Daily Scripture reading for the week is at the end of the page.
Dr. June Normil
Job chapter 3 can be difficult to read. In it, we find this righteous man of God expressing deep lament, voicing a desire that he wish he had never been born (verses 1-10). Job's words are especially gloomy and filled with despair. Job saw no goodness in the day he was born, describing these feelings in a powerfully poetic contrast between light and darkness. He desired the very day of his birth to be stricken from existence. Yet as we read, we must keep one powerful truth in view: Through it all, he did not curse or blame God. The expression "those who curse days" in verse 8, may be a reference to "professional cursers"of that time (se Numbers 22-24) and can help us better understand the fervency of Job's desire. Job's words represent the outer limit of despair. Yet through it all Job would not and did not curse God-though he had reached the point where he cursed even his very existence.
For Personal Reflection] How might you respond to someone expressing the kinds of feelings Job expressed?
Starting at Job 3:11, Job began asking difficult questions as to why he was experiencing such horrible trials. Why did he not die at birth, an all-too-common reality in those days? Why couldn't his parents have refused to care for him? Why could he not have been a stillborn child (verses 12-16)? His feelings of despair were real, but he could not change his circumstances. The words of Job in chapter 3: He did not speak of the blessings God had granted him in the past in chapter 1. Rather, Job's intense suffering now seemed to consume him. Job continue to reflect on death in 3:17-19. He saw the realm of the dead as a peaceful place of rest and freedom from trouble. For him, death seemed to be better than living on earth. It is important to keep in mind that Job said these words amid terrible grief, loss, and pain. His words are not intended to teach us about the nature of death, but to provide us with a sense of the depth of his grief.
This week's lesson can seem depressing. It is hard to imagine what Job experienced. While we will likely never go through his level of trials, everyone confronts pain, suffering, and grief at times throughout their lives. Our response should be that we trust God amid our own hurts, even as we assist those around us when they are hurting. How can you help the hurting? First, listen. Let them talk, without responding in judgment or with trite advice. Then, offer practical assistance when needed. Finally, express and demonstrate Christian love. Recall that even your presence offers assurance that they are not alone. There is someone who really cares.
WE ALL NEED SOMEBODY TO LEAN ON!
See You In Sunday School Next Week!!!!
Copyright Reference: Radiant Life, Volume 101 Number 1 Sep. Oct. Nov. 2019 by Gospel Publishing House, 1445 N. Boonville Ave, Springfield, Mo 65802.
Dr. June Normil