Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Job 3 & 4 - Job's Death Wish Soliloquy

LINK: Job 3 & 4

BACKGROUND

Job breaks his silence in Job 3. He would not curse God, but he did curse the day he was born. By wishing for the night he was conceived to be dark (3:6), barren (3:7), and never turn to day (3:9), he was saying that his pain was so bad that he wished he had never even been conceived! He said, "May no joyful shout enter [the night]" in 3:7 because it was customary for Near Easterners to shout when a boy was born. He referred to Leviathan in 3:8. Leviathan was a seven-headed sea monster of ancient Near Eastern mythology. Since he had already been conceived and born, then he wished he had died at birth. Finally, he wished for death right then and there. In this chapter he asked "why" five times.

Job's friends start their first round of speeches in Job 4, and this round continues until Job 14. Throughout their speeches they will be adamant that the righteous are rewarded and the unrighteous are punished. So, they concluded (wrongly) that Job must have sinned, and he needed to repent. This particular chapter contains a rebuke from Eliphaz, probably the eldest of the three "comforters."

REFLECTION

Every Christmas Eve, my family sits down to watch the movie, It's a Wonderful Life. It is a story about George Bailey who, after a series of trials, wishes that he had never been born. So, God, through Clarence, the Angel Second Class, grants George Bailey his wish. It is a fabulous story about the impact of just one life on a series of events and people!

Before its resurgence in popularity back in the 80's, it was a little known film when a dear friend came to me very depressed and wishing that she, like Job and George Bailey, had never been born. I wanted to be a good comforter (unlike Job's comforters), but I was at a loss for the words to help my friend in this terrible time of her life. My parents had taped this movie, and God gave me the idea to show it to her, and He used it in a wonderful way to show her that God put her on this earth for a purpose and that sometimes life does not always turn out the way that we had planned (like it did not for George and Job). It was the perfect way to comfort her as she cried to me after the movie, "Maybe there is a reason for my life!"

APPLICATION

I do not doubt that most have probably watched It's a Wonderful Life, but if you have not, I heartily recommend it as a springboard for discussion with your loved ones. How important is your life and what might be God's purpose for it?

PRAYER

Thank You that You wove us in our mother's womb, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). You made us for a purpose. Show us Your purposes for our life and meaning in our suffering and pain. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

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