Brief Meditation on Job and Christ
I wish to express my gratitude to all our friends who have prayed for my son, David. He passed away in the ER of a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona at 11:10 p.m. local time Sunday, April 30th. The Father gives life and the Father takes it away—in His perfect timing. We submit to His sovereign omniscience.
Now I know why the Father had been drawing my attention to the book of Job for about the past six months. Not that my suffering is equal to Job’s, but the Father gave us the story of Job’s afflictions so that all the saints ever after would have comfort from his story and example, when our own trials and tribulations become very heavy upon us.
These passages in particular have come to mind frequently. After Job has been afflicted with losing his ten children in one day, and almost all his servants were killed, his cattle and herds stolen or destroyed, virtually all his wealth gone.
And then he is smitten with boils breaking out all over his body which are itching so excruciatingly that he is scraping them with a piece of broken pottery to try to alleviate the itching. Job’s response is:
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD [Yahweh] gave, and the LORD [Yahweh] hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD [Yahweh].
Job 2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Let no reader assume for a moment that this in any way was applicable to my own dearly departed wife, Roxanne. Rather, this verse comes to mind because of Job’s correct understanding of the sovereignty of God. It is reflected by Paul in…
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things [the good and the bad, as we perceive them] work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Another passage in the book of Job which has come to me often the past few months—even before we knew of David’s drastic condition—is that which was used by George Friedrich Handel in his supernal and sublime composition for solo soprano, “For I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,” written in 1741.
It was 33 years ago that we lost our then 13-year-old daughter, Sarah. I chose this piece (among others from Handel’s Messiah) to be played during her funeral.
I think that even if this piece were not so personally related to my own grief over Sarah, that my eyes would still well up with tears, not necessarily of grief, but of gratitude to our Father for these great and comforting truths of Scripture from Job and from Paul.
Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
And then Mr. Handel coupled that truth from Job with this from Paul.
1 Corinthians 15:2 For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep
(Soprano Lynne Dawson; non-clickable screenshot)
With the lyrics of Job and Paul juxtaposed, this musical composition evokes aural ecstasy in this elegantly perfect rendition by Lynne Dawson. How can anyone not be moved by this?! Here is the link, video embedded below: