Introduction: Recall that in Job 2:9 Job’s wife advised him to “curse
God and die?” Job refused. Instead, we learn this week that Job
cursed his own existence. Do you know someone who has ended their
existence? When I was young, my mother was concerned that I would
take my life because of a break-up with my girlfriend. I don’t recall
my thoughts then, but I doubt that Mom had a reason to be worried.
When I hear of someone who killed their spouse, I think, “Why not
divorce?” My attitude is the same about suicide, why not just change
my life? If you are like me and do not understand such thoughts, Job
introduces us to the desperate thinking of those in the depths of
depression. Let’s dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. Curse the Day

    1. Read Job 3:1-3. What does Job wish? (That he had never
      been born.)

      1. Why would he come to that conclusion? His life had
        been fabulous (or so it seems) before Satan attacked
        him. Why not wish that he would die now as opposed to
        not having been born? (It makes no logical sense, but
        here are a couple of suggestions. Sometimes when we
        suffer a great deal, we react in ways that are not
        logical. Second, Job is confused and angry about how
        “justice” is working out in his life. If he does not
        understand life, perhaps it would have been better to
        have never become a part of it.)

    2. Read Job 3:4-6. What else does Job desire with regard to
      his day of birth? (That God forgets about it. He wants all
      official records of the day of his birth wiped away.)

      1. Compare Job’s wishes with reality of his situation.
        Is that what God wants? (Just the opposite. Job is
        God’s warrior, His most important rebuke to Satan.
        Job is a hero in God’s eyes.)

      2. What does this teach us about understanding what God
        thinks about us?

    3. Read Job 3:7-9. What else does Job wish with regard to his
      birthday? (No one would rejoice about it. Instead, his
      birthday should be cursed.)

  2. Rest of Death

    1. Read Job 3:10-13. Job wishes that he had never been born,
      or that he would have died at birth, and that God would
      forget about his birthday and that humans would curse
      instead of bless that day. What do these verses tell us
      about the reason for Job’s bizarre desires? (Job says that
      if he had never been born, or if he had died at birth, he
      would enjoy the peace of death.)

      1. If that is Job’s goal, why not just kill himself?
        Why not say to his faithful wife, “You want me to
        die, how about killing me?” (Among all of Job’s
        terribly discouraging thoughts, killing himself is
        not one of them. It must be that Job believed that
        taking his own life is not a path God condons.)

    2. Read Job 3:13-15. How is Job’s situation like rulers who
      build palaces, who were rich with gold and silver? (Job is
      ruined. When you are dead it does not matter that your
      palace has been destroyed or your gold lost. Job wants to
      die so that the ruin of his life will no longer matter.)

    3. Read Job 3:16-19. What is Job’s view about the nature of
      death? (He sees it as a release from trouble. He does not
      see the wicked burning or the righteous enjoying the
      delight of heaven.)

      1. Do you think this is intended to teach us something
        about the hereafter? (The Old Testament is much more
        obscure about death than the New Testament. Solomon
        said essentially the same thing in Ecclesiastes 9:9-10, that the grave is the end of life and there is no
        future. On the other hand, the New Testament is
        filled with references to the afterlife, especially
        for those who trust God.)

      2. Given Job’s understanding of death, can you imagine
        the grief he suffered because of the loss of his

  3. Nature of Life

    1. Read Job 7:1-3. Based on what you know about Job, does
      this make any sense? (No! He was the “greatest man [in]
      the East,” Job 1:3. I have no doubt that he worked hard,
      at least at one point, but to compare himself to a “slave”
      or a “hired man,” is ridiculous.)

      1. Wait a minute! Is Job talking about his past life?
        (When Job says, “so I have been allotted months of
        futility,” it seems that he is only talking about his
        life after Satan’s attack.)

    2. Read Job 7:4-5. Job cannot sleep. Is that his “hard
      service” ( Job 7:1)? (I think the correct understanding is
      that Job is talking about his life now and not his past
      life. Job points out that workers look forward to the
      evenings and payday. He is longing for his terrible night
      of suffering to pass because his is uncomfortable and
      cannot sleep.)

    3. Read Job 7:6-8. Is Job saying that his nights drag on, but
      his days flash by? (I don’t think so. He is saying that
      his good life flashed by. Now the good life is gone and he
      is without hope.)

      1. Think about Job’s statement about life. Will that be
        true of you? At some point you will say, “the good
        life has ended, and I’m now just hoping to die?” (For
        many this is true. It is a powerful argument for
        paying attention to your diet and fitness, so that
        you improve the odds that when you become old you can
        still enjoy life.)

  4. The Complaint

    1. Read Job 7:11. Has Job’s attitude changed? (Yes. He says
      that his good life is over, he hopes for death, and
      therefore he will complain because he is bitter.)

      1. Read Job 2:4-5. Has Satan won? (No! Job is not
        cursing God, he is coming to God with his complaint.)

    2. Read Job 7:12-16. What is Job’s complaint? (God has him in
      such a terrible situation that he prefers to be dead. He
      wants God to “let [him] alone.”)

      1. Do you think this is what Job really wants, or is
        this just his depression talking? (To the extent that
        Job thinks God brought his trouble, he would like to
        be left alone.)

    3. Read Job 7:17-18. What does Job think God is doing to him?
      (Examining him, testing him.)

      1. I’ve written before that Job would never, in a
        thousand years, figure out the reason for his
        suffering. But, here we see that I might have been
        wrong. Job senses that he is being tested.)

        1. Is God testing him? (This is Satan’s idea.)

    4. Read Job 7:20. Job switches to another reason for his
      suffering, what is it? (That he sinned, and God make him a
      “target” because of it.)

      1. Is Job still trusting God? (Job thinks that God must
        be testing him or targeting him because of his sins.
        He wants God to “let me alone” ( Job 7:19). But,
        whatever the true reason for his suffering, Job is
        still turning to God for the solution to his

    5. Read Job 7:21. What does Job think about grace? (He
      believes in it. He asks God to forgive his sins for soon
      he will surely die.)

      1. Re-read Job 7:19 and compare it to the end of Job
        7:21. Are these two statements in conflict? (Yes. Job
        says on the one hand that God is constantly watching
        him. On the other hand he says that God will be
        searching for him.)

        1. What does that teach us? (When we have friends
          or family who are, like Job, suffering, we can
          expect that they will not always be thinking
          clearly. We saw that earlier in this lesson and
          we see it again now.)

        2. What is our obligation in situations like that?
          (Read Job 1:11-13. I think this approach has a
          lot of merit. As we go through this book we
          will see how Job’s friends tried to correct his
          views. But, that did not seem to help.)

    6. Friend, Job is still an inspiration to us when we suffer.
      Job complains, his thinking is confused at times, and he
      is depressed. Yet in all of this he turns to God for the
      answer. Will you determine to always look to God for the
      answers to your problems in life?

  5. Next week: The Curse Causeless?