JOB AND HIS BIRTHDAY
Some will quickly turn to the book of Job to try to prove
the word of God denounces the celebration of birthdays.
Read Job 1:1-5.
Ah, say some, there it is, Job's sons were observing their
birthdays and Job had to rise and offer sacrifices because they
had sinned in so doing. Birthday celebrations are therefore SIN
they will say.
Now, read those verses again - S L O W L Y !
Do you see what people are doing? They are READING INTO
these verses words that are NOT THERE!
First, the words "each on his day" (the word "appointed" is
not in the Hebrew) are read as "on his birthday" but it does not
say "on his birthday." We have seen in Genesis 40 the word
"birthday" used in the Hebrew - Moses knew how to use the Hebrew
when telling us it was a "birth-day" that the king of Egypt was
celebrating. God inspired him to use the Hebrew to mean what we
mean by the word birthday - simple, right, yes - simple.
Moses used TWO Hebrew words - number 3117 in Strong's Con.
(the common word for "day") and number 3205 - the word for birth,
bear, beget, conceive. In Job 1:4 God inspired ONLY ONE word -
number 3117 = day. The word for "birth" was not inspired to be
The Hebrew Interlinear by J.P.Green renders this word as "on
Some may want to argue, trying to cling to a straw, that Job
was really meaning birthday, but didn't quite say it all as Moses
did. The natural, face value and logical way to understand the
reason as to why Job was inspired to use only the word "day" is
that it meant ANY SPECIAL DAY of the son's choosing to feast on.
In other words, a SET day and TIME in TURN (the son's having
turns) to revel on and have a BLAST!
Many male children of a family will do that even to this
day. They will pre-arrange what days they will gather on and in
whose house to gather for their "wild fling and party." Many of
you will have known such brothers - I have in my lifetime.
Secondly, notice what Job REALLY SAID about the SIN, in
verse 5. "It MAY BE that my sons have sinned......" J.P. Green
translates, "PERHAPS have sinned."
Job was not SURE IF THEY HAD SINNED!!
Job did not say, "my sons are celebrating their birthdays
which is against the will and law of God, and is sin."
If Job KNEW that birthday celebrations were sin, per se, he
would have had NO DOUBT that they all had sinned! But Job was
NOT SURE if they had sinned by getting together "each on his day"
whatever day that was. If "on his day" WAS a birthday
celebration, it is obvious Job did NOT THINK that was sin to do,
for then he would have had NO DOUBT that they had sinned, just by
that act alone.
Yet, Job did have doubt as to whether they had sinned, and I
want you to notice more. The doubt was not about or over
"birthday celebrations" at all, READ IT FOR YOURSELF, I did not
put it there, it has been in your Bible all along, it says, "It
MAY BE that my sons have sinned and CURSED GOD IN THEIR HEARTS."
It was not a practice of some pagan custom or ritual that
God had revealed was sin to Job, that he was upset about his
children practicing. It had nothing to do with religious
festivals, or secular historic days, or even their birthdays as
the sin. It was their HEART'S ATTITUDE and MIND-SET that Job was
concerned about. He was worried they "MAY BE" had sinned against
God in their MINDS and HEARTS.
Nothing in these verses says birthday celebrations are
EVIL/SIN of and by themselves. The word "birthday" is NOT THERE!
Job was not even SURE IF they had sinned. But he didn't want to
take any chances, so he offered sacrifice to cover the
POSSIBILITY they had sinned.
Job tells us the sin he was concerned about was not the
observance of WRONG DAYS but of their attitude of mind.
Here was a golden opportunity for God to make plain to us in
this section of scripture that birthday celebrations are evil and
sin, but it is just NOT THERE! And such will have to be admitted
by honest searchers of truth.
God did not miss the boat here in trying to tell us that
celebrating birthdays is sin. He did not miss the boat because
there was no boat to miss in the first place. This section of
inspired scripture has nothing to do with teaching us that
birthday observances are sin, and the plain truth can be seen by
reading just what is written - adding no more and no less.
Now we must turn to Job chapter 3. Read it all. Then go
back and read it some more, then read verses 1 through 10. Read
it in a modern translation. Notice the first words of verse one -
"AFTER THIS Job opened his mouth." After WHAT? Go back and
read verses 11 to 13 of the previous chapter. Job's friends
COULD NOT RECOGNIZE him! Job was so badly deformed with boils
from the top of his head to the sole of his feet (chapter 2:4-8),
that his friends were speechless, no one spoke for 7 full days
(v.13). Job was in VERY GREAT grief!
It is not possible for me to imagine the pain and discomfort
and deformity that Job had from being covered with boils, so that
he was not recognized by his friends. Can you imagine how your
mind would craze itself if you were put through the pain and
grief that Job experienced in chapters one and two?
Under much less pressure, trials and testing, many of us
THINK and SAY emotionally wild things that we would normally,
under stable times and emotions, NOT think or say.
Job held to his righteousness and would not curse God and
die as his wife wanted him to do (chap.2:9,10), but he now, under
unimaginable great grief and physical pain, allowed his mind to
"blow him away" with wild emotional words.
Stop here and read chapter 3 again. Look at the SELFISH
desires and wishes Job wanted to see happen.
He wanted the day to PERISH in which he had been born (v.3).
What about others that could be born into God's family who might
be born on the day Job was born? He wasn't thinking of them! He
wanted one less day in the year, he wanted God to re-arrange the
heavenly bodies and calendar so the day of his birth would be
gone (look at verses 4-6). He wanted it to be barren with no
joyful shout - what selfishness towards those that could be
fruitful and sing for joy on that day (v.7).
He wanted that day out of the year - gone - one less day for
new births - new humans that could become God beings (v.6). All
he could think about was his righteous "poor me, I've done
nothing to deserve this" self, and to.......with everyone else,
especially those who might share the same birthday as he.
He wanted God to darken its stars and have no light (v.9,10)
because he was born on that day and so came into the world of man
where pain and sorrow are often unavoidable, and things don't
always run as smooth as silk. Again, no thought about all
those who would suffer on that day if his wishes were granted.
His mind was so shredded and distraught at this point from pain
and sorrow, he asks the question that many in emotional stress
have asked and verbally proclaimed at times: WHY DIDN'T I DIE AT
BIRTH? (v.11)......then he would not have had to experience all
this undeserved hardship (v.12-19).
He then asks God just to take his life and have it over with
once and for all, why prolong the misery (v.20-23).
Finally, he sees what many in this life have experienced has
also come his way, and so it's "woe is me, I do not deserve it
for I am so righteous while God is not."
Job was so "out of it" mentally and emotionally, HE WISHED
HE HAD NEVER BEEN BORN!! Do you understand the PORTENT of those
words of his? If he had never been born then he could NEVER
BECOME a perfect holy sinless Spirit being of the very God
family! He was throwing away the very reason as to why God
created mankind in the first place! He was wanting to discard
SALVATION! This life may have its trials, tests, and troubles,
its pain and sorrow, but though it's not always easy in this
life, no difficulty we may face can compare to the GLORY that
awaits the children of God. The apostle Paul with all the trials,
pain, near death, persecutions etc. never lost sight of the
end result of the Christian life - eternal GLORY in the very
family called God! BUT HERE JOB did loose sight of why he was
born, AND WISHED HE NEVER HAD BEEN!
Do you see the mixed-up emotional self-righteous mind set
Job was in? Many of us for far less, would say many of the same
things and curse the day we were born also. Under mental stress
and physical pain we often allow the works of the carnal flesh to
triumph in our mind and in our works and words.
Paul said (as a converted Christian) to the Romans, "For we
know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do,
that I do not practice; but what I hate that I do......O wretched
man that I am......" (Rom.7:14-24 NKJV).
Job was acting with his carnal human nature in chapter 3. He
had taken his eyes off the reason for his birth, his potential.
Job cursed the day he was born, and in so doing he had cursed God
as his wife wanted him to do. He wished he were dead, that God
would kill him, But he did it all, said it all, thought it all,
under a weak emotional stressed out mind, together with great
physical pain. God was merciful to him in his self-righteousness.
God knew the weakness of the flesh and was able to show mercy to
Job as He led him to REAL repentance, and seeing himself for what
he really was when compared to the Eternal creator God.
When Job really came to see God with true spiritual eyes, he
was able to say: "therefore I have UTTERED WHAT I DID NOT
UNDERSTAND, things too wonderful for me, WHICH I DID NOT KNOW"
(Job 42:3 NKJV).
What Job said in chapter 3 was OUT OF LINE - WAY OFF THE
WALL - THINGS HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND!
He did not understand that God thinks no birth - no birthday
of anyone - is a CURSE. He did not understand that the Lord
REJOICES with every birth, even Job's, because each child born is
a potential member of the family of God. He did not understand
that often trials and testing are given to humble us and bring us
closer to the Lord, so He can work in us to bring us to His
character and glory.
Read Job 42 - all of it. After Job found the REAL God and
REAL repentance, after he was again blessed more than at first,
can you imagine him CURSING his birthday and teaching it was SIN?
No, Job's birth was a BLESSING to many during his life, and
to you and me today. And his life will be a blessing for all
eternity when he rises in the resurrection.
Birth - days are WONDERFUL, and so was Job's!
THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF JOB CHAPTER THREE
For those who want to get technical with chapter three, I
will answer. Notice, the word "sin" - "evil" - "abomination" -
"thou shalt not" DO NOT APPEAR IN THIS CHAPTER!
To connect such words with Job cursing the day he was born,
and so claiming that celebrating any and all birthdays is EVIL,
takes not only a large liberty with the text but also, a reading
into the text of things that are just not there.
Many false ideas start out upon a false premise, based upon
a false interpretation or misguided understanding of a text, and
then we busily look for and grasp at other verses which we
misread or misinterpret, in order to further add weight and
justification to our idea that was founded upon sand from the
There is nothing in this entire chapter that says
"celebrating birthdays is sin."
Please note that Job got very personal about HIS birthday
(v.1-3). He said NOTHING about ANY OTHER PERSON'S birthday - not
his wife's, not his parent's, not his son's or his daughter's,
not his friend's. He cursed the day he was born ONLY. I have
already covered in detail WHY he would do so.
There is nothing here about anyone other than Job cursing
his birthday. His wife did not curse his birthday, his friends
did not, and certainly GOD DID NOT!
No such words from the lips of Job can be found as: "All
birthdays are a curse" - "It is sin to celebrate a birthday" -
"Birthday observance is pagan" - "All who celebrate the day of
their birth are cursed" - "Everyone who celebrates another
person's birthday is an abomination to the Lord."
Job, under very severe grief and pain, did not want to
remember the day of his birth, he wished he had never been born,
he wished he were dead. That was Job at that time of his life,
under his ordeal. But what about the MILLIONS who have lived who
have never cursed the day of their birth, but THANKED the Lord
Is remembering their birthday or that of their loved one,
and thanking God for it, now EVIL or SIN just because one man did
not want to remember his, and wished he had never been born?
I thank God I was born. I thank my parents for bringing me
into this world. I have NEVER cursed the day I was born, but I
have also never been in the mental grief and physical pain as Job
found himself in.
To be continued
Written November 1995