Job: Wishing He Was Never Born

This is not like the Job people know.  He wished he was never born.  He cursed the day of his own birth.  Have you ever uttered these words?  This is the real experience of many of us in the storms of life.  Find comfort in God through the storms…

1 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.

8 May those who curse days curse that day…

11 “Why did I not perish at birth,
and die as I came from the womb?

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?

26 I have no peace, no quietness;
I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Job 3:1-4, 8, 11, 20-22, 26

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

After seven days of silence, sitting with his friends, Job opened his mouth.  If you read the description of Job in chapter 1, as a man who supports and cares deeply for his family, and chapter 4, in which his friend speaks of how wise and helpful Job is toward others, you will understand the contrast of his words in chapter 3.

This is not like the Job people know.

Job opened his mouth and said he wished he was never born.  He cursed the day of his own birth, questioning why God let him live at childbirth.  Have you ever uttered these words?

It’s important for us to understand that this is okay. It’s a contrast to Job’s normal thoughts, yet it comes at a time of crisis in his life.  We are pushed into the corners of life when tragedy or illness strike.  This is nothing to be ashamed of.  We need help in these times of need and to not be afraid to ask for it.  Yet to feel this way in a situation like Job’s is realistic.  It’s real…

We can see that Job feels this way because he has no peace, no quietness, no rest, and only turmoil to keep him company.  Job has forgotten his joy – now that it is gone, it is like it never existed.  Even his wife, who should be his one remaining support, gave in to the situation and encouraged him to curse God.

The crisis moment makes us forget that there was something worth living for before all this.

Job broadens his questions to suffering in general: why is life given to those in misery and bitterness?  Why would God allow people to live who long for and rejoice once they reach the grave?

We know the answer. The answer is to think a little further up the horizon.  All of Job’s questions and his misery relate to the circumstances on the ground.  His physical and relationship reality is terrible, yet we are not simply physical and relational beings.  We are spiritual.

Jesus offers to the weary and burdened to come to him for rest and a burden which is light.  The gentleness and humility of Jesus will nurture us in our times of need.  Job is not looking heavenward for comfort, even though he is remaining righteous by not sinning against God in his response.

When you are in such times of need, reach out for Jesus’ comfort.  Jesus promises to be with us through tough times, and he is there for you even now…


Marc Kinna

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