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.
The first observation is that suffering is not always the result of sin.
In chapters 1 and 2, we read that Job was blessed with great wealth and many children. And if we were not given revelation about what went on in heaven, we might guess the wealth and children were taken from Job, because Job disobeyed or displeased God. The opposite was true. Job was faithful to God. Yet, Job lost his wealth, many of his servants and his livestock. A tornado killed his children. And Job became afflicted with painful sores from head to toe. And we read in chapter 1, verse 22, "In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." Suffering is not always the result of sin.If God were to punish us today for the sins we’ve committed, all of us would be in the hospital or in the grave. Not one of us would be well enough to be at church this morning. We need to thank God for His patience and mercy, rather than believe our sins deserve only physical and mental anguish. The truth is, suffering is not always the result of your sins.
The second observation is that when God doesn’t answer our questions, we already know enough for the test. In this chapter we will find that Job asks three very poignant questions: The first one is, "Why was I ever born?" Listen to the beautiful, way he expresses that, Verse 1:After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job said: "Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night which said, ’A man-child is conceived.’Let that day be darkness! May God above not seek it, nor light shine upon it.Let gloom and deep darkness claim it.