Job 1:21, 22
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away…
We cannot but be struck with the magnificent calmness of Job after receiving the successive blows of unprecedented calamities. He is not stunned; he is not distracted. He possesses his soul in patience. With a singular dignity of bearing he is seen to be greater now in his calamity than ever he appeared when at the height of success.
I. HOW JOB BEHAVED.
1. He mourned. This was natural, reasonable, and right. He would have been less than mall if he had taken his troubles without a pang. God loves the heart of flesh, not the stony heart; and the heart of flesh must needs feel great trouble very keenly. God's saint is not a stoic. But though Job mourned, he did so with calmness and self-restraint. He did not fling himself down in passionate grief. His rising, his rending his mantle - from neck to girdle, according to custom - his shaving his head, all indicate his marvellous self-possession. He goes through the dreary process of conventional mourning with unflinching decision. His calmness, however, only covers the depth of his sorrow. There is something terrible about that methodical process. The tragedy is sublime.
2. He worshipped. He did not renounce God. On the contrary, he blessed the Name of the Lord. He could not understand the meaning and end of his strange experience. But he knew God, and he never dreamed of doubting God. Moreover, his trouble drives him to God. He falls before God in adoration. The singular thing is that he is not seen praying for help. His trouble is beyond help, and he is not one to whine in weak misery. He loses himself in adoration of God. This is the great secret of fortitude - not to cry for deliverance, but to forget ourselves in God.
II. WHAT JOB RECEIVED. He spoke to God, or perhaps uttered a soliloquy, for the relief of his own heart, yet doubtless conscious of the sustaining presence of God. His words show his perfect reasonableness. There is nothing which makes people so unreasonable as trouble. Yet Job was not yet turned one hairs breadth from the line of truth and reason by his fearful calamities. It is a great security to see things as they are. Half our distress arises from our viewing them in false lights of passion and prejudice. If we are only calm enough to look about us, we may discover a strange revealing light in great calamities. They break through the conventional forms, and flash out facts.
1. Job saw his own littleness. In a moment he perceived that he had no natural right to all he had possessed. He had nothing when he entered the world; he could carry nothing out with him. Pride prepares for distresses which humility escapes. When we perceive how very small we are, we cannot be amazed at any loss which we may sustain.
2. Job recognized God's right. He who gives has a right to withdraw. All we have is on loan from God. This truth does not make our loss the less, but a perception of it calms the foolish, rebellious spirit, which is the source of our deepest misery. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.