When one thinks in his heart "why must I live, I am hopelessly diseased, bring on death!"
Job 3:20 Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, who long for death, but it does not come, and search for it more than hidden treasures; who rejoice exceedingly, and are glad when they can find the grave? Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, and whom God has hedged in? For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.
There was uneasiness in Job’s relationship with God, an uncertainty about His ways. He had ‘heard of Him’, but had not yet ‘seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful’.
We know that perfected love casts out fear—because it is based upon actual experience of His goodness and trust in His ways (1 John 4:18).
However, consider the fear of Job in its context.
Before the Law and before the mountain burned with searing fire, God revealed Himself as a consuming fire in the bush. Israel rarely knew the God of comfort, but as Paul teaches in Heb 12 Israel came to a mountain burning with fire, unapproachable, not to be touched. Of course, Job coming before the Law had up until Chapter 1 received only blessings and protection from Yahweh, who hedge him about with substance on all sides (both spiritual and physical).
His diligence as Priest in his family; his offering with prayers pleased Yahweh greatly; however Job understood his Fathers character more than any in the land of the east.
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
And so Job answered his wife rebuking her of her folly and bringing to light the beautiful balance of God’s character in these words.
What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
So what came upon Job which caused his fear?
Job was deeply aware that a refined character could only be formed through the burning heat of suffering and trial.
Without which no man will see the Lord.
Job had no knowledge of some supernatural make believe demonic being (ridiculous) that exists in the minds of Christians today – Job was not deceived!
Job now knew by experience both "good" and "evil" have their origin and moulding work in God:
I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. Isa 47:5
How does Jobs life fit beautifully into Isa 47:5?
He had received prosperity and goodness and came to love the security of that goodness whilst all the time fearing the great evil or severity God could bring upon him at any time.
So he was able to say “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.