Job Curses the Day of His Birth Because He Does Not Want God to Be Pained by Him
I often say that God looks within people’s hearts, and people look at people’s exteriors. Because God looks within people’s hearts, He understands their substance, whereas people define other people’s substance based on their exterior. When Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth, this act astonished all the spiritual figures, including the three friends of Job. Man came from God, and should be thankful for the life and flesh, as well as the day of his birth, bestowed upon him by God, and he should not curse them. This is understandable and conceivable to most people. For anyone who follows God, this understanding is sacred and inviolable, it is a truth that can never change. Job, on the other hand, broke the rules: He cursed the day of his birth. This is an act that most people consider to be crossing over into forbidden territory. Not only is he not entitled to people’s understanding and sympathy, he is also not entitled to God’s forgiveness. At the same time, even more people become doubtful toward Job’s righteousness, for it seems that God’s favor toward him made Job self-indulgent, it made him so bold and reckless that not only did he not thank God for blessing him and caring for him during his lifetime, but he damned the day of his birth to destruction. What is this, if not opposition to God? Such superficialities provide people with the proof to condemn this act of Job, but who can know what Job was truly thinking at that time? And who can know the reason why Job acted in that way? Only God and Job himself know the inside story and reasons here.
When Satan stretched forth its hand to afflict the bones of Job, Job fell into its clutches, without the means to escape or the strength to resist. His body and soul suffered enormous pain, and this pain made him deeply aware of the insignificance, frailty, and powerlessness of man living in the flesh. At the same time, he also gained a profound understanding of why God is of a mind to care for and look after mankind. In Satan’s clutches, Job realized that man, who is of flesh and blood, is actually so powerless and weak. When he fell to his knees and prayed to God, he felt as if God was covering His face, and hiding, for God had completely placed him in the hands of Satan. At the same time, God also wept for him, and, moreover, was aggrieved for him; God was pained by his pain, and hurt by his hurt…. Job felt God’s pain, as well as how unbearable it was for God…. Job did not want to bring any more grief upon God, nor did he want God to weep for him, much less did he want to see God pained by him. At this moment, Job wanted only to divest himself of his flesh, to no longer endure the pain brought upon him by this flesh, for this would stop God being tormented by his pain—yet he could not, and he had to tolerate not only the pain of the flesh, but also the torment of not wishing to make God anxious. These two pains—one from the flesh, and one from the spirit—brought heart-rending, gut-wrenching pain upon Job, and made him feel how the limitations of man who is of flesh and blood can make one feel frustrated and helpless. Under these circumstances, his yearning for God grew fiercer, and his loathing of Satan became more intense. At this time, Job would have preferred to have never been born into the world of man, would rather that he did not exist, than see God cry tears or feel pain for his sake. He began to deeply loathe his flesh, to be sick and tired of himself, of the day of his birth, and even of all that which was connected to him. He did not wish there to be any more mention of his day of birth or anything to do with it, and so he opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth: “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine on it” (Job 3:3–4). Job’s words bear his loathing for himself, “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived,” as well as his reproval of himself and sense of indebtedness for causing pain to God, “Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine on it.” These two passages are the ultimate expression of how Job felt then, and fully demonstrate his perfection and uprightness to all. At the same time, just as Job had wished, his faith and obedience to God, as well as his fear of God, were truly elevated. Of course, this elevation is precisely the effect that God had expected.
Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”