Job’s 1st Speech
Job 3:1-26 | Job’s Suffering: Job 3:1-26, 6:1-7:21, 9:1-10:11
Job is afflicted! However, what Job describes of his suffering throughout the discourse from here on out comes as a result of being backslidden or fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4), which means that he is painfully aware that he is under the wrath of God because of a crushing sense of unforgiven sin (Job 3:23, 25). Such souls are prone to rashness that grossly exaggerates reality. Unrealistic thoughts prevail because cursed and unhappy souls find a strange delight in cursing themselves while they bemoan their misery and speak loftily about what they suppose is their unavoidable fate. Ah! Bitterness of soul makes really bad nights much worse (Job 3:20, Heb. 12:15)!
“Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” - Job 3:23-25
Miserable souls are so dark within and blackened by sin, instead of feeling cheered by the sunrise, they feel that it rises in hostility against them (Job 3:20). This spiritual condition of madness and folly is what Solomon called, “a wounded spirit” (Prov. 18:14, Eccl. 2:17) – a seemingly senseless agony where the man feels that he is imploding within, or mortally wounded inside (Jer. 15:18), which then makes him desperately grasp after even a momentary glimpse of spiritual sanity all to no avail (Prov. 19:3). To all such men even the dullest moment is dreadfully unbearable. The afflictions suffered outwardly are unimaginably exaggerated by the pain and torment experienced inwardly. This is the bitter cup of the backslider!
Even so, Job is deceived to think that death would ease his “sorrow” (Job 3:10; 2 Cor. 7:10). He became delusional at the thought of enduring another night, when all the former nights felt like an eternity for the disquietness of his soul every moment (Job 3:13). For, though he lies down for slumber, he is without any sense of “rest” or stillness of body and soul (Job 3:13). He anxiously awaits the passing of each second and minute with a haunting sense of eternity within time! Therefore, if you can believe it, Job demonically covets the supposed freedom of “rest” enjoyed by “the prisoners” of the underworld in Hell (Job 3:17-19). Could he dig into Hades – he would (Job 3:21)!
“Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?” - Job 3:20-22
Job vainly imagines what rejoicing and gladness would come over him if he could bid mortal life goodbye (Job 3:22). However, because he is unable to bring himself to the point of suicide for a restraining sense of fear toward God, Job continues to “eat” food in order to survive albeit with “sighing” and “roarings” all throughout the unpleasant exercise (Job 3:24). Nevertheless, at sundry times, a gust of divine providence clears the smoke to allow the depressed sinner to breathe a breath of fresh air, and thus he is made to remember the real problem all along. Such an allusion is made in Job 3:23 to underscore the main issue; namely, that Job feels forsaken by God and lost in sin (Job 3:23; Ps. 51:11-12).
Job 3:11-12 | Delusional & Suicidal Worldly Sorrow: Job 3:11-12 (Matt. 26:24)
Job could have killed himself. He didn’t! Job could have turned to rioting and drunkenness to ease his pain (Isa. 22:13, 1 Cor. 15:32, 1 Sam. 28:21-25). He didn’t! Rather, in this respect, Job chose to be patient and wait upon God… and in the end he wasn’t disappointed. The pity and tender mercy of the Almighty prevailed at last to gloriously restore his soul! “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11).
Job 3:5 | Shadow of Death: Job 3:5, 24:17 (Ps. 23:4, 44:19, 107:10, 14, Isa. 9:2, Jer. 2:6, 13:16, Amos 5:8)
In this era of redemption from Noah to Abraham, as the New World was being repopulated, it became apparent to all that the Almighty would not suffer mankind to live as long as before in the Old World. The lifespan of mankind was rapidly decreasing (Gen. 11:10-30)! If Joktan’s name was prophetic like his brother Peleg’s name, then this drastic shortening of days among men was in fulfillment of a prophetic word delivered by Eber under inspiration (Gen. 10:25). Accordingly, a steady decline can be observed on average in the biblical genealogies. Noah lived to 950 years old, Shem lived 600 years old, Arphaxad lived 438 years old, Salah lived 433 years old, Eber lived 464 years old, Peleg lived 239 years old, Reu lived 239 years old, Serug lived 230 years old, Nahor lived 148 years old, Terah lived 205 years old, and Abraham lived 175 years old. Given the circumstances, life expectancy would have been a major topic of conversation.
Fathers would greet the up-and-coming generations among their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with a foreboding sense of death. It would be commonly spoken about. Sinners would be distressed over it! For, unless something changed, their beloved children were expected to live hundreds of years less than their fathers! Who knows what popular theories were floating around the ancient societies of sinners in these days? Demonic conspiracy theories were clearly prevailing upon all the subjects of Nimrod at Babel before the scattering (Gen. 10:8-10, 11:1-9)! Nevertheless, one thing was for sure: Death was encroaching upon men like darkness at sunset, when shadows grow large and steadily creep upon mankind. From this vantage point, the presence of death was staining the pride and glory of sinners worldwide (Isa. 23:9)! Therefore, unique figures of speech, like “the shadow of death”, would have been employed by wise men to capture the reality of the human experience at hand.