Summary: How God wants us to remember who we are and where we’re headed so we can find strength in him
February 25, 2004 Job 30:16-19
16 “And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me.
17 Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest.
18 In his great power God becomes like clothing to me; he binds me like the neck of my garment.
19 He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
Tonight a highly touted movie called “The Passion” opens up in theaters throughout the world. It is rated “R”, showing with very graphic pictures what happened to Christ in his last moments of life. It is amazing to me from looking at the pictures of this movie how quickly a person can deteriorate. I know of a fifty year old man who went to the hospital with stomach pains and ended up dying within then next week of cancer. He was perfectly healthy up to that point. Then within a week he was dead. The thing about Jesus is that he was born and continued to stay holy. His body would have had no imperfections - no faults. Yet from the sin and scourges of this world, they were able to break down this perfect body and ultimate man into a beaten and bloody shell of a human being. In the end, He looked more like a “worm and not a man.” (Psalm 22) This goes to show how quickly things can take a turn for the worse.
Some of the time - probably more like most of the time - the transition from life to death is more time consuming. Since we are born sinful, we have a nasty habit of deteriorating from the inside out. A cancer on the inside can spread for years and years so that you don’t even know it’s there until you start feeling sick. But by that time it’s too late. Other times some people can carry around a sickness for years. Take for instance an emphasima or bad heart or diabetes or arthritis. The bad thing about these diseases is that they never leave you and there never seems to be any cure. They’re with you when you get up in the morning and go to bed at night. You are reminded of them every day. When they get worse - they can’t help but remind you constantly that you’re on the road to your death. That’s the way life is for some more than others.
Job was most likely the picture of health for many years of his life. Yet that all changed one day when Satan was allowed to use him as a sort of guinea pig - to see if he would remain faithful without the riches and comforts of life. So God’s Word says that, Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. (Job 2:7-8) I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me. When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss till dawn. 5 My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering. (Job 7:3-5) In tonight’s text Job also said,
And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me. Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest. In his great power God becomes like clothing to me ; he binds me like the neck of my garment. He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
The words that Job actually uses are that his soul is poured out. It reminds me of what was predicted of Jesus in Psalm 22 when it said that Jesus would be “poured out like water.” Being able to be poured out shows that someone must be pretty weak and malleable at that point. The part that really bit Job was that he couldn’t even rest - couldn’t even sleep through the pain. His night just turned into restless and painful tossing and turning. I thought Matthew Henry had an interesting way of describing what Job was going through when he said,
His skin was black upon him according to vs. 30. The blood settled, and the sores suppurated and by degrees scabbed over, which made his skin look black. Even his garment had its colour changed with the continual running of his boils, and the soft clothing he used to wear had now grown so stiff that all his garments were like his collar. Some think that, among other diseases, Job was ill of a quinsy or swelling in his throat, and that it was this which bound him about like a stiff collar.