Tuesday, December 12, 2023

  No 33  Job Curses
Job Curses (Job 3:1-9)  
After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. And Job spake, and said, 
Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. 
Let that day be darkness;
Let not God regard it from above, neither
Let the light shine upon it. 
Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it;
Let a cloud dwell upon it; 
Let the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night,
Let darkness seize upon it;
Let it not be joined unto the days of the year,
Let it not come into the number of the months. Lo,
Let that night be solitary,
Let no joyful voice come therein. 
Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. 
Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark;
Let it look for light, but have none; neither
Let it see the dawning of the day: 
Lining up the “lets”―I counted 16 of them. And there are no more “lets” in the remainder of the chapter. From these verses onward, the “lets” turn into “whys.” About everything bad Job could have said about the day of his birth, he thought of it and said it. And this is the basic meaning of “to curse.” To say something bad about or to speak badly concerning.
In the beginning of Job, Satan charged that he could get Job to say something bad about God or speak badly of God. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee [say something bad―speak badly] to thy face (Job 1:11). This is a simplistic way of looking at the experience of “cursing.” It does capture the essence of it. Did Job’s children curse God? And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed [said something bad about―speak badly of] God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually (Job 1:5). This is what Mrs Job suggested he best do. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die (Job 2:9). And now in chapter 3, Job says everything bad he can think of about being born. After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed [spoke badly concerning] his day (Job 3:1).
The reference to Job’s children in Job 1:5 captures another aspect of this cursing―it is something we do in our hearts. It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. While it is said with our mouth (lips), nonetheless, it still comes from the heart. Jesus said this was so: out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt 12:34). 

Job 1:11 (mentioned above) captures yet another aspect of this cursing thing―it is said to someone’s face. Satan charged, But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee [say something bad―speak badly] to thy face (Job 1:11). So surely did Satan believe his tenet that he repeated it in the second challenge to God― But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 2:5).
So the Summary is This:
In the anguish of Job Chapter 3, from the deep depths of his heart, Job blurts out with his mouth everything bad thing he could think of about being alive to God’s face. He holds nothing back. He wants God to know exactly how he feels! And he wants God to hear. But that is his anguish―God does not even care enough any more about Job to be there to hear his rants and raves. His cries go unheard. Life has lost its meaning since God has forsaken him. He would rather be dead than go on living without God.
Job’s Three Sources of Happiness (from the Lesser to the Greater)
(1) The respect of his fellowmen.
(2) The love and companionship of his wife and children.
(3) The fellowship he had enjoyed with God.
There is now, therefore, no happiness from any direction. Everything that had been building up in Job explodes in a torrent of anguish. Pain has taken its toll. He shouts his anger against being brought into being. Job’s curses come out of a despair deeper than any man has ever known. Suffering at the edge of death intensifies in the face of loneliness.
It Hurts to be Alone
Job’s life was built on communion with God. This is what made Job what he was (perfect, upright, righteous, and to eschew evil―Job 1:1). Through his life Job had sung the song
            “And He walks with me and He talks with me
             And He tells me I am His own.
             And the joy we share as we tarry there
             None other can ever know”
Face-to-face communion as it was between the Lord and Adam and Eve is not being suggested here. Adam and Eve enjoyed company with the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8).  Not that communion. But communion itself must be experienced by every believer through all time. Prayer is the key to successful Christian living. Communion is the key to faith. And Job had it.
Here, now, comes the granite bedrock truth of the Book of Job: the despair that Job will go through beginning in Chapter 3 is because the Lord God quit coming to the garden of communion in the cool of the day. That which sustained spiritual life in Job is now absent. That upon which he predicated his life is gone. Where did He go? Why did He quit coming to commune with me? What caused Him to change His attitude toward me? These are the issues of the Book of Job. From the very outset―Why, God?―Why?
Here again comes the truth that Job is a type of Christ. Both Christ and Job cry My God, My God Why hast Thou forsaken me? (Matt 27:46).  Jesus never received answer to that question. Jesus will die without knowing. Job never receives answer to that question either. He endures the test and live for another 140 years never receiving an answer (Job 42:16). And just as certainly as Jesus did die, Job expected to die at any moment. Thou He slay me, yet will I keep on trusting Him (Job 13:15). [As far as Job is concerned, after experiencing the calamities of chapters one and two, there was nothing left but to die.]
Yes, Job will despair. Yes, Job will cry out. But he never gave up his faith. He never turned his back on God.
                        In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (Job 1:22).
                        In all this did not Job sin with his lips (Job 2:10).
God, in fact, was the One who changed. Job did not change. This Job could not understand. Why, God, are You not here with me as I go through these terrible ordeals? Your promise to me has always been I will not leave thee nor forsake thee (I Kings 8:57 and Heb 13:5). And You have forsaken me! 
Thus we have the cries, the hurts, the pains and the loneliness expressed by Job in chapters 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31. In these chapters Job does not turn wicked as some suggest. Job turns lonely. It hurts being alone when you have always been with.  
Suffering at the edge of death intensifies in the face of unexplainable contradictions. Before his affliction, Job’s world made sense. He worshipped God who governed justly in the affairs of men. His God was all-powerful and all-knowing. There was meaning in his existence. Order. Coherence. It was easy for Job to say, Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).
The Supreme Contradiction
Nothing made any sense to Job. Nothing at all. There were five things Job did know for sure:
                    #1 He did not do anything to deserve this.
                    #2 He did not do anything to deserve this.
                    #3 He did not do anything to deserve this.
                    #4 He did not do anything to deserve this.
                    #5 God is love.
How did all this fit together? It was all a dark mystery to him, and he could not fathom its depths.
Some people bring trouble upon themselves. But nothing in Job’s predicament was of his own making. He had lived his life in a manner God wishes all His people lived. Peace is the promise for those who live such a life. Happiness often follows that. Prosperity often follows that. And Job had all thoseimmensely. And then it all was gone.
Many people have, in the low ebbs of their life, wished they had never been born. One step lower that that is when a person wishes he was dead. Could anyone be more excusable of harboring this dire thought than Job? In one blinding flash after another everything of value to him was taken away.  Lives were extinguished and properties were taken―all in a few crushing blows.
He does not understand. But under no circumstance will he curse God. 
To curse God, then is
        to say “No” to God when you were accustomed to saying “Yes” to God
        to break off the friendship with God and say you wished you had never known Him
        to declare that God is mean and cruel whereas you once called God loving and kind
        to deliberately do the opposite of what God wants you to do
        to hate God now when you once loved Him earlier.
        to turn your back on God and go the other way
        to change your attitude toward.
Example #1
A husband maintains the integrity of his wedding vows by remaining true to his wife. His vows remain unbroken.
Example #2 
Job sacrificed for his children lest they had broken off their relationship to God―were no longer true to God.
Example #3 
Satan was certain Job would break off his relationship with God and go the other way (from God).
Job would never under any circumstance curse God. 
So, he cursed his day―his birthday.
            “I wish my birthday had never occurred.”
            “I hate it that I was born.”
            “I wish I would have died in childbirth.”
            “I would rather be dead than be alive right now.”

Job changed his attitude toward life.
Whereas, he once enjoyed his life, now he hates living at all.
In summary, Job turned his back on life.
The patient Uzite is not found in chapter 3. 
Job, at first, wishes he had never been born. 
But since birth had happened, then, he wishes death could happen. Whoever would want to live through what he was living through? Look at how many times he called the day of his birth darkness in 3:4-6:
                Let that day be darkness;
                Let not God regard it from above, neither
                Let the light shine upon it. 
                Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it;
                Let a cloud dwell upon it; 
                Let the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night,
                Let darkness seize upon it.
“Why Did I Have to Be Born?” (Job asks in 3:10-12) 
                Why (implied) Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, 
                nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.
                Why died I not from the womb?
                Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
                Why did the knees prevent me? or
                Why the breasts that I should suck?                                       
But the fact is, he was born and did live. He wishes he could have just died on any day after his birth. 
The Grave Would Be a Wonderful Place to Be” (Job says in 3:13-19)

                For now should I have lain still and been quiet,
                I should have slept: then had I been at rest,
                With kings and counsellors of the earth,
                which built desolate places for themselves;
                Or with princes that had gold,
                who filled their houses with silver:
                Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been;
                as infants which never saw light.
                There the wicked cease from troubling;
                and there the weary be at rest.
                There the prisoners rest together;
                they hear not the voice of the oppressor.
                The small and great are there;

                and the servant is free from his master. 
Job was not the only Bible character to rue the day of his birth. Jeremiah did as well: 
Jer 20.14  Cursed be the day wherein I was born:
Jer 20.14  let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. 
Jer 20.15  Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying,
Jer 20.15  A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. 
Jer 20.16  And let that man be as the cities which the Lord overthrew, and repented not:
Jer 20.16  and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; 
Jer 20.17  Because he slew me not from the womb;
Jer 20.17  or that my mother might have been my grave, 
Jer 20.17  and her womb to be always great with me. 
Jer 20.18  Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow
Jer 20.18  that my days should be consumed with shame?
Job’s Story is for Us―You and Me
Struggling mightily to understand his situation, Job despairs, but consistently remains devout. Job’s entire series of trials (tests) was allowed to happen for the benefit of all―

onlookers and watchers

in heaven

the angels (unfallen and fallen)

onlookers and watchers

on earth

the people in Job’s world

onlookers and watchers

all readers

you and me

The truth for all to see is that a person of genuine faith never worships God for selfish reasons.

Job’s faith was tested to the limits of his endurance, and even though he believed that God was behind these tests, he refused to go back on his loyalty to God, unlike the angel who made himself the being called Satan and the Devil. Job’s example is just that―an example. And an encouragement to all onlookers.
Paul may have had scenes like this in mind when he wrote the words in 1 Cor 4:9For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 
Another translation: 
For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings (NIV).
Yet another translation:  
For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display in last place, like men condemned to death. We have become a spectacle for the world, for angels, and for people to stare at (ISV). 
During that entire test the context makes it clear that Job did not have a clue why suddenly everything was going wrong. No, Job did not know about the reasons and circumstances of his tests nor that he knew these were tests. It was never meant for him to know. All he knew that out of nowhere, and for no reason, his life was suddenly turned into misery. He lost everybody and everything that was dear to him.
Job Plunges into Despair
At first, he serenely accepts his plight.
At first, he is patient.
Job maintains his composure.
He simmers for a while.
He will despair.
He will become discouraged.
He will become desperate.
He will ask why.
He will demand answers.
Job Didn't Know What He was Doing Just as Elijah Didn’t Know What He was Doing
Elijah knew not what he was doing when in the desert he said that he had had enough of life, and prayed that he might die. The Lord in His mercy did not take him at His word. There was yet a great work for Elijah to do; and when his work was done, he was not to perish in discouragement and solitude in the wilderness. Not for him the descent into the dust of earth, but the ascent in glory, with the convoy of celestial chariots to the throne on high (Ellen G. White, Reflecting Christ, page 349). 
Job yet has a great work to do. His great work was to live his life for all to see (examine), and then, let God tell us about it―the Book of Job.
Appeal: I want to understand the message that God has in the Book of Job for me. I'm sure you want that same understanding. 

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359 or use comments via Google below.

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