Summary: Job is still trusting in the mercy and love and grace of God and he still refuses to do what Satan is trying to get him to do: curse God and die.
Job is the story of a man undergoing a very severe testing of his faith. As we saw in Chapters 1 and 2, Job was unaware that he was the subject of a test and he experienced a tremendous series of calamities that wiped out all that he held of value. In one tragic day he lost all his possessions, and his children. Subsequently, he lost his health, and was afflicted with a disease that left him covered with boils from head to foot, disfiguring his countenance, and turning him into a very repulsive looking man. To top it all off, his wife turned against him, and she suggested that he curse God and commit suicide. And yet, despite all these pressures, Job is still trusting in the mercy and love and grace of God and he still refuses to do what Satan is trying to get him to do: curse God and die. At this point in the book of Job, Satan moves up his big guns. He leads three of Job’s friends to come and comfort him, and when these friends arrive they are shocked at what they see. Here is their dear friend Job, respected, admired, a most attractive man, now an empty hulk, sitting on an ash heap, scraping the pus from his sores with a piece of broken pottery. They sit in silence for seven days before they can muster up enough courage to speak to Job about his troubles. But it is also apparent, as we get into this story, that while they have waited in silence they have begun to suspect that perhaps Job is going through something he really deserves, and we will see how Satan uses this to increase his torment and anguish. Chapter 3 begins with a bitter lament from Job. At least a Week has gone by since he was first afflicted with this painful disease, and God does not seem to explain what he is doing. Job knows nothing of what we have been informed of in the opening chapters, so, baffled and buffeted and tormented with physical misery, he now opens his mouth with a tremendous cry in which he longs for death. I do not know if you have ever felt that way, but have been times when I wished I could have dropped out of the scene entirely and gone home to heaven. That is where Job is found in the opening part of this book, crying out for death, cursing the day on which he was born.Someone recently asked me if a phrase came from the Bible, "God helps those who help themselves." This phrase is not in the Bible, and is not consistent with what the Bible teaches.
All of us have been in situations where we are powerless or unmotivated to help ourselves. If God only helps those who help themselves, all of us would be in deep trouble and without hope of God’s help. Everyone, given enough time, knows the feeling of helplessness. But not everyone knows how to recover from times of helplessness. We will discover some answers this morning from the Book of Job, chapter 3.
Here is a man with a death wish. Before we look at how to survive helplessness, I want to review briefly and make two observations from Job 3. This way, even if you have not been with us during our study in Job you’ll still have context for understanding.