20 March 2022 PM – Job 2:11-3:26 – Job2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Lamentation is a cry of sorrow and grief. It is an expression of grief, suffering, sadness or regret. Lamentation is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. It shows publicly that you feel sad or disappointed about something.
Here in the prelude of the book of Job, both Job and his friends go through a week of lamentation together.
Transition: In this opening scene of Job’s suffering, God gives us a look at their lamentation that we may gain helpful insights on this painful topic.
  1. Job’s friends quietly lamented (2:11-13)
Job’s friends are usually labelled as being uncaring and unkind, yet at the first, they were exemplary comforters.
a.         They lamented compassionately (2:11)
1)         These three men were Job’s friends or close companions.
2)         After hearing of Job’s great losses and dreadful sickness, each of these three men left the comforts of his home and duties of his work to go to comfort Job.
3)         They made an appointment with each other to come to mourn with Job and comfort him.
4)         Though suffering or grieving people are often not very cordial, your presence means a lot to them.
b.         They lamented openly (2:12)
1)         Job was so covered with sores that his friends did not recognise him. They could see that Job was in a miserable condition.
2)         This caused them to weep openly.
3)         Each man tore his garment as a sign of grief.
4)         Each tossed dust in the air above his own head. This too was a sign of mourning.
5)         At this point, their lamenting seems to be sincere and genuine. They were hurting inside for their friend Job. This was good. (Rom 12:15) “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
c.          They lamented quietly (2:13)
1)         For seven days and seven night, they sat on the ground with Job. This was no little sacrifice. They were not enjoying the comforts of life.
2)         They endured with Job the heat and flies of the day and the cold and damp of night. The offensive smell of Job and his surroundings was unpleasant. Being there with Job was not an enjoyable time.
3)         During those seven miserable days, they sat quietly and observed Job’s very great grief and listened to his lament.
4)         “The best way to help people who are hurting is just to be with them, saying little or nothing, and letting them know you care.” Wiersbe
2.        Job miserably lamented (3:1-26)
In Warren Wiersbe words, “When you are hurting, you may say and do a lot of things that you later regret. Job’s suffering was so great that he forgot the blessings that he and his family had enjoyed for so many years.” Job Commentary, p.14 Roy Zuck adds this helpful note. “Job did not curse God as Satan had predicted, nor did he contemplate suicide. He ‘laments his misery, but does not complain of injustice, or lament his integrity,’” p.22 While Job wished for relief from his suffering, he did not get angry with God.
a.         He wished he had not been born (3:1-10)
1)         He cursed the night he was conceived (3:3). This is not a type of swearing. It simply means that he belittled that day. He wished he had not been conceived.
2)         Obviously, Job considered conception the beginning of life. Conception is a blessing from God. If we belittle a blessing from God, we are questioning the goodness of God.
3)         Job also regretted that he had been born. In numerous ways, he wished it had been a night of darkness, storm and mourning. He wished that his birthday had not been recorded on the calendar (3:6).
4)         He wished his birthday had been a terrible day like one when a fool stirred up leviathan (lit. meaning of the word translated “mourning”). Leviathan was a fearless, ferocious dinosaur that lived in the sea.
5)         In his agony, Job thought that having never existed would be a better option to his misery. Wishing such things did not change the fact that he had been conceived and born. It may have helped Job let off some steam, but it did nothing to solve his problem.
b.         He wished he had died at birth (3:11-19)
1)         Job asked four “why” questions. Whether Job directed them to God, to his three friends, or to no one in particular, we cannot say.
a)         Why was I not born dead?
b)         Why did I not die right after birth?
c)         Why did they lay me on my mother knees?
d)         Why did I drink from my mother’s breasts?
2)         To these words, Job added in Job 3:16 that a hidden untimely birth (i.e., a miscarriage) would have been better than his birth. Life was too painful.
3)         He concluded that in the place of the dead, he would at least be at rest. In his present condition, he had no rest.
4)         By this, Job seems to know that Sheol, the place of the dead, was not just a place of torment for the wicked. It was also a place of comfort for the righteous (cf., Job 7:9; 11:8; 14:13; 17:13; 17:16; 21:13; 24:19; 26:6).
c.          He wished he would just die (3:20-26)
1)         Job asked anyone listening why he still saw light and had life within his body (3:20).
2)         Due to his extreme misery, he longed for death. He searched for death as one searching for treasure, and rejoiced at the thought of being dead (3:21-22).
3)         In all this, Job sensed that God was hedging him in (3:23). Though God had given Satan much liberty, it is true that God fenced in his life and was preventing him from dying, while allowing him to suffer. Job could not see Satan’s plot against him, but he did sense that God was for some reason preserving his life. Even in this, he did not angrily blame God.
4)         Job admitted that the miserable state he was in had been his greatest fear. Though he was a righteous man, he was still human. He knew that God had prospered him, and he knew that God could take it all away if he chose to do so.
5)         Thomas Constable notes, “Many people reach the same level in the strata of grief that Job did here. They long to die but do not contemplate suicide. The pressure of pain squeezes out the memories of past pleasures. The present agony becomes so overwhelming that they cannot see hope beyond it.”
6)         Roy Zuck concludes, “Only those godly people who have relished release from life’s woes through the gate of death can fully appreciate Job’s mournful wail.” p.28
Conclusion: Though suffering was scrambling Job’s feelings and stretching his emotions to their limits, he had not lost his faith in God. He did not blame God in any sinful way. He did not curse God as Satan predicted. In this, he is a great example to us.
When a friend or loved one is suffering, we ought to lament, as Job’s friends did that first week. Spend time with the grieving person, weep with him, and sit quietly with him to comfort him. You may want to share a carefully chosen Bible promise as medicine for his hurting heart.
When we are the one suffering, like Job, we may long for relief from suffering, but we must not get angry with God. Though Job longed for death to escape his misery, he never tried to take his own life. That is never God’s will. God is fully capable of taking our life when it is His perfect time to do so. Through much prayer and meditation on God’s word, we must depend on His strength to see us through to the end.
Song: Does Jesus Care? 289