It is a melancholy “But now” with which this chapter opens. Having pointed out the height of the day of his prosperity and honor in the foregoing chapter, Job now drew a melancholy contrast in a view of the state of adversity and disgrace to which he had been brought. What little reason do people have for being ambitious or proud of that which may be so easily lost! And what little confidence is to be put in such fleeting things! Nor should we be cast down or discouraged if we are despised, reviled, and hated by wicked men. Rather, let us look to Jesus – the One Who endured the contradiction of sinners!
In his lamentation, the man of Uz was reasoning with his three friends. As was mentioned above, he had taken a view in the preceding chapter of his high exaltation, and of what he once was; and he now directed them to behold his current situation. And from both, he desired to make an appeal to their feelings and compassion. But while we study these verses, let us look beyond Job and contemplate One Who is infinitely greater; for many of the expressions here can hardly be read without beholding Him in them! Indeed, how strikingly do they set forth the Lord Jesus in several aspects of His humiliation in the days of His earthly ministry! When Jesus had left the realms of glory and condescended to take on human flesh for the redemption of our sinful nature, was He not held in derision? Job complained of need, famine, and solitary places; but can we overlook how Jesus – in the very moment after He had been baptized with the fullness of the Holy Spirit – was led into the wilderness to dwell with wild beasts, and to be tempted by the devil? Job complained of being spit upon, and of being abhorred and forsaken; but can we forget how Jesus was buffeted, and thus treated – and how all His disciples forsook him, and fled? Was Job’s soul pursued? Were terrors turned upon him? Was his soul poured out, and were his bones pierced? And can we fail to call to mind how the Lamb of God was overwhelmed with terrors in the garden and upon the cross, when He poured out His soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; when His hands and His side were pierced; when (as the Psalmist spoke of Him in the spirit of prophecy) He was poured out like water, and all His bones were out of joint; and when His heart, like wax, melted within Him? O precious Savior! May our souls never forget Your sufferings, nor lose sight of You and Your unequalled sorrows that You endured on our behalf!
In verse 15, Job changed the manner of his complaints. In the former part of the chapter, he was reasoning with his friends; but in this latter part, he seems to have been speaking of the Lord, and complaining to Him. Harboring hard thoughts of God was the sin which, at this time, most easily beset Job. When inward temptations join with outward calamities, the soul is disturbed soul is disturbed and troubled as if it was in a tempest; and it is filled with confusion. No doubt Job’s sorrows were very great and oppressive, when we consider how he was smitten with sore boils. In addition to his bodily ailments, his mind was deeply tried. And what lay chiefly upon his heart was that the Lord did not comfort him; and in fact, He seemed to be so far from comforting him, that He actually seemed to be coming out against him like an enemy!
But we lose all the beauty of this passage of Scripture if we look no further than to Job, the man of Uz, in all that is here said. Let us allow this passage to draw our minds to behold Him Who was called the Man of Sorrows, and Who was very well acquainted with grief. Job complained of the force of his disease, as a garment binding him tightly. But Jesus had the whole weight and disease of our sins laid upon His precious soul, as a burden which none short of God Himself could bear; and yet He did not complain! Job spoke of being cast into the mire, and of becoming like dust and ashes; but Jesus spoke of all the billows and waterspouts of Divine wrath going over Him (Ps. 42:7), when He stood forth as the Substitute for His people. Job looked forward to the grave, as the house appointed for all living people; but Jesus voluntarily gave His life for the redemption of His people, when His strength was dried up like a potsherd, and His tongue clung to His jaws, and He was brought into the dust of death (Ps. 22:15). In these precious Scriptures, we are shown how our gracious Redeemer stood forth and endured unequalled sorrows – without one complaining thought – for the salvation of His people!
We cannot close this chapter without once more pausing to conclude that the Holy Spirit had an eye to our Savior Himself, when He gave us this inspired record in the Scriptures of the words of the man of Uz. What an illustrious picture or foreshadow he was of our blessed Lord Jesus!
Lord Jesus, we praise You as the meek and lowly Lamb of God, Who endured the contradiction of sinners against Yourself during Your ministry here on this earth. We thank You that, by Your death, You have delivered us – Your redeemed ones – from the power of death. And thank You also that You have begotten us to everlasting life, by rising to life again Yourself! Amen.
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