Today: [Job Three] Did Job Set Himself Up to Fail? In this chapter Job curses the day of his birth. Where did he get that idea? In the culture Job lived in it was common to mourn when children were born. In much of what Job complains about we see the influences he was exposed to. There are many ideas and opinions we are exposed to every day in our lives and it seems to matter very little – until trouble comes. When Job got in trouble what was in him in abundance came out of him in his complaint and suffering. When you are in trouble what is in you in abundance will come out in a torrent either of faith or fear.
[Job 3:1-26 KJV] 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.
This chapter begins with two words “after this”. After Job loses his children, his health and his wealth he begins to speak. His first words are words of cursing. In this we can see the pressure that he is under and the influence of Satan. In accusing Job before God Satan assures God that Job will curse God before His face. When Job begins to curse this is because he is under the influence and temptation of Satan himself. The curses that come out of his mouth are not just human frustration or pathos but the language of a man succumbing to Satan himself under the greatest pressure.
Usually when Job is read it is done from a perspective of pity for a man suffering deeply in the midst of great trial. I would suggest that in studying Job we need to look at him through a more analytical perspective. Why was Job cursing? Because he suffered? Yes that is true – he would not be cursing if he wasn’t suffering but there is a direct connection between Satan’s plan to get him to curse God and the words of Job beginning to curse because it was Satan’s influence and suggestion that he is responding to in the first place.
Notice that when Satan stood before God his clear intent was to get access to Job’s words. He knew if he could influence Job’s words that he could control the man. What comes out of your mouth when you are under pressure? Job’s words in this chapter are not pure words. When you speak impure words always remember that words are spiritual containers. Every word out of your mouth releases into your life the spirit behind that words – either the spirit of God or the spirit of the world and the enemy. In the gospel of John Jesus said:
[Jhn 6:63 KJV] 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.
Jesus’ words are spirit and life. Every word however has a spirit behind it. The words of God bring life – the words of the enemy bring death. Every word releases a spirit. What are your words releasing? Are you by negative words releasing hell into your life and the lives of those around you? Better to let your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth. Sometimes the most powerful and productive thing you can do when you are suffering is to keep your mouth shut. Therapists and psychologists would beg to differ because they think the more you talk about something the better off you are. If you have to “blow” then do in the place of prayer between you and God. As the old hymn says “tell it to Jesus alone…” When you loose your frustration on your fellow man you compound your suffering by the opinions and judgments of all who are listening.
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.
When Job is mourning the day of his birth he is revealing something of the culture he lived in. In ancient times it was common for births to be mourned for the suffering the new born would be expected to face in his or her lifetime. So we see that Job was not an island to himself in his life. He was influenced by the world and society around him. He was so influenced because he was as we all are connected to the lives of others through commerce and personal dealings. Many of those he is connected to were not people of faith. Therefore when Job curses the day of his birth and mourns his birth he isn’t being original. He is repeating and echoing words and sentiments he has no doubt heard all his life from outside sources.
What about you? How deeply are your influenced by the world and society around you? Modern culture reaches into your life through the media, through co-workers, through many outlets that you would be hard pressed to separate yourself from even if you worked very hard at it. When things are going well and you aren’t under any particular pressure the influence of the world seems very affordable indeed and even a source of entertainment and distraction. We are bored so we want to keep up with the Kardashians. We are restless so we plug in to pop culture and it is reflected in our wardrobe, our music choices and the programming we select for our viewing entertainment. It is all so innocuous and seemingly harmless – till we get under pressure.
Job is under pressure and what is in him is coming out. My father made a statement many times “if it wasn’t in there it wouldn’t come out…” What comes out of you under pressure is what gets put in you at leisure. Job was apparently a man of the world and under many influences. We may not know exactly what they are but when cursing and lament and complaint come out of him we know that the influences he is under do not originate with God. When Satan came to attack Job he needed something to work with – and in Job’s heart and social conditioning we see a large inventory of influences ready for Satan’s use.
We need to think about this. The song we listened to on the way to work this morning – is it something Satan can use against us when we are under pressure. The news cast we watched last night – is it something Satan can use to reinforce the pressure, lament and complaint that comes out of our live when we are under assault. When God says “come out from among them and be separate” He is not merely being capricious. He knows something of Satan’s strategy. What if we are under pressure and struggling and the only thing lodged deeply in our heart is “my God shall supply all my need by His riches in Christ Jesus….” What if when we have lost our way what comes out is not “I don’t know what to do …” but rather “I know my God will make a way for me…”?
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 is looking for relief and the only way he thinks he can get it is in death. Isa. 28:15-18 tell us that this kind of thinking is a covenant with death. It is very seductive and far more prevalent than we may realize or be willing to admit. Job was preoccupied with death even before his trial. He rose every morning to give sacrifice for his children just in case they had cursed God and might die. Death was on Job’s mind and it comes out when he suffers. Cursing was also on his mind. Every day he sacrificed just in case his children had cursed God in the night. Why did he think that his children might curse God? Where might they have gotten the idea to curse God? There was something in the home environment that caused a strong preoccupation with death and cursing.
Now we know why Satan chose cursing as the means of tempting Job. He didn’t tempt him with a woman as he did David. He didn’t tempt him by many of dozens of ways you and I might be tempted, rather he no doubt studied Job and considered what temptation he was most likely to succumb to and brought that against him. What temptation are you vulnerable to? You can look at the influences in your life and the environment around you to determine with exactitude just how the enemy will come at you. Then you can bolster yourself by absorbing the truth of God’s word in your heart in those areas as a buttress against the strategy of hell when you come under assault.
In the last verse Job describes his mental state before his troubles began. He says he did not consider himself to be in safety. He says he was not quiet in his heart. He says he didn’t have rest or apparently sleep very well. He describes all of these things as comprising his state of mind BEFORE his trouble came. As verse 25 assures us “the thing that you greatly fear will come upon you…” So we see that Job may have been a man who loved God but he did have a stronghold of fear in his life and a culture of compromise affecting his household as is reflected in the lives of his wife and children.
For us we should come away from this chapter with a sense of discernment in our own lives. Are we as Job was vulnerable to influences from our culture and society that don’t originate in God? Is there something we can change about that so that when we are under attack the enemy has a reduced inventory of resources to attack us with. One great place to start is to adopt the following verse as our watch word in life:
[Phl 4:8 KJV] 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.
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