Job 3:11-18 “Why Died I Not From The Womb?”

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Job 3:11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
Job 3:12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
Job 3:13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest,
Job 3:14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves;
Job 3:15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver:
Job 3:16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.
Job 3:17 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.
Job 3:18 There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.

Introduction

Job has already confessed that he is aware that this entire experience is a work which the Lord Himself is working. He does not blame his suffering on Satan, nor does he consider any of his loss and suffering to be the fault of the Sabeans or the Chaldeans. Job knows that God is sovereign over all things.

Job 2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Was it really “at the hand of God” that Job had lost all his possessions, all his children and was now stricken with boils from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet? Yes, it really was at “the hand of God” that all these things happened because the scriptures declare “In all of this did not Job sin with his lips”.

But that will no longer be the case as Job will now begin to question the very God who he confesses is sovereign and is justified in giving us all both good and evil in our lives at His own discretion and for His own purposes:

Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

We are all ‘hardened’ before our old man is destroyed and God begins to show us His mercy.

In the mental pain of the loss of all of his possessions, the loss of his seven sons and his three daughters, and now the physical excruciating pain of being stricken with boils from his head to his toes, Job is brought to his “wits’ end” (Psa 107: 27). Not knowing the end or the purpose for this seemingly unbearable trial, Job, as the type and shadow of how God is preparing His elect for the work they are yet to perform in His service, now questions why, under these circumstances, God ever bothered with bringing him into this world.

Job 3:11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
Job 3:12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
Job 3:13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest,

It is completely contrary to our natural man to see the need for suffering. But Job is the type and shadow of those who must suffer first, “for His body’s sake which is the church” (Col 1:24). There is a very great need for such people, and here are a few verses which explain that great need:

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Christ was heard and was “saved from death”. Christ was “not appointed unto” death, but to life. Christ was appointed to be “saved from death”. So how was that accomplished? It was accomplished “through death”, just like not being appointed to wrath is fulfilled and accomplished by enduring the fullness of His wrath first, thereby entering into His temple first (Rev 15:8).

Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Job is yet to learn that his salvation from his misery is through that misery.

“Why did the knees prevent me” from going back to the earth from whence we all come? That these words are written for us is made clear by our Lord Himself when He contrasts his fury, which Job is enduring, with that which His “whirlwind” fury produces. Here is how Job, and all of us, are “not appointed to wrath but to salvation” (1Th 5:9).

Isa 66:12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
Isa 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Isa 66:14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.
Isa 66:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
Isa 66:16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

We do not need “comfort” unless we are first afflicted. “The Lord will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh…” Those who think that God’s enemies are some evil, bad man somewhere are like Job, while he is proclaiming his own righteousness and his own integrity. Those who thing that God’s enemies are anyone but themselves, are Job’s so-called comforters, who likewise see anyone but themselves as being evil and deserving of God’s fury and His wrath.

How did Isaiah know this? One way Isaiah knew this was because Isaiah had certainly read the book of Job, and he was inspired by the words in Job and by the holy spirit to see and to know that much of the mind of God. Isaiah was, no doubt, familiar with these words:

Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

If we think God was not working with Job until He Himself starts speaking in chapter 38, then we will learn nothing from this account of Job’s trials. This entire story is the account of God’s sovereign work in our lives and in Job’s life. God knew to begin with, that Job was self-righteous and would condemn Him for His way of revealing Job’s self-righteousness to him. God knew this before He ever called Satan over to expose Job to himself, by means of this excruciating trial. But this all happened to Job, and it is written for our admonition first, and not for Job’s admonition first.

1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [ Greek, tupos, types]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

This story of Job is not just a parable any more than the story of the events that transpired in the Garden of Eden were just a parable. This is life. Yes, this life is temporal, and from God’s perspective, it “is a vapor which appears for a moment then vanishes away” (Jas 4:14). Nevertheless, that momentary “vapor” is very essential, and it seems like an eternity from Job’s painful and suffering perspective. But this experience of Job’s is the type and shadow of what Christ’s elect must experience, who must be the “first” to know the “fiery… wrath of God” upon “all flesh”. Remember what we just read:

Isa 66:16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

God’s sword and His fire are both His word, by which mankind must live every word (Mat 4:4).

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

As Job demonstrates, we all endure “His indignation toward His enemies” while we are “His enemies”, and while doing so we all condemn Him for His sovereign actions, before we become his servants and acknowledge that we too, “are vile… the chief of sinners”.

Isa 66:14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.
Isa 66:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
Isa 66:16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Even our Lord’s flesh, as our example in the garden of Gethsemane, when “troubled… even unto death”, questioned His Father’s need to do things in His way:

Mat 26:37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Mat 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

If it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” What does that tell us about Christ’s flesh? What it tells us is that Christ’s flesh did not like the Father’s will, even while the spirit of His Father within Him said “Nevertheless not as I will, but as you will”.

“As He is so are we in this world”. So also Job is us. We are one and all brought to be “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”. This is essential so we will be qualified to lead others through this same “valley of… death”. How is that accomplished? It certainly is not accomplished by caving in to the solutions our flesh contrives, like “Why died I not from the womb?” God has placed us all into these bodies of flesh and blood for the purpose of giving us these fiery trials, so we will know how to deal with others who must endure these very same fiery trials. Here instead, is God’s way of preparing us to be “Saviors upon Mount Zion” (Oba 21).

Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [ Greek, comfort] them that are tempted.

If we are Christ, as Christ says we are, then we must live the life and suffer the afflictions He suffered.

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint- heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Should we really expect to be “as He is… in this world”?

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Christ was in a body of death. He too, was flesh and blood “like unto his brethren”, just as we are. As such we must fill up in our bodies what is behind of the afflictions of His Christ, which ‘Christ’ we are.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Here is Young’s Literal Version of this verse:

(YLT) I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and do fill up the things lacking of the tribulations of the Christ in my flesh for his body, which is the assembly,

You and I, Lord willing, are ‘the Christ… the anointed’ of Christ, and as such we must partake of His sufferings and this attitude of: “For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest”, must be dispensed with and expunged from our hearts and minds. ‘Why did my mother dandle me on her knees? Why did she suckle me on her breasts? Why did she not just let me die?’ That is Job’s state of mind, and that is our state of mind when we are there with Job, suffering what seems to be such very unbearable pain. He prefers death to life, and yet this is all just part of “the patience and faith of the saints” which must be endured to “keep the things written therein”.

Rev 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
Rev 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [ the beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
Rev 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Job cursed the day he was born for this reason:

Job 3:10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.

It is not granted to the natural man to see suffering as a blessing. It is not natural to understand how light can come forth “out of darkness” or how good can come out of evil. Mankind cannot make that happen, but that is exactly what God does. That is His modus operandi. Christ tells us that this is something we will all experience:

Luk 23:27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
Luk 23:28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

Yet it is out of all of this darkness and out of all of this evil, ‘created by God’ (Isa 45:7), that God “saves much people alive”.

Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Just like Job, Joseph’s situation had gone from bad to worse, and Joseph and then to go from there into prison. But just like Job before him, Joseph was taken from prison and exalted higher than he had ever been before.

But Job at this point does not see any way out of his dilemma. He has asked God:

Job 3:11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
Job 3:12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?
Job 3:13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest,

So he continues his complaint against God, and his desire to be removed from the pain of his excruciating circumstances:

Job 3:14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves;
Job 3:15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver:
Job 3:16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.

Here we learn that the “kings and counsellors of the earth” who seem to be living in luxury are really living in spiritually “desolate places”. We see that having houses filled with gold and silver does nothing to forestall the death of the rich and powerful in this world.

“As an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infant which never saw light” has been taken by itself to justify the millions of medical abortions as children which really “had not been”. All who have done this can only be said to be ignorant of the principle of “the sum of thy word is Truth”.

Psa 119:160 The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.

What those who abuse God’s word to justify their evil murderous actions for filthy lucre fail to point out here is that Job realized that what was in the womb was alive. He acknowledges this when he asks the question, Why died I not from the womb? There would be no way for a fetus to die, if it had never been alive. Job even asks the question, Why did I not give up the spirit which I came out of the belly?

Job 3:11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

Besides these obvious verses telling us a fetus is alive right here in this very same chapter, we are given the law of restitution for the death of the unborn.

Exo 21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

If there were no life lost, then why is this man being punished for an accidental abortion? It is true that medical abortions are never even considered in scripture, but the fact that the unborn are said to be alive within the womb, and the fact that accidental abortions are punished, lets us know that God considers the unborn as living children of God.

Gen 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Gen 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Rebekah’s two children were Jacob and Esau. These two children are the Old Testament type of the natural man, Esau, who always comes in our life before that which is spiritual comes forth and supplants the first natural man. The struggles of Job demonstrate this struggle between “two nations”. In the end “the elder will serve the younger” simply because “that which is natural is [ always] first, and afterward that which is spiritual”.

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

So our desire to avoid all the struggles of that first natural man are all in vain. Job’s wish to “hide sorrow from his eyes” is really nothing less than his unwillingness to do the things which destroy the life of the first man. Yet it is through the death of that first man that the new man is brought to life.

Job 3:10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.

Job knows that death will end his suffering.

Job 3:17 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.
Job 3:18 There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.

These verses accord with the sum of God’s word concerning the state of the dead. The wicked cease from troubling and those who are wearied by their troubling are also at rest. What Job does not yet see as the very purpose for his suffering is the Truth of this verse:

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Job is still maintaining his own righteousness and his own integrity.

Job 27:5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.
Job 27:6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

“My heart shall not reproach me so long as I live” necessitates the death of that self-righteous spirit of our old man who sees himself as righteous and who does not believe the revelation we are given in Psa 51:5.

But this is all essential to becoming the new man we want to be. We cannot shortcut a single word of “the things written herein”. That is the lesson Job within each of us must learn.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Next week, Lord willing, we will seek the answer to Job’s question, ‘Why is light given to those who are in misery?’

Job 3:19 The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.
Job 3:20 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;
Job 3:21 Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures;
Job 3:22 Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?
Job 3:23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?
Job 3:24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters.
Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
Job 3:26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

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