recorded the anxieties of a man whose faith never wavered, but whose soul was weighted by an avalanche of trouble. Finding no solace, Job expressed his anguish, and acknowledged his deepest, inmost doubts of his very existence (3:2-12). He bewailed the day he was conceived and born (3:2-12), and wished death might come and release him from suffering. Job looked upon death as a great equalizer of which all men must face (3:12-19). Mourning his wretched state (3:20-23), Job questioned why God would give “light” (i.e. life) to a soul that longs to be free from pain and sorrow (3:20-26).
Closing thoughts – Lest you be tempted to be hard on Job, remember even good men struggle with questions and doubts. Job was distressed and overwhelmed by sorrows, but he was no less the man of whom God boasted: “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” (2:3). Pain, especially when it affects your family and loved ones, can move even the most dedicated of God’s servants to entertain despairing thoughts. We are privileged to comprehend what Job did not know:
In the end, Job will testify: “He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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