Job 30 contrasts Job’s former life with his present circumstances. In Job 29, as we read yesterday, Job harkens back to the good ol’ days:
Verse 4: He enjoyed God’s intimate friendship.
Verse 6: He had abundance, “paths of cream & rocks of olive oil.”
Verse 8: He had the deference of younger men.
Verses 11–17: He was a defender of the downtrodden.
Verses 19–20: He was prosperous.
Verses 21–25: He was respected and sought after, like a chief, a king, and a comforter.
In Job 30, we see just how far he has fallen. Younger men mock Job. He is taunted and mocked by the lowliest of society—the destitute spit on Job. God is distant and brought calamity upon Job (his view). Job is disrespected and his fortunes have passed. He suffers pain and agony. God does not seem to hear his cries. Despite the good things Job had done, he is suffering and mourning. “Therefore,” Job concludes, “my harp is turned to mourning and my flute to the sound of those who weep.”
Job was a great man. His greatness was not only based on wealth, but the richness of love and mercy he bestowed on those around him. Chapter 29 illustrates a man who lived the heart of God among the destitute and downtrodden. Not only that, he enjoyed prosperity and respect. In chapter 30 we see brokenness. There is no one lower than him on any scale—he has less fortune than anyone, his emotional and physical pain are greater, and in a theology of suffering-because-of-sin, it is assumed that he is reaping the consequences of sins greater than anyone could imagine. He is a man poured out.
Job’s relative status and wealth was greater than probably anyone reading this. The same is true for his suffering. That means Job’s fall was greater than anything any of us can imagine. And yet, there is One greater who fell further than even Job could imagine.
We cannot even begin to imagine the richness, beauty, and splendor that the preincarnate Christ enjoyed. As the second person of the Trinity, Jesus experienced love, joy, peace, etc. to an unfathomable degree. He was whole and complete. Then, “he emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7–8).
We refer to this passage in Philippians as the great kenosis passage (based on the Greek word for “emptying” himself). When Christ took on flesh, he “fell” further than we can comprehend—leaving behind the glory that only God is due. What He left behind boggles the mind. Not only that, the mission of Christ’s first advent was to suffer and die in one of the most painful and publicly shameful ways humanity has ever devised to kill itself.
In no way can we relate to the immense gap between the glory of the preincarnate Christ, and the emptying of that power and glory as He hung upon the cross. However, in many ways we can relate to Job and the heights from which he fell. In Job we get a glimpse of the shame and humiliation of Christ. And let us ponder today the reason that Christ would do such a thing—He did it for you and for me. Without emptying himself, taking on flesh, and suffering on the cross, we would be left on our own to face the consequences of sin.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate