In the first nine verses of this chapter, Job reflected upon the harsh censures which his friends had passed upon him; and, looking upon himself as a dying man, he appealed to Jehovah. “Lay down now,” he said in verse 3; “put me in a surety with thee” – that is, “Let me be assured that God will take the hearing and determining of this case into His own hands, and I desire no more.” Those whose hearts and consciences are cleansed by Christ have confidence in the Lord; and with humble and believing boldness, they beg Him to search and try them. It seems that Job was again referencing the mediation of Christ, for he spoke of a Surety with God – without Whom, he dared not appear before Him, nor try his cause at His bar. Even though his friends’ accusations of him were utterly false, yet he could not justify himself before the Lord except through the Mediator. But if Christ stands up and pleads our case, who will dare to contend with us? Who shall lay anything to our charge, if Christ is our Advocate? (Rom. 8:32-33) With Him on our side, we do not need to fear what can be done against us!
As we read Job’s declaration concerning how his life was extinct, and how the grave was ready to receive him; we should remember that our time on earth will indeed come to an end – perhaps sooner rather than later. Therefore, it is most wise for us to carefully redeem the days of the time that we are given, and to spend them in getting ready for eternity.
Was not Job a picture of Jesus, in the very great sufferings with which he was exercised – especially in those exercises in which he was despised and afflicted by men? The great enemy of souls was permitted to make his attack upon Job – for it is not only suitable that the Son of God, in His own Person, should triumph over the foe; but He should triumph through His members also. As the Captain of our salvation, Jesus first entered the field of battle against Satan and conquered him; but all believers in Him are said to be conformed to His image, so that He might be the firstborn among many brethren! (Rom. 8:29) O what blessedness is in the afflictions of the righteous, in this point of view!
After reading through the description recorded in these verses of the ill-treatment given to Job by his friends and neighbors, we would do well to look beyond the man of Uz, and to contemplate Him Whose sufferings were unequalled! When Christ, as the Substitute of His people, endured all the billows of wrath that were due to sinners, it was no small escalation of His sufferings that He also endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself. He was reproached as a false prophet, as a Sabbath-breaker, as a deceiver, and even as one who was in league with the devil. He was not only scourged, and His sacred head crowned with thorns; but He was also laughed at in the midst of His agonies, and even tauntingly told to come down from the cross. Precious Jesus! How do all sorrows sink to nothing when compared with Yours! Never was there any sorrow like unto that sorrow, wherewith the Father afflicted the sinner’s Substitute in the day of His fierce anger!
Job’s friends had pretended to comfort him with the hopes of his return to a prosperous estate; but Job showed (verses 10-16) that those persons do not wisely comfort the afflicted, who fetch their comforts from the possibility of recovery in this world. It is our wisdom to comfort ourselves and others, when we are in distress, with those things which will not fail us – namely, the promises of God, His love and grace, and a well-grounded hope of eternal life!
It is noteworthy to observe how Job reconciled himself to the grave. Believers should remember that when they come to die, it is only like putting their weary bodies to bed. Why should they not willingly go when their Father calls them home? Let us remember that our bodies are allied to corruption, the worm, and the dust; and let us seek for that lively hope which shall be fulfilled, even when the hope of the wicked shall be put out in darkness – namely, that when our bodies are laid in the grave, our souls shall enjoy the rest that is reserved for the people of God! What a blessed consideration to the believer in Jesus! Although sin brought death into the world, Jesus – by taking out the sting of death – has put a blessing into death. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord!” declared a voice from heaven in the Book of Revelation. “Yea,” says the Holy Spirit, as if confirming the glorious truth; “for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them!” (Rev. 14:13)
O Lord, we pray for grace that our hearts might be always on the lookout for our Master’s call. Give us grace so that we may be found like those wise servants who wait for their Lord’s approach – whether it comes at midnight or at dawn! Amen.
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