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Job is still prosecuting his discourse in this chapter. Having in the former, pointed out-the day of his prosperity, he here draws a melancholy contrast, in a view of the state of adversity to which He is now brought.
(1) ¶ But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock. (2) Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished? (3) For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. (4) Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat. (5) They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) (6) To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. (7) Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. (8) They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth. (9) And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword. (10) They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face. (11) Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me. (12) Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction. (13) They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. (14) They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me. (15) ¶ Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud. (16) And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. (17) My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. (18) By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.
I include the complaint of Job through all these verses in one point of view, not only for shortness sake, but also because general observations upon them will equally suit the whole. In this lamentation, the patriarch is reasoning with his three friends. Having taken a view, in the preceding chapter, of his high exaltation, what he once was, he now directs them to behold, what he now is. And from both, the Patriarch desired to make an appeal to their feelings and compassion. But I hope that the reader hath not failed, while perusing those verses, to look beyond Job, and to have had his mind led out, in contemplating an infinitely greater than Job, concerning whom many of the expressions here made use of can hardly, I should think, be read, without beholding him in them. Indeed so strikingly do they set forth the LORD JESUS, in several parts of his humiliation in the days of his flesh, that one might be led to think, even if not found in the word of GOD, that the several expressions were intended principally to point to him. Was not JESUS, when he had left the realms of glory, and condescended to tabernacle in our flesh, for the redemption of our nature, was he not held in derision, and made the drunkard's song? Doth Job complain of want and famine, and solitary places; and can the believer overlook Him, who in the very moment he had been baptized with the fulness of the SPIRIT, was led up into the wilderness, to dwell with wild beasts, and to be tempted of the devil? Did Job complain of being spit upon, of being abhorred and forsaken; and can we forget how JESUS was buffeted, and thus treated, and how all his disciples forsook him, and fled? Was Job's soul pursued, terrors turned upon him; his soul poured out, and his bones pierced; and can anyone omit to call to mind, how the LAMB of GOD was overwhelmed with terrors in the garden, and on the cross, when he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; his hands and his side pierced; and, as was said of him by the spirit of prophecy, he was poured out like water, and all his bones were out of joint; his heart, like wax, melted in the midst of his bowels? Oh, thou bleeding, dying, reviled Saviour! never may my soul forget thy sufferings, nor lose sight of thee, and thine unequalled sorrows, while reading the sorrows of thy people. Thou hast thyself, dearest JESUS, marked the vast difference: when speaking of the afflictions of thine afflicted, thou pointedst to their deliverance in GOD. Our fathers trusted in GOD; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them: But I am a worm, and no man, a reproach of men, and despised of the people. Psalms 22:4-6 .
(19) He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes. (20) I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. (21) Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me. (22) Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance. (23) For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. (24) Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction. (25) Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? (26) When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. (27) My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. (28) I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. (29) I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. (30) My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. (31) My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.
Job is here changing his manner of complaint. In the former part of the chapter, he was reasoning with his friends; in this latter part, he seems speaking of GOD, and complaining to GOD. No doubt Job's sorrows were very great and oppressive, when we consider how he was smitten with sore boils. But, added to his bodily ailments, his mind was deeply exercised. And what lay chiefly upon Job's heart was, that the LORD did not comfort him; nay, so far from comforting him, that he seemed to be coming forth against him as an enemy. But we lose all the beauty of this scripture, if we look no further than to Job, the man of Uz, in all that is here said. If we are led by this scripture to have our minds exercised in beholding Him, who, by way of striking distinction, is called the Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief, then, I conceive, we shall come nearer to the design of the HOLY GHOST, in giving this scripture. Job complaineth of the force of his disease, as a garment binding him about. But JESUS, though he complained not, had the disease, and whole weight and burden of our sins laid upon his precious soul, as a burden which none short of GOD could hear. Job complains of being cast into the mire, and that he is become like dust and ashes. JESUS speaks of all the billows, and water-spouts of divine wrath, when he stood forth the Surety of his people, going over him. Psalms 42:7 . Job looked forward to the grave, as the house appointed for all living; but JESUS voluntarily gave his life for the redemption of his people, when his strength was dried up like a potsherd, and his tongue cleaved to his jaws, and he was brought into the dust of death. Psalms 22:15 . See, Reader, and mark with me, while consulting these precious scriptures, how gracious JESUS stood forth, and what he endured, without a complaining thought, when passing through these unequalled sorrows, for the salvation of his people. Psalms 22:1-31; Psalms 22:1-31 . I cannot close this chapter without once more desiring the Reader to pause over it, and to ask his own heart, for I presume not to decide the question, whether we may not safely conclude, that the HOLY GHOST had an eye to JESUS, when setting forth the man of Uz, in this representation made of him? and whether he is not, in this light, an illustrious type of the ever blessed JESUS?
MY soul, behold in the sufferings of Job, what is, and deservedly ought to be, the lot of human nature. Born in sin, and therefore born to sorrow. And shall a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Job stands forth, in this instance, a living monument of what our nature, universally speaking, is exposed to. And but for the interposition of grace, in the mercy and love of GOD our FATHER, in giving his dear Son, and the Son of GOD in coming, and the HOLY SPIRIT in bringing poor sinners acquainted with this rich salvation, all the temporal distresses of Job, aggravated by everlasting sorrows to have followed, would have been our portion forever. Oh! what shall we render to GOD for his mercies! Thanks, thanks be unto GOD for his unspeakable gift!
But my soul, while contemplating the sorrows of Job, and the gracious interposition of heaven to soften and remove them, wilt thou not again and again look at JESUS; while reading Job's misery, and, in so lively a type of thy suffering Redeemer, feel all thy tender and affectionate powers going forth in love, and praise, and attachment, and obedience to thy blessed and adored Saviour? Did JESUS, in the days of his flesh, endure the contradiction of sinners against himself, that his people might not be weary, and faint in mind? Oh! thou LAMB of GOD! how didst thou, in thy debased and low estate, submit to all indignities, griefs, sorrows, wounds, bruises! Who shall describe the dreadful pangs, and agonies like those of a travailing woman when bringing forth, in the garden and on the cross, the delivery of thy people from everlasting slavery and eternal death. Oh, precious GOD! thou shalt see the travail of thy soul, for so the FATHER promised, and be satisfied. Thou shalt justify many. The dew of thy birth shall be as the womb of the morning. And now, blessed Redeemer, having by thy death delivered thy redeemed from death, and by rising to life again having begotten them to everlasting life: now thou rememberest no more the anguish of thy travailing pains in redemption work, for joy that thy children are born into the world of grace, and shall hereafter be with thee in glory. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 30". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent