I have to admit, I’m struggling to get my head around Job 30. It seems like Job is lamenting the great turn of events that has come into his life. The life he now has couldn’t be more unlike the life he had as described in chapter 29.
Job is now the laughingstock of the town. Those who are younger than him, those to whom he should be a leader and teacher now spit at him and ridicule him. This isn’t just a statement, of course, of Job’s current condition but also a condemnation to others who do not show grace and mercy towards one who is suffering.
Ultimately this chapter is expressing a deep sense of aloneness. Job is suffering tremendously and as he reflects on his situation and surroundings, he is utterly alone in his suffering.
Job will say more on this in the next chapter as his final words are recorded and his final speech concludes.
Of course this is totally relatable. During times of trial and suffering we often feel like we are alone. Humanly speaking we may be. Perhaps no one else knows the situation we are in or at least not the full extent. Perhaps, even worse, no one asks or seems to listen and care. People ask how you are doing but you quickly realise they really only want to hear “fine” because when you begin to tell them how you are really doing, they glaze over.
Jesus knows what it means to truly be alone in suffering.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”Matthew 26:36-46
We know what happens next. Jesus is betrayed by one of His disciples. All of Jesus disciples begin to abandon Him during HIs time of greatest need, lastly being Peter’s open denial of Jesus. All of this culminates in God the Father turning His back on Jesus – God the Son – leaving Him to face death truly alone.
Job wasn’t actually alone. His covenant God was faithfully at work in his life, in the very midst of his suffering.
Jesus was actually alone. Because Jesus was actually alone, we will never be truly alone. All those who are in Christ, who have come to Him in faith for refuge will never be left alone.
Soli Deo Gloria
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