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Sabbath School Lessons on Job
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 5: Curse the Day *
Introduction: Recall that in Job 2:9 Job's wife advised him to "curse
God and die?" Job refused. Instead, we learn this week that Job
cursed his own existence. Do you know someone who has ended their
existence? When I was young, my mother was concerned that I would
take my life because of a break-up with my girlfriend. I don't recall
my thoughts then, but I doubt that Mom had a reason to be worried.
When I hear of someone who killed their spouse, I think, "Why not
divorce?" My attitude is the same about suicide, why not just change
my life? If you are like me and do not understand such thoughts, Job
introduces us to the desperate thinking of those in the depths of
depression. Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!
- Curse the Day
- Read Job 3:1-3. What does Job wish? (That he had never
- Why would he come to that conclusion? His life had
been fabulous (or so it seems) before Satan attacked
him. Why not wish that he would die now as opposed to
not having been born? (It makes no logical sense, but
here are a couple of suggestions. Sometimes when we
suffer a great deal, we react in ways that are not
logical. Second, Job is confused and angry about how
"justice" is working out in his life. If he does not
understand life, perhaps it would have been better to
have never become a part of it.)
- Read Job 3:4-6. What else does Job desire with regard to
his day of birth? (That God forgets about it. He wants all
official records of the day of his birth wiped away.)
- Compare Job's wishes with reality of his situation.
Is that what God wants? (Just the opposite. Job is
God's warrior, His most important rebuke to Satan.
Job is a hero in God's eyes.)
- What does this teach us about understanding what God
thinks about us?
- Read Job 3:7-9. What else does Job wish with regard to his
birthday? (No one would rejoice about it. Instead, his
birthday should be cursed.)
- Rest of Death
- Read Job 3:10-13. Job wishes that he had never been born,
or that he would have died at birth, and that God would
forget about his birthday and that humans would curse
instead of bless that day. What do these verses tell us
about the reason for Job's bizarre desires? (Job says that
if he had never been born, or if he had died at birth, he
would enjoy the peace of death.)
- If that is Job's goal, why not just kill himself?
Why not say to his faithful wife, "You want me to
die, how about killing me?" (Among all of Job's
terribly discouraging thoughts, killing himself is
not one of them. It must be that Job believed that
taking his own life is not a path God condons.)
- Read Job 3:13-15. How is Job's situation like rulers who
build palaces, who were rich with gold and silver? (Job is
ruined. When you are dead it does not matter that your
palace has been destroyed or your gold lost. Job wants to
die so that the ruin of his life will no longer matter.)
- Read Job 3:16-19. What is Job's view about the nature of
death? (He sees it as a release from trouble. He does not
see the wicked burning or the righteous enjoying the
delight of heaven.)
- Do you think this is intended to teach us something
about the hereafter? (The Old Testament is much more
obscure about death than the New Testament. Solomon
said essentially the same thing in Ecclesiastes 9:9-10, that the grave is the end of life and there is no
future. On the other hand, the New Testament is
filled with references to the afterlife, especially
for those who trust God.)
- Given Job's understanding of death, can you imagine
the grief he suffered because of the loss of his
- Nature of Life
- Read Job 7:1-3. Based on what you know about Job, does
this make any sense? (No! He was the "greatest man [in]
the East," Job 1:3. I have no doubt that he worked hard,
at least at one point, but to compare himself to a "slave"
or a "hired man," is ridiculous.)
- Wait a minute! Is Job talking about his past life?
(When Job says, "so I have been allotted months of
futility," it seems that he is only talking about his
life after Satan's attack.)
- Read Job 7:4-5. Job cannot sleep. Is that his "hard
service" ( Job 7:1)? (I think the correct understanding is
that Job is talking about his life now and not his past
life. Job points out that workers look forward to the
evenings and payday. He is longing for his terrible night
of suffering to pass because his is uncomfortable and
- Read Job 7:6-8. Is Job saying that his nights drag on, but
his days flash by? (I don't think so. He is saying that
his good life flashed by. Now the good life is gone and he
is without hope.)
- Think about Job's statement about life. Will that be
true of you? At some point you will say, "the good
life has ended, and I'm now just hoping to die?" (For
many this is true. It is a powerful argument for
paying attention to your diet and fitness, so that
you improve the odds that when you become old you can
still enjoy life.)
- The Complaint
- Read Job 7:11. Has Job's attitude changed? (Yes. He says
that his good life is over, he hopes for death, and
therefore he will complain because he is bitter.)
- Read Job 2:4-5. Has Satan won? (No! Job is not
cursing God, he is coming to God with his complaint.)
- Read Job 7:12-16. What is Job's complaint? (God has him in
such a terrible situation that he prefers to be dead. He
wants God to "let [him] alone.")
- Do you think this is what Job really wants, or is
this just his depression talking? (To the extent that
Job thinks God brought his trouble, he would like to
be left alone.)
- Read Job 7:17-18. What does Job think God is doing to him?
(Examining him, testing him.)
- I've written before that Job would never, in a
thousand years, figure out the reason for his
suffering. But, here we see that I might have been
wrong. Job senses that he is being tested.)
- Is God testing him? (This is Satan's idea.)
- Read Job 7:20. Job switches to another reason for his
suffering, what is it? (That he sinned, and God make him a
"target" because of it.)
- Is Job still trusting God? (Job thinks that God must
be testing him or targeting him because of his sins.
He wants God to "let me alone" ( Job 7:19). But,
whatever the true reason for his suffering, Job is
still turning to God for the solution to his
- Read Job 7:21. What does Job think about grace? (He
believes in it. He asks God to forgive his sins for soon
he will surely die.)
- Re-read Job 7:19 and compare it to the end of Job
7:21. Are these two statements in conflict? (Yes. Job
says on the one hand that God is constantly watching
him. On the other hand he says that God will be
searching for him.)
- What does that teach us? (When we have friends
or family who are, like Job, suffering, we can
expect that they will not always be thinking
clearly. We saw that earlier in this lesson and
we see it again now.)
- What is our obligation in situations like that?
(Read Job 1:11-13. I think this approach has a
lot of merit. As we go through this book we
will see how Job's friends tried to correct his
views. But, that did not seem to help.)
- Friend, Job is still an inspiration to us when we suffer.
Job complains, his thinking is confused at times, and he
is depressed. Yet in all of this he turns to God for the
answer. Will you determine to always look to God for the
answers to your problems in life?
- Next week: The Curse Causeless?
* Copr. 2016, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.