By Henry Mahan
1. Job was greatly troubled, perhaps as few men in this world have been troubled. He had literally lost everything! 1. He was a man of great wealth (v. 3). Suddenly he was a man of complete poverty. Everything he owned was swept away (vv. 14-17).
2. He was a family man with ten children (v. 2). All of his children were killed in a storm (vv. 18-19). Even his wife turned against him (Job 2:9-10).
3. He was a man of great influence, with servants and many friends. Suddenly he was the laughing-stock of the city (Job 19:13-19).
4. He was a man of strength and good health. Now he was so frail and covered with boils that even his friends could scarcely recognize him (Job 2:7-8, 12).
Job did not try to hide his sorrow. He wept before God. God's people are people with tender feelings; and when they are called upon to bear the rod, they feel it! God takes away our heart of stone: He does not turn the heart to stone. We sorrow, indeed, but not as those who have no hope.
Job's sorrow was sanctified by worship (vv. 20-22). Sorrow and trouble should always lead to worship and praise. In all of this trouble, trial, and sorrow, Job did not speak in an unworthy manner against God. He did not dishonor the name of God nor compare his lot with the lot of others. He fell down and worshipped God (Job 2:10; 13:15). If grief presses you to the ground, worship there. If trials lay you low, worship there (Psalm 62:8).
Times of trial should not only be times of worship, but also a time for teaching and consideration. Listen to David talk to himself in the time of trouble (Psalm 42:5-11). Job, by his words, reveals to us that he was a man of faith, well taught in the things of God. Four things are seen.
1. He knew the brevity of life
'Naked I came into the world and naked I shall return.' This was Job's idea of life and a very true one. 'I came and I shall return' (Job 14:1-5). Our life on earth is in the scripture compared to a flower (Job 14:2), a VAPOR (James 4:14), a weaver's shuttle (Job 7:6), a POST (Job 9:25--a post is an outpost on a mail delivery where the rider changes horses). Not only in time of sorrow, but at all times we need to consider the brevity of life on earth and the length of life to come and find our joy and hope in our Redeemer (Job 19:23-27; Phil. 1:20-24).
2. He knew the frailty of earthly possessions
The word is 'naked.' When a baby is born into this world, what does he possess? He possesses nothing; he comes into the world naked! When a man dies, what does he possess? What does he take with him? He leaves the world naked! The Lord teaches Job (and those who will learn by his example) the frailty and vanity of all that we have in our hands and all that we call our own. Actually, we brought nothing into this world and we will carry nothing out (1 Tim. 6:7). However, we can leave this world differently from the way we came. We were born sinners (Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3). By God's grace and mercy, through faith in Christ Jesus, we can leave justified, redeemed, and free from sin (Acts 13:38-39; John 3:14-16). Without Christ we shall die as we were born--lost sinners!
3. He saw the hand of God in all things
'The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away.' Many people reading this portion of scripture would say that Satan afflicted Job and took away all that he possessed, but Job (like every true believer) knew that the Lord is the first cause of all things.
Satan and other second causes can only do what God is pleased to permit them to do (1 Sam. 2:6-8; Acts 4:27-28; Isa. 46:9-11).
'The Lord gave.' Job did not say, 'I earned these things; I deserve them, for they are the products of my hard work.' No! He said all that I have is the gift of God. 'A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven' (John 3:27; 1 Cor. 4:7). All that I have physically, mentally, materially, and spiritually are the gifts of God. Even repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are the gifts of God (Rom. 2:4; Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:29).
'The Lord hath taken a way.' Job saw the hand of God in all that was taken. He did not curse the Sabeans, the wicked Chaldeans, and blame the wind. He knew that the Lord God controlled all these things and that the Lord God had willed it or it would not have happened (Rom. 8:28). Aaron held his peace when his sons were killed, for he knew the Lord had done it (Lev. 10:1-3; 1 Sam. 3:18; Psalm 39:9).
4. He declared that in all things, at all times, God is to be praised
'Blessed be the name of the Lord.' To be able to praise God equally in the valley of trial as on the mountain of joy ought to be the desire of every believer (1 Cor. 16:13-14). Paul sounds this note in I Thess. 5:18. 'In everything, loss or gain, sickness or health, success or failure, summer or winter, life or death, give thanks! For this (whatever it be if you are in Christ) is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.'