Formerly blessed beyond measure, Job's trials drove him to a a despair that caused him to wish he had never existed. "Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it" (Job 3:2-4).
The Lord Jesus Christ also experienced a heart so ravaged by sorrow that He cried out into the forlorn darkness - "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?!" (Matthew 27:46).
Both men experienced a brokenness of heart that far outweighed their physical agonies. The primary cause of such grief involved the loss of family. In Job's case, the children whose spiritual welfare so concerned him apparently suffered the Divine chastening their father had long feared (Job 1:4-5). He likely believed their deaths to have been the judgment of God, not knowing that God's enemy Satan actually perpetrated the tragedy that took their lives. "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me" (Job 3:25). Recall in the narrative that the only fear Job expresses before his troubles involved the possibility that his sons may have cursed God during their frequent feasting. Thus, Job likely perceived the heartbreaking loss of his offspring as the judgment of God upon his sons, and as the result of God rejecting the religious sacrifices Job made to defer such Divine wrath. Again, this was not actually the case, but Job may well have believed it to be. "The arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me" (Job 6:4).
The Lord Jesus knew the same loss of family, but on a far greater scale. Moreover, His suffering on the cross of Calvary actually involved the judgment and wrath of God. Rather than experiencing His Father's love and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, our Savior felt the pain of being "smitten of God," and the agony of abandonment by Those from whom He had eternally known only affection, devotion, and perfect fellowship (Isaiah 53:4). No heart has ever been so broken because no other being lost the reality and relationship of perfect love. Indeed, as terrible as were Job's sorrows of loss, they do not compare with the agonies of Calvary and the Christ who died alone there for our sakes. As the hymn writer beautifully and somberly depicts, "But none of the ransomed ever knew how deep were the waters crossed, nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through e're He found His sheep that was lost" ("The Ninety and Nine," Elizabeth Clephane).
We grieve with and for Job as we read his narrative. We also recognize that his losses foreshadow Another who would suffer sorrow on a far greater scale and in a far deeper measure. We cannot know the depth of such brokenness of heart in our Lord Jesus, but we can believe. And we can bow in adoration, praise, and thanksgiving in this moment and forevermore for so great a sacrifice by so great a Savior…
"Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate... By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."
(Hebrews 13:12; 15)
Weekly Memory Verse
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
(II Thessalonians 3:5)