Sunday, 23 June 2013



Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

These words were spoken by Job in utter despair
Although we are taking them as a practical question, they were originally uttered almost as a desire

We know (Previous chapters) how Satan came into the presence of God
We know how God first challenged Satan about the genuine faith of Job
We know Satan challenged God about the genuineness of  Job's faith
By degrees, the Lord allowed Satan to tempt Job, until at last, Job is sitting bereft of his riches, his sons/daughters and his wife is urging him to curse God and die

Seems here that Job is bereft also of some (though not all) of his faith
we see later: he lost much of the comfort/assurance of his faith:

Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! …
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him:
He hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: (Job 23)

Job never lost faith, but he did suffer spiritually - reflected/text

We want to take these words and apply them to ourselves
Why did you not die from the womb? History records: this often happens:
Many a little one who never really saw the light/day could say:

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,
and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written,
which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:15-16)

Some of these were lost/world for reasons best known only to God
Others were lost because the mother who carried them decided that they were unwanted passengers/her womb and had them aborted

But we are not among the precious number of those who died so young
We have survived many things and now, in reflection, we are left to ask:
Why died I not from the womb? 
3 answers to this question which every Christian may reply


A/ Already spoken of the danger of the womb for unborn children
Medical complications can rob the unborn child of life outside/womb
We have mentioned also the spectre: mother murdering her own child
If you were born/UK after 1967, then you survived David Steel's Abortion Act
As far as statistics go…the womb is the most dangerous place to be
More chance of being tortured/murdered in the womb than in the drug ridden ghettos/sink estates of the large cities

B/ We survived those things because a kind providence saw that we were loved in the womb and so our mothers' refrained from such things
Whatever illness's we suffered in the womb were not fatal and in an appointed hour, appointed from all eternity, we struggled forth from the womb and saw the light of day
Question: There is a law/nature - why invoke the Providence of God?
Answer: A law denotes a Lawgiver i.e. God in His sovereign providence
Every birth of every last person is timed/appointed of God:
"There is a time to be born and a time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2)
The breath that we drew to commence living was in the hand/God
(Daniel 5:23) He decided the day to release that breath into our lungs
In [God], we moved and lived and had our being (Acts 17:28)

C/ Many dangers, seen and unseen, sought us out since the day/birth
Again, various illnesses might have brought us to the point/death
A kind, sovereign providence raised up doctors and hospitals etc.,
We have lived many of our days in a world beset with terrorism
I can remember Bloody Friday (July 1972) although I was but 11 years old
What had that Air India plane that came down over Cork City itself in 1985 and not off the Irish coast?
The Lockerbie plane would have been over Ireland only 20 minutes later
Whoever else perished, these things left us unharmed

D/ Many people injured in these events, survived to live their lives
Their appointed hour had yet come
How many of us have  ridden in cars? Boats? Airplanes?
How many accidents have you survived? Or near misses?
Perhaps you have played the fool and tempted God with your life
We all certainly deserve to have perished if not in the womb - after it
But God has graciously withheld the avenging angel from us

E/ For many people, this will continue to be the case, until they reach that time when, for them, it is the appointed death of their death
Consider these texts:
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. (Psalm 91:5-7)

Perhaps OBJECTION: What of the thousand/ten thousand who do fall?
ANSWER: Their appointed day had come in the Providence/God
One day, we too must go the way/all the earth, but not until God's time
Consider again: O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23) 
Again: A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Why died I not from the womb?
Ans:- A loving Providence protected me

There's another reason why I perished not from the womb:


A/ Ultimately not everyone will be able to speak these words
To those who cannot, Christ says this: Ye will not come etc., (John 5:40)
Unsaved folk judge themselves unworthy of eternal life (Acts 13:48) and the blame for their damnation is always put/Bible at their own door

B/ But a multitude that no man can number can so say these things
Herein is a marvellous thing that ought to humble every last soul

C/ I deserved to perish from the womb
Adam's guilt becomes my guilt because he represented the human race
I deserved to perish because I sinned, every last day, against God
Although all this about me was known unto God, yet He still decided to set His love upon me and infallibly secure my salvation

[i] He chose me unconditionally in His Son, the Lord Jesus
This was on the basis of sheer, sovereign grace
Not because of any good/faith that He foresaw in me
Any good that I manifest be it faith or works flows from my election
Not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, etc., (Romans 9:15)

[ii] He sent His Son to die specifically for my sins
My sins stood between me and fellowship with God
I cannot walk in fellowship/God in light if I am in the dark
But: The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me from all sins (1 John 1:7) 
What love can surpass this? God so loved the world… (John 3:16)
He died to reconcile me to God - died to secure for me all the work of the Spirit of God upon my heart

[iii] God ensured (as seen) that I would come into this world, surviving the womb and surviving/avoiding each and every threat upon my life 

[iv] He ensured that I would receive sufficient instruction to make me wise unto salvation, ensuring that I got to Sabbath School etc.,
As I heard the word/God, although there was little outward fruit initially, yet at no time did the word sent me ever return unto God void
Even when there was a severe cooling on my part towards divine things, yet there was no flagging on His, but rather an acceleration
Gently and long did He plead with my soul - Calling for me, for me

[iv] There came a day in the calendar in God, when after there was a real spark/interest on my part (created/implanted by Him) when I would be brought savingly to Jesus Christ, taking Him as my Saviour 
Hell itself could not stop that event from taking place

D/ Think of the many ways, God teaches irresistible grace

[i] He teaches that the Lord adds daily to His church such as should be saved - How can this be done without an effectual call?

[ii] He teaches the parable of the good seed - there is a ground, prepared by God, which receives the seed while other grounds do not
This is described as "good ground"  - certainly not of man's doing

[iii] While many are called - few are chosen (Matthew 22:14) denoting a call that goes beyond the general call of the gospel

[iv] Verses like: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (2 Timothy 1:9 )
Can this call, which is according to his purpose/grace, see frustration?
If so, then God Himself must be the most frustrated  being/Universe
If this call cannot see frustration: it must be effectual/irresistible

If God spared me from the womb (text) He did so for a reason
Nothing unreasonable or non reasonable with God
 That reason must ensure that its own success - hence irresistible grace

E/ Let me make a pastoral application of these Reformed doctrines:
Someone may say - "Fine for you! But how do I know,  it's for me?"
Answer: We are not be guided by the decrees/God, but His word and especially the gospel promises, contained therein which are for all
Any who hold back do so since they do not want to be saved and if they will not come to Christ, can they blame Him for not coming to them?

Why died I not from the womb?


A/ God has a purpose for everyone's life, esp. if they belong to Him
Why does He saved people, electing/dying for/calling them to Himself?
Ans:- That they should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4)
Not every new born Christian gets the opportunity to live for Christ
Think of death bed repentance's e.g. the Dying Thief
These are the big exception rather than the general rule

B/ Every Believer here has a place in the purpose of God
What are you doing with your life?
God has done so many gracious things for you
Hymn writer: All this I did for thee…what hast thou done for me?
Surely the Cross alone should spark our souls to live for Him?
To be able to really say: For me to live is Christ (Philippians 1:21)
But another argument ought to be God's preserving us thus far and (by strong implication) will continue to do so until our appointment/death

C/ Think of Paul in his shipwreck (No bed of ease is guaranteed)
Yet Paul had this sense of the divine purpose and could say:
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. (Acts 27:23-25)
OK, Paul had a visit from an angel - but this is why he could so speak
Yet every Christian has a sense of identity  - immortal until our work is done

D/ While salvation is all of grace (beginning to end) yet we are saved in order to serve God and so glorify Him
Let's think about Job again - which is where we started
Job served God even in his suffering: It was God who mentioned his name first and challenged Satan concerning him
Satan was never going to win, notwithstanding the depths to which Job plunged - God's purposes would be carried out and God glorified

E/ An unsaved man cannot glorify God in His sins - seek salvation!
A backslidden Christian cannot glorify God in the far country: Return!
Christian: Yield him your heart 100% and live completely for your Lord



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