Job Wished He Could Die

Armand M. Nicholi, M. D. , professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, explains that Sigmund Freud died at the age of 83, a bitter and disillusioned man. Tragically, this Viennese physician, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, had little compassion for … More

Bitterness

This chapter records the first great outpouring of complaint by Job, and not one of his visitors, that broke the seven days of silence. As he spoke, it was not with a casual greeting to his friends or small talk. His former positive manner has turned to bitterness, his patience to self-pity, and his integrity to ingratitude. There are two things Job is saying in this chapter. He wishes that he had never been born. However, having been born (vv. 1-10), he wishes that he had died at birth vv. 11-19). He finds no relief from his misery. Job had been living in peace and prosperity in the land of Uz. Now trouble has come upon him and he does not understand at all why it should have come (vv. 20-26).

Compared with the patient and positive Job we met in chapters 1-2, these are strange words, indeed, flowing from his mouth as he expresses his wishes that he had never been born). There was no rest, peace, nor quiet for Job. He is so low physically, mentally, and emotionally, that if he had been allowed to die he would have rejoiced with enthusiasm. To Job, it seemed that God didn’t care about him anymore. However, he never doubted that He was in control. He had been elevated to the highest peak and then dragged into the deepest pit. It is at this point that God will begin to help Job to put his life back together.

As unlikely as it may seem, many people in sorrow have found consolation in this chapter, as they have walked through dark valleys and have gone on to the light and joy on the other side. Job is mostly verbalizing his innermost thoughts and feelings in an outburst of anguish, misery and despair.

Application

I can learn from this passage of Scripture that if there was hope for someone as stricken with calamity as Job, there is certainly hope for someone like me.

Job 3:1-26 (English Standard Version)


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