Job now speaks. Perhaps he sees that his friends’ silence is coming to an end. Or perhaps he doesn’t even notice them in his pain. But he now gives voice to his agony. We want to notice what Job is feeling . . . and thinking.
VIII. Job’s Lament (ch. 3)
Job opens his mouth and curses — not the Lord — but his own birth! He can no longer focus on the birthdays of his ten children. They are dead. And he wishes he were. He despises the fact that he was ever born!
He asks that God Himself not care about his birth (v. 4). He wishes that he had been stillborn, that there had been no shout of joy at his coming into the world (v. 7).
If he had been stillborn, or died in delivery, he says he would now be asleep and at rest with the kings and rulers of the earth (v. 13). Such a fate would have brought him rest, ease, freedom. He asks, “Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?” (vv. 20-22). At a later stage of his struggle, Job tells us that he treasured not death, but “the words of God’s mouth more than [his] daily food” (Job 23:12).
Job describes himself as one whom God has “hedged in” (v. 23). One is reminded of Satan’s words to God in chapter one when he says, “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?” (v. 10). Satan’s reference to God’s hedge is to make the point that Job serves God because God pays him well. Job’s reference to God’s hedging him in has to do with Job’s ignorance of God’s ways and his lack of relief from his awful pains.
In some ways Job may have anticipated life crashing in on him, for he says in verse 25, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.”
As he takes an inventory of his present state of existence, Job says, “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (v. 26). Little does he suspect that his three friends, sitting silently with him on his ash-heap of agony, will further his troubles and bring profound additional turmoil to his circumstances.