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Job 3:1-26

Talks for Growing Christians

Job’s Opening Lament

Job 3:1-26

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. It is important to realize the reasons for Job’s wish.
  2. It is important to remember what Job does not wish.

Practical Application

  1. Why you ask why is very significant!

Questions

  1. A simple outline of the book of Job is as follows: Chapters 1-2 Disasters of Job Chapters 3-41 Dialogues with Job Chapter 42 Deliverance for Job Chapters from 3 through 41 are written in Hebrew _________. The last portion of chapter 42 returns to _________.
  2. Job’s overall wish that he not be alive in the midst of his suffering is made up of three specific wishes. What are they?
  3. Does Job’s reference to the myth of the Leviathan (v 8) mean that Job believed in mythology?
  4. In spite of his wish that he not be alive, did Job ever suggest the thought of taking his own life or having his life taken by the hands of another person?
  5. In the midst of his severe suffering, what actions did Job avoid in his relationship to God?

Answers

  1. Chapters 3 through 41 of Job are written in Hebrew poetry. The last portion of chapter 42 returns to prose.
  2. The three specific wishes that made up Job’s overall wish to not be alive are his wish that he had not been born (vs 1-10), his wish that he had died at birth (vs 11-19), and his wish that he could have died right then (vs 20-26).
  3. Job’s reference to the myth of the Leviathan does not mean that Job believed in mythology as many around him did in that day. His mention of the Leviathan would be similar to us referring to Santa Claus when speaking to a child, even though we do not believe in him.
  4. In the midst of his wishing that he had not been born or had not lived at birth, Job never suggested the thought of having his life taken by others in abortion, infanticide or euthanasia, or the thought of taking his own life by suicide, even though all of these evil practices were common in Job’s day.
  5. In the midst of his severe suffering, Job did not renounce his belief in God and did not blaspheme God, even though he did not understand why he was suffering and wished that he could die.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss the lessons that can be learned from Job’s lament in this chapter regarding the sanctity of life, the beginning of life, and God’s sovereignty over life. Consider the degree and form of Job’s suffering in comparison to much of the suffering experienced by believers today. Discuss the significance of Job’s statement in verse 23, “ . . . and whom God has hedged in?”

Challenge

  1. When you ask God “Why,” are you humbly seeking insight and understanding or are you demanding an answer with a critical attitude? Asking with humility can bring discernment and maturity. Carefully examine your attitude before you ask God “Why.”

Key Verses

  • “Why is light given to him that is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, who long for death, but it does not come, and search for it more than hidden treasures? Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, and whom God has hedged in?” Job 3: 20, 21, 23

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