Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why did Job curse his day?

Job 3 is a pretty startling chapter coming on the heels of Job 2 in which we read of Job refusing to curse God. In Job 2 Job notes that we can receive both good and evil from God.  He shows great patience there. But then Job 3 is jarring because Job curses roundly the day he was born and the day he was conceived.

Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. (v3)

9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day:
10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.
11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, (Job 3:9-13)

This utter spite for his own life is so startling that it makes us think that Job wasn’t as faithful as he seemed at first. We wonder why he could not continue as he began.

However, I somehow realized that this lament and cursing his birthday and conception was actually not an indication of crumbling integrity, but instead was his coming to the conclusion that he really had done the best he possibly could by repenting carefully.

I think he thought through his life and wondered how he could have done anything better in order to avoid what he was going through, and he realized he could not have improved on what he’d done. His sins were repented of, his good works were of the best quality. The only way he could have avoided the pain and loss he’d gone through was if he had died at birth. He continued as spiritually clean as he had been at birth, so to his mind it would have been better and saved more trouble if he had died at birth.

I hope that if I ever come to that same point of suffering that Job was at that I can have the same confidence, realizing I wouldn’t change a thing.   In the meantime, I can try to live each day such that I don’t regret anything, by sticking with my highest priorities, showing kindness, and by repenting of any sins I may have committed.


Ramona Gordy said...

It kind of reminds me of Jacob 7:26. After diligently working and serving,
Jacob seems resigned and almost depressed: "we did mourn our days"

7:26 And it came to pass that I, Jacob, began to be old; and the record of this people being kept on the other plates of Nephi, wherefore, I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren, which caused wars and contentions; wherefore, we did mourn out our days.