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The Dark Night of the Soul

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2020 12:01 am

The Dark Night of the Soul

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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May 19, 2020 12:01 am

Some chapters of the Bible are so bleak that they are almost exhausting to read. Yet, the Holy Spirit gave us these verses for a reason. Today, Derek Thomas comes to Job 3 to express what we can learn from this dark chapter.

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Our lives are unpredictable. The times of great euphoria, times of special peace, special sense of God's presence and then there are times when God seems far away and they descend into a very dark place and wish they'd never been born. Unfortunately that letter sense of despair is engulfed in millions around the world. It's difficult to wrap her mind around the number of people who been stricken by the coronavirus.

Many have died, and in countless cases they done so alone was to be separated from those they love because of the risk of infection is heartbreaking. But today on Renewing Your Mind, we discover there is hope.

Even for those who find themselves in the place that Dr. Derek Thomas while we come to Job chapter 3. This is a dark night of the soul passage probably doesn't get much darker than this chapter in the whole of the Bible except may be our Lord Jesus in Gethsemane Street a few verses from chapter 3. After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.

How much time is gone.

Since chapters 1 and two since the loss of his children. The loss of his health and oppressor thinking here weeks possibly months have passed by.

Let the day perish on which I was born on the night that said a man is conceived that the day be darkness. May God above not seek it, nor like shine upon it, that gloom and deep darkness. Claimant let clouds dwell upon it that the blackness of the day terrified that knights let thick darkness sees that it not rejoice among the days of the year they did not come into the number of the months behold let that night be better like no joyful cry interest that those cursive to curse the day, ready to rise up Leviathan that the stars of its due on the document. It's hopeful. I could have none, nor see the eyelids of the morning because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb.

No hide trouble from my eyes, and he goes on to the third chapter trumps the closing verse of Psalm 88 for some. I came in the Ezra height. My companions have become darkness or as another possible translation darkness has become my only companion reminds before you make a judgment on this passage, Jeremiah cites this passage in Jeremiah 19 and 20. After Jeremiah spent the night in the stocks is released.

The next morning. I think he goes home. The text doesn't say that, but I think he goes home and then he answers these words as though will as though Job chapter 3 was a passage of Scripture that Jeremiah had memorized what your favorite passage of Scripture one that you memorize says something doesn't Jeremiah employed the very words of Job, chapter 3 might embarrass us wisest chapter here. If you what if you are putting the Scriptures together. I know the dangers question two.

Consider that don't mean to be a irreverent journey. But if if if you are trying to decide what should go in the Bible and the inerrant word of God.

Would you would you have a place for this third chapter of Job. Job cusses the day that he was born wishes he'd never been born. Says that he wishes that the night on which a midwife says it's a boy be obliterated completely from the calendar probably conversations in dimly lit counseling rooms that have uttered similar words to this element. It's a curse lament.

It's not addressed to anyone in particular. It's not particularly especially addressed to God. Perhaps we should view it as the swings that we sometimes experience from euphoria to depression. This is certainly indicative of what happens to read many people when they experience great loss and suffering and ill health that there are times of great euphoria, times of special peace, special sense of God's presence and then there are times when God seems far away and they descend into a very dark place. Wish they'd never been born before rushing in to criticize this passage we nothing to listen to Job posting on us to think about is the background in the four things in particular one is time is gone by time can what time can change your mood.

Your perspective the way you view things that we can be an eternity in politics and change everything but it contains everything in the Christian life to six weeks after bereavement. I was told a long time ago when somebody experiences bereavement should check up on them. Six weeks later called cinnamon note because very often the mood is very different times gone back friends while the friends of arrived there right at the end of chapter 2 chemistry said anything.

They've acted in a way that seems to indicate that are already expecting Job to die.

The demeanor that silence the what they doing putting ashes on their heads is on all this would be symbolic of the fact that as far as their consent or nothing to say and Job is with his dad. Job's life urged him to curse God and die. Maybe now he had been pondering that suggestion. Maybe that's what he should do this over with exit this life and then this being the silence of God and this is going to be in an creasing issue causes the book goes on by this and said anything.

There's been no vision. There's been no word as being a prophet to counsel him. Nothing certain feelings and thoughts that Job expresses here a shocking and there are cusses, the day of his birth. When a midwife says it's a boy. Let that they be removed from the calendar recess when there was joy in verse seven that no joyful cry interest in when I remember birth of my daughter.

Remember the birth of my son was at that time in British so social awareness that the husband's were present at birth was only just before that that that did not take place was somewhere in the 60s or 70s or so and adjacent Britain and I was there. Remember, the sense of joy. The sense of of 40 he wants Leviathan chapter 3 and verse eight. This this great monster. This chaos monster, and will combat it is mentioned again chapters 38, 39 and 40 of the book of Job. Whatever it is exactly this. This creature of destruction. This creature that is associated with all that's evil that this creature rise up in Carson and remove this day that I was born from ever having taken place. The second half of chapter 3 is a full-blown lament wishes. It never been born, pours out a series of questions a bottle of the battle of faith is erupting his belief in God's belief in what God is like. He says in verse 11. Why did I not die at birth come out of the womb and expire.

Why did the knees receive me or why the breasts that I should nurse for then I would've leaned down and inquired I would've slept, then it would have been addressed with kings and counselors of the earth to rebuild the ruins for themselves or with princes were gold filled their houses with silver so still born child. This is in suicide is a place to talk about suicide or nonbelievers to Christians who have taken their lives lost all sense of purpose in this world for whatever reason, that is, I do believe that that Christians born again children of God commit suicide can be saved and there in God's presence and hugged the experience of being at probably a couple of dozen funerals. Such instances, but that's not what's here this is this is Job saying I think that, let God do this remove this day as as though I had never been born. He talks about life here is being from Missouri to verse 20 inter insole in verse 24 he talks about saying and groaning talks in verse 25 of nightmares that have come through the thing that I fear comes upon me and what I dread the falsely and it ends.

I'm not a disease, nor am I quiet. I have no rest. Trouble comes, I can't imagine that we would want to make this chapter, a favorite chapter of Scripture. There's a great deal of cynicism here is nihilism here. The darkness of CS Lewis when he lost his wife writes about his experience of bereavement and he says some they felt him a month after the loss of his wife. He felt that cynicism kind of engulfed him. What's the point of it all was the purpose of it all, life is a well it's a midrash in this kind of original points to life kind of mood engulfed him.

We were promised sufferance. They were part of the program. We were even told Blessed are they that mourn and accept itů Nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself not to others, and in reality, not imagination, but to them I think in much danger of ceasing to believe in God.

The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about the conclusion I dread is not, so there's no God. After all, but so is this what God is really like deceive yourself no longer do people mean when they say I'm not afraid of God because I know he is good, they never even been to a dentist doesn't really matter what.

Whether you grip the arms of the dentist chair. Let your hands lie in your lap drill drills on Lewis as well. Of course there is that experience British dentistry as this is a very very sad chapter full of grief full of woeful darkness like Psalm 88 including verse darkness is my only friend.

Pretty dark. If the only friend you have is darkness onto Oscar question two of this chapter.

What are we to make of this chapter, should we approach editors believers as Christians to say for things.

First of all, it is part of the inerrant word of God to the Bible. Holy men wrote as they were counted along by the Holy Spirit driven along by the Holy Spirit.

All Scripture and Paul is writing this to Timothy but is writing about the Old Testament. All Scripture is given as a product of the breathing of God uses a particular work feel useless. All Scripture is the result of God breathing out, cold morning while were in Florida so we have to use our imagination number but on a cold morning and and you and you breathing. You can see your breasts can see that that breath before you got believe that in the result. Scripture and the results will Job chapter 3 is this is part of God's inerrant word and is therefore profitable for doctrine and reproof and correction and instruction in the way of righteousness, the man of God might be thoroughly furnished unto every good work is something in this chapter for you and for me sometimes. Think of it like this. I and I do a lot of traveling way too much traveling fly a lot used to be fun. Not fun anymore. It's almost the opposite of fun and you put in this this metal coffin and and and and people are in your personal space. Some people in particular in your personal space and sometimes are new good on these very small plates live in Columbia, South Carolina or Joses to Jackson Mississippi of the connecting plane to Delta was a small plate. One of those Canadian CR Jason and they were built for very small people of under 5 feet and about 90 pounds and were trying to get all of these people and their luggage off the ground until this flight attendant and he or she points to the fact that under my seat.

This life faster and a whistle and a little life that in contact with what we want to in contact with water will come on. I have a member first gingers in Columbia experienced terrible flight tragedy. Many, many people were killed and came crashing to the ground. He survived it gives his testimony resting what he went through the fact that he survived my whole is that I have a life jacket whistle and a light. I've never actually look to see if it's there, it's mostly under your chair. If you're in business class it somewhere else in the little pouch to the side somewhere, but it's supposed to be there never actually checked the numbers of weight, stop everything down hands and knees and sexual nature that picketed the date on it is as it is expired. I sometimes think to myself, what is there and I may need it someday.

I hope I never needed. I hope I never needed.

Maybe one day I'll need it like that to to landing on the river. New York, you can all see it and are ready survived wonderful experience that we must make it their all wearing their life vests and imagine the euphoria that when you landing on Hudson and Denny look in your searching and point out and there it is the life faster and put it on and the sense of the sense of safety. This chapter's lack of a psychological test. I've never been in chapter 3. Don't think I've ever come close to that.

Had my bad days on account Is always half empty my my daughter gave me when she was just 11 years old 12 years old. She gave me she gave me a picture of your for my birthday and he was saying. Have a nice day.

If it is a nice day which I doubt my daughter recognize this was her father.

He was he was Eeyore. I still have it on the wall at home was things are chuckle because it hit a raw nerve but I've never been here. Never been Job chapter 3, I will never be in Job chapter 3, I don't wish to experience what Job is experiencing some of God's children being here.

One of the godless men the world has ever known as being that Job himself. Jeremiah the prophet Jeremiah chapter 20 sites. This this chapter Jeremiah 1920 after after he spent the night in the stocks cited this very chapter. So this is the inerrant word of God to teach me something. Secondly, we need to be sensitive to what believers can and do experience. We need to be sensitive to that this may not be my experience for you race judgmental comments and remarks about others. We need to be sensitive to the fact that other believers of other Christians being in these very dark places. The third thing you want to say it's important to note that God doesn't rush in to reprimand him. He might've expected that God to come in and say to Job, Job shouldn't be saying that you shouldn't have said those words, there is no reprimand here and I think the job crossed the line. Absolutely. Job crossed the line. Of course he crossed the lack there's no debate about that, but we understand this sympathy for him and are God. Yes, this sovereign God and unwilling to ask very difficult questions of God's character in relationship to suffering and pain, but our God is compassionate to his son has been in a dark place like this.

We didn't utter these words, but he knew what it was to be in a place that he wished he wasn't in the garden of Gethsemane, is there not some other way as though the Lord Jesus himself is saying I don't wish to walk down this road.

I don't wish Providence to open up as I see it opening up before me. It's important to note that God doesn't rush in and reprimand him then the fourth thing you want to see is a principal it's Hebrews 4 and verse 15 we do not have an high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are yet without sin.

Father, if it be possible that this cup pass from nevertheless not my will but yours be done. The Lord Jesus knew what it was to be forsaken by God, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me, the sense of the Lord's presence.

The sense of the Lord's love the sense of the Lord's goodness Providence seemed to have eviscerated from he cried, not my father. My father, but my God, my God, as though all that he was conscious at that moment was that God had abandoned and forsaken and still we do not have an high priest, feeling of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we the questions that Job and still resonate with us because we have similar responses when the bottom falls out of our lives as we heard today from Dr. Derek Thomas Job's example is like a life vest for us a rescue from the storms of life.

Thanks for joining us today for Renewing Your Mind and we wagon all week were highlighting Dr. Thomas's series from the book of Job in 12 lessons. We discovered that our trials teach us to trust God. This is a vital lesson for all of us as we deal with the fallout of the global COBIT 19 pandemic. We recommend that you request the complete series will send you the two DVD set when you requested with a donation of any amount to look in your ministries number is 800-435-4343. You can also find us in the I do want to thank you for your generous financial gift.

During these challenging days. We understand that their finances are tight for so many so we do appreciate your generosity and that before we go today. I just a personal note before we record any of these broadcasts that we pray, we asked the Lord for his wisdom because we we realize we are utterly dependent upon him to produce these programs but I also want you to know that we pray for you, especially during these challenging days. We realize that many of you have suffered because of the coronavirus pandemic and some have even lost loved ones. We do hope and pray that the Lord is blessing you during these days, and that these programs especially this series from the book of Job is an encouragement to you that we do hope you'll join us again tomorrow as we continue the series from the book of Job. That's Wednesday on Renewing Your Mind

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