Job’s first speech
Job regrets his own birth
v1 Afterwards, Job spoke. He regretted his own birth. v2 He said:
v3 I regret my own birth. I am sorry that I was ever born. v4 I would prefer if that day never existed. I would prefer if the sun never appeared on that day. I wish that God did not count that day. v5 I would prefer if a dense cloud had covered the sun. I would prefer if the daylight was darkness.
v6 (And I regret the night when my life began.) I would prefer if darkness destroyed that night. I would prefer if that night was not in the calendar. I wish that such a night did not belong in any month. v7 I am sorry that anyone’s life began on that night. I wish that no family were happy on that night.
v8 People should curse that day. They should curse it, if they waken a crocodile! (A crocodile is a very strong animal.) v9 I should not have seen the morning stars on that day. I should not have seen the dawn. I should not have seen the daylight. v10 I should have died on that day.
Then, I would have avoided my troubles.
Job’s friends waited for Job to speak. They waited for an entire week. At last, Job spoke. Job explained that he was very sad. His life seemed to have no value. He felt as if he was waiting to die.
Job’s people thought that a birthday was a happy day. They had parties (Job 1:4). They were happy when a child was born. But Job was not happy about his own birth. He felt as if his troubles began on that day. He thought that his entire life had no purpose. Job supposed that his life achieved nothing.
But Job was wrong. Job had done many good things (Job 29:12-17). Job was a genuine servant of God (Job 1:8). And God was proud of Job’s life (Job 2:3). Job’s life achieved many good things.
Job lost all his wealth. Job’s children had died. Job became ill. But Job still praised God. Job still trusted God. Nobody who trusts God wastes his or her life. See Mark 10:28-30.
Job wished that he had never lived. He used many words to explain this thought. He imagined that the skies were dark on the day of his birth. Such a day would be a terrible day. But the day would still exist. And Job would still have been born.
Jesus died on a day when the skies really were dark (Luke 23:44). That day was a terrible day. Jesus suffered for our evil deeds. Jesus was innocent. He suffered because we are guilty.
So Job then thought about the night when his parents came together. On that night, Job’s life began, so Job regretted that night also. Of course, every night belongs in the calendar. But Job did not want that date to be in the calendar. Job wished that he had never lived.
If that night never existed, no baby’s life could begin then. And Job would not be born. Job’s parents would not be glad about his birth. But Job thought that their happiness was stupid. He thought that their happiness caused his pain.
Job was angry about the day when he was born. He wanted people to curse that day. He did not care if they woke a crocodile! A crocodile is a strong animal. If you wake a crocodile, it will attack you!
God spoke about the crocodile in Job chapter 41. The crocodile is like a terrible enemy. The crocodile is like Satan (the devil). Satan always accuses the people who trust God. Satan wants to attack us. Satan is very evil.
People are glad to see light in the early morning. Then, they know that daylight is beginning. Then, their troubles in the night will not continue. Perhaps they were afraid during the night. But they would be safe during the daytime. But Job was not glad that he saw the light. He wished that he was dead.
Job’s original ideas about death
v11 I would be happier:
· if I died at birth;
· v12 if my mother never looked after me;
· if my mother’s breasts had no milk.
v13 (If I had died,) I would not suffer now. Instead, I would be lying down. And I would be like someone who sleeps. v14 I would rest, with the world’s great kings and advisers. Their great buildings are now heaps of stone. v15 Or, I would rest with the rulers who collected gold and silver.
v16 My mother should have buried my body in the earth. I would be like a child who was born dead.
v17 In their graves, wicked men do not cause trouble. And tired people rest. v18 Slaves are free. They hear no commands from their masters. v19 Everyone is there, whether that person was important or not. And nobody serves anyone else.
Job imagined that he had died as a child. Job thought that death was beautiful because of his terrible troubles. He thought about dead bodies. Dead bodies seem to be asleep. And Job wished that he could sleep too.
Job’s ideas about death were not wholly right. Later in the Book of Job, Job would learn many more things about death. For example, Job learned that he will live after his death (Job 19:26). But Job did not yet know about heaven and hell.
Job thought that his body would sleep after his death. He would not suffer then, he thought.
These men worked hard. They built palaces. They led great armies. They achieved many things. But now, they must sleep. Their palaces are heaps of stone. Someone else owns their gold and silver now. And their bodies lie near the body of a child whom nobody knew.
If we do not trust God, we waste our lives. Our greatest possessions will be worth nothing when we die. We will lose all our wealth on this earth. So we should live our lives to prepare for heaven. See Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:33-34; Luke 12:16-21.
In this world, some people are important. And other people are not important. But when they die, God will be the judge of everyone. And God will be fair to everyone (Revelation 20:12).
Nobody can enter heaven because that person was rich. Nobody can enter heaven because that person was famous. Nobody can enter heaven because that person was important.
Nobody can enter heaven unless that person is born again (John 3:3). This means that we must invite God into our lives. God will change us if we trust him.
People whose lives are terrible
v20 I do not know how sad people continue to live. Their spirits suffer such bitter pain. v21 They want to die. But they are still alive. They would prefer to die, than to discover gold. v22 When, at last, they are dying, they are glad.
v23 I do not know what will happen to me. It is as if God has placed a hedge round me. v24 Food and water do not help me. Instead, I cry because of my pain. v25 I have suffered the most terrible troubles. The things that made me afraid have happened. v26 Instead of rest and quiet, I have trouble.
Job was able to sympathise with other people because of his own troubles. Job always cared about other people (Job 29:12-17). But now Job knew how they suffered.
The devil complained that God was protecting Job. The devil said that God was like a hedge round Job (Job 1:10).
Job was also aware of this. But Job did not realise that God was protecting him. Job was saying that his troubles were like a hedge round him. So Job could not escape from his troubles.
Job wanted rest and quiet. He even wanted to be dead, so that he could sleep. But instead, he was always suffering. Nothing seemed to help him. And nothing comforted him.
Job’s friends were sad when they heard Job’s speech. They did not want Job to suffer. And they did not think that Job deserved to suffer. Eliphaz spoke first. He was sure that God would help Job. So, Eliphaz tried to encourage Job. Eliphaz wanted to give hope to Job.