Tuesday 28 September 2010

Bible Book:

"Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?" (v.11)

Job 3:1-23 Tuesday 28 September 2010


Since God allowed Satan to torment Job in chapter 1, Job haslost his many livestock, all his children and has been afflictedwith painful sores all over his body. So far, he has just acceptedall this without complaint, but now he has had enough. Today'sreading is one long complaint. Job is so distraught at all he haslost and in so much pain that he is brought to the point of wishinghe had never been born.

The end of the previous chapter tells us that Job's friends havecome to be with him, but he has been so altered that they don'trecognise him at first and are so upset when they realise it istheir friend that they weep, tear their clothes and sit with himfor seven days and seven nights. Perhaps it is the presence of hisfriends that sets off Job's complaining...

We are not accustomed to reading such heartfelt complaints in theBible, but in fact this is a common theme of the psalms, where theauthor is complaining not just to his friends but to God.In Psalm 79for example, the writer complains thatother nations have defiled God's Temple, destroyed the people andmade them a mockery among their neighbours. And in Psalm89 King David cries that God promised him everything(verses 19-37) but has now rejected him and allowed his enemies totriumph (verses 38-51). Both psalms ask how long God will waitbefore taking action to save the psalmist.

It must have been hard for Job's friends to listen to hiscomplaint. The chapters that follow give each of them the chance toreply to Job, though he doesn't find what they say to him veryhelpful.

To Ponder

How do you respond to Job's heartfelt statementof despair?

Have you ever been in a situation where you feltlike this? How did you come through it?

What would you do, or have said, if you were oneof Job's friends?

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