After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.
About thirteen years ago, I was working in my church office when a phone call came in. It was from a family of dairy farmers that were members of a sister congregation. Their pastor was out of the country and I was covering for him in case of emergencies. This was such a time.
There had been an accident at the farm. One of the children had been killed by a farm implement. Could I come and help the family?
I went out there. Mom was at the kitchen table. In shock, she told me what happened. After I sat and prayed with her I went out to the barn.
Dad was out there, taking care of the cows. He, too, was in shock. But you can’t just stop working on a dairy farm. I stood with him a while and prayed with him.
A few days later, I presided at the funeral. This little boy was only four years old. Same age as my youngest son. I had never preached at a funeral for a child. It was very difficult for me. The little boy even resembled my son! But my difficulty was nothing compared to this family’s.
What I said to them was that we were not made to bury our own children. Death was not part of the plan at all, but certainly the death of one of our children was not something that parents should have to go through.
Yet, some do. And I told them to take heart, because they have a God who knows exactly how they feel. God the Father, too, buried his own Son, Jesus!
Still, because of the death of Jesus, this little boy was now in heaven living forever. And there will be a happy reunion with him and all those who fall asleep – die – in Jesus.
Job also knew the pain of burying his own children. Losing his wealth and his health, he also lost all ten of his children and after seven days of mourning in silence, Job finally speaks.
He pens a poem that reveals the depth of his grief, at the bottom of which is this thought: he wished he had never been born.
In his depressed state of mind, he feels that if he had not been born – or worse, died in child birth – then none of this would have happened.
In a sense, I guess he’s right. It seems logical that if Job had not been born his children would not have been born and then they wouldn’t have died.
Job becomes quite poetic in spelling out this thought of his.
And then Job says something profound: Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? (Job 3:23).
Normally, when the Bible says that God “hedges” someone in it is for their protection. But in this context, it seems to mean that God has condemned Job to a prison of pain and sorrow. He goes on living while his children lay buried in the ground.
For all the good things that Job is said to have been, “blameless,” “steadfast,” “not sinning with his lips,” now he is starting to lash out in pain and anger.
He also already said that God gives and God takes away. But now it seems that Job is saying, “But I don’t have to like it.”
Not knowing the reason for all this happening to him, we might be inclined to cut Job a break.
But Job has to go through all of this to learn what he – and we – are supposed to learn from it.
Patience. Trust. Integrity. Faith.
As do we, when we are faced with temptations and trials. We must go through them all the way.
But we go through them with God. He will be right there with us. As it says in Psalm 23, “Yea, thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou are with me.”
And he is. God is with us. Our God who knows the sorrow of burying a Son and the joy that awaits those who have faith in his Son – the joy of resurrection and reunion and never ending life in heaven!
©2017 True Men Ministries