“Pity thyself” is the devil’s most popular sermon to one who will listen to him, for he delights to embitter the saint by causing him to misunderstand God’s providences. Remember that God’s worst is better than the devil’s best and if our circumstances find us in God, we shall find God in all our circumstances.
1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.
2 And Job spake, and said,
3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
6 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.
7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.
8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning.
9 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:
10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.
11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest,
14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves;
15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver:
16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.
17 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.
18 There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.
19 The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.
20 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;
21 Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures;
22 Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?
23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?
24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters.
25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.
Job 3 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Job 3:1-13 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 3:14-26 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 3 – Is Life Worth Living?
In the closing paragraphs of the previous chapter three friends arrive. Teman is Edom; for Shuah see Genesis 25:2; Naamah is Arabia. The group of spectators, gathered round Job’s mound, reverently make way for them.
Job opens his mouth in a curse. But it was not, as Satan had expected, against God. The Hebrew word is different from that used in Job 2:9. He does not curse God, but the day of his birth, and asks that his stripped and suffering existence may be brought to as speedy an end as possible. Job’s words are very profitable for all whose way is hid. Is the joy of life fled? Yet its duties remain. Continue in these and the path will lead back to light.
This opening elegy consists of two parts: the first, Job 3:1-10, calls on darkness to blot out the day which witnessed the beginning of so sad a life; the second, Job 3:11-26, inquires why, if he were doomed to be born, the luxury of instant death had not been also granted. Oh, human heart, of what sore anguish art thou not capable! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Job 3:1—Opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.
That is the day of his birth. Probably there have been hours in the majority of lives in which men have wished that they had never been born. When they have stood beside the wreck of all earthly hope, or entered the garden of the grave, they have cried, “Why died I not from the womb?” (v. 11). The reason for this is, that the heart has been so occupied with the transient and earthly, that it has lost sight of the unseen and eternal; and in finding itself deprived of the former, it has thought that there was nothing left to live for.
One of the greatest tests of true religion is in bearing suffering. At such a time we are apt, if we are professing Christians, to exert a certain constraint over ourselves, and bear ourselves heroically. We have read of people in like circumstances who have not shed a tear or uttered a complaining word, because they have braced themselves to a Christian stoicism. “I am sure you cannot find fault with my behavior,” said one such to me. And yet beneath the correct exterior there may be the pride and haughtiness of an altogether unsubdued self.
There is a more excellent way: to humble oneself under the mighty hand of God; to search the heart for any dross that needs to be burned out; to resign oneself to the will of the Father; to endeavor to learn the lesson in the black-lettered book; to seek to manifest the specific grace for which the trial calls; to be very tender and thoughtful for others; to live deeper down.
“Nearer, my God to Thee!—Nearer to Thee
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be—Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer to Thee!” —Our Daily Homily