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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Job 3

Verses 1-26

JOB'S BITTER COMPLAINT

(vv.1-26)

Though Job would not dare to curse God for his trouble, yet it seems that the presence of his friends only caused a stronger, gradual build-up of bitter distress in the heart of Job, so that eventually the thoughts of his heart broke out in words of painful complaint.

WISHING HE HAD NEVER BEEN BORN

(vv.1-10)

Job did not even now charge God foolishly, but he did curse the day of his birth. This was not directly blaming God, but however little he realised it, he was indirectly blaming God, for it was God who gave him life. The language of Job is amazingly graphic, as indeed are all his succeeding speeches and those of his friends. Job's grief was so deep that he did not even consider that what he was saying was an impossibility. How could the day perish in which Job was born? (v.3). How could history reverse itself? That day had passed long before and at the time was a day of light that a man-child had been born into the world. Could Job's words change that light to darkness? He mentions God once in this section, desiring that God would ignore that day (v.4). Later Job would thank God he had been born, and that thankfulness will endure for eternity. But when trouble comes such as Job was called to bear, we do not tend to think soberly and with calm deliberation, though wishful thinking will never accomplish anything. The doors of Job's mother's womb had been opened long ago (v.10), and Job knew this could never be reversed. But he was moved by his anguish, not by faith.

WISHING HE HAD DIED AT BIRTH

(vv.11-19)

If it could not be that Job could reverse the fact of his birth, yet he now expressed the wish that he had died at birth. Was there any more hope of this than that he had never been born? Of course not! If only he had died, he says, he would be at rest (v.13). In death at least, he affirms, the wicked cease from troubling, the weary are at rest, the prisoners are released and the slave is free from his master (vv.17-19). But wishing is not facing facts as they are. Faith faces facts and gives God credit for doing what He knows is best. But Job's faith had become very weak.

WISHING FOR DEATH NOW

(vv.20-26)

In these verses Job comes closer to facing facts as they actually were. He was in misery and bitterness of soul, and he questions why life should be given to one in such a state, though he longs for death and it does not come. It is good, however, that he does not even consider suicide, as many would do today who are in such a condition. Satan had been told to spare Job's life while being allowed to make him suffer so grievously, and God knew Job's sufferings were necessary to accomplish results of great blessing. So that Job's wish for death was not according to the will of God. Job would not die until God ordained it so.

In verse 25 Job records the fact that the thing he greatly feared had come upon him. Such a thing often happens. He had not been feeling secure and confident of continuing in constant prosperity. He greatly feared that he might be reduced as now he found himself to be. Sometimes people are mortally afraid they might contract a certain disease, and that disease overtakes them. Why? Is it not because God is showing them that His grace is sufficient for them even in the most dreaded circumstances? Thus Job was not at ease, not quiet; he had no rest, yet trouble came (v.26). He needed to learn the heart of God as he did not know it.

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Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Job 3". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lmg/job-3.html. 1897-1910.