[Here we continue a reprint of a small portion of Joseph Caryl’s study in Job.  Mr. Caryl wrote twelve volumes on the book of Job.  His study is a great example of how deep one can dig into the truths of the Bible.]   A Study by Joseph Caryl (1644) Job 1:13-15 (part 1) - The Time of Affliction   13 And   there   was   a   day   when   his   sons   and   his   daughters   were   eating   and drinking   wine   in   their   eldest   brother’s   house: 14 And   there   came   a   messenger unto   Job,   and   said,   The   oxen   were   plowing,   and   the   asses   feeding   beside them. 15 And   the   Sabeans   fell   upon   them,   and   took   them   away;   yea,   they   have slain   the   servants   with   the   edge   of   the   sword;   and   I   only   am   escaped   alone   to tell thee. (KJV)   In   the   former   context   we   showed   you   the   affliction   of   Job,   moved   by   Satan   and permitted   by   God,   Touch   all   that   he   hath ,   is   Satan’s   motion;   All   that   he   hath   is   in   thine hand,    is   God’s   permission.   From   this   13 th    verse   to   the   end   of   the   19 th    the   afflictions   of Job   are   particularly   described;   and   we   may   observe   six   particulars   in   the   context concerning his afflictions. 1 . The   time   or   season   of   his   afflictions :   “And   there   was   a   day   when   his   sons   and   his daughters   were   eating   and   drinking   wine   in   their   eldest   brother's   house”   (vs. 13). 2 . The   instruments   or   the   means   of   his   afflictions .   Satan   who   undertook   the   afflicting   of Job,   stands   as   it   were   behind   the   door;   he   does   not   appear   in   it,   but   sets   on others.   His   instruments   were   first   cruel   and   bloody-minded   men,   the   Sabeans (see   vs.   15),   and   the   Chaldeans   (see   vs.   17).   Secondly,   those   active   creatures, devouring fire (see vs. 16), and stormy winds (see vs. 19). 3 . The matter of his affliction , or in what he was afflicted, it was in his outward estate. 4 . The   variety   of   his   affliction .   He   was   not   smitten   in   some   one   thing,   in   some   one part   of   his   outward   estate,   but   he   was   afflicted   in   all:   his   oxen,   his   asses,   and   his camels   violently   taken   away;   his   sheep   burnt   up   by   the   fire;   his   sons   and   his daughters   overwhelmed   and   crushed   by   the   fall   of   a   house;   all   his   servants attending   upon   these   slain,   consumed,   destroyed,   excepting   only   one   from   every stroke, to be the sad relater or messenger of these calamities. 5 . The suddenness of his afflictions . They came all upon him in one day. 6 . The   incessantness   of   the   report   of   these   afflictions .   The   sound   of   them   all   was   in   his ears   at   once,   as   they   were   all   brought   upon   him   in   one   day,   so   they   are   all   told him   in   one   hour,   yea   by   the   story   it   appears   there   were   but   very   few   moments between    the    first    and    the    last.    For    the    text    says    that    no    sooner    had    one messenger   ended   his   doleful   news,   but   another   begins,   nay   they   did   not   stay   so long   as   to   let   one   another   make   an   end;   but   the   text   says,   “While   the   former   was yet   speaking,   there   came   another   and   said...”    And   so,   while   the   next   was   yet speaking,   there   came   another.   So   Satan   did   not   give   Job   so   much   as   the   least minute   of   intermission   to   breathe   a   while   or   recollect   himself.   His   troubles   both in   the   acting   and   in   the   reporting,   were   close   linked   together,   like   a   chain   one within another, and him within them all fast bound, and yet free . These   are   observable,   through   the   whole   context   concerning   this   great   affliction   of Job.   Now   we   will   consider   the   afflictions   themselves,   their   several   parts,   and   open the words in which they are presented to us. “And    there    was    a    day    when    his    sons    and    his    daughters    were    eating    and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house” (vs. 13) “And   there   was   a   day…”   –   To   everything   there   is   a   season,   said   Solomon,   and   a   time for   every   purpose   under   the   sun    (Eccl.   3:1).   God   has   a   time   for   his   purposes;   God   has his   day.   Man   has   a   time   for   his   purposes,   and   so   does   Satan:   not   just   any   day   will serve   his   turn;   he   picks   and   chooses.   There   was   a   day :   it   intimates   an   extraordinary day,   and   there   is   an   express   addition   in   the   original,   which   puts   an   emphasis    upon   it, and   makes   it   more   than   a   day.   There   was   that   day,    or   that   special   day .   So   it   is   used   in II   Kings   4:8:   “And   it   fell   on   a   day   that   Elisha   passed   to   Shunem,”    or   upon   that   day, a notable day wherein so many great things were done. But   what   day   was   this?   It   is   explained   in   the   words,   in   the   latter   part   of   the   verse. It   was   a   notable   day,   for   it   was   a   day   or   that   day,   “when   his   sons   and   his   daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house.” There   are   three   things   in   those   words,   which   prove   that   this   was   an   extraordinary day: 1 . It was a feasting day, and feasting days are extraordinary days. 2 . It   was   an   extraordinary,   not   an   ordinary   feasting   day,   for   it   is   said:   “…they   were eating   and   drinking   wine.”    In   the   beginning   of   the   chapter   (where   the   feasts   of Job’s   children   are   described)   it   is   said   only,   that   “his   sons   went   every   one   their day,   to   eat   and   to   drink”    (Job   1:4).   But   here   it   is   said   that   they   did   “eat   and drink   wine,”   which   notes   an   extraordinary   feast.   For   still   in   Scripture,   when   we read   of   a   banquet   of   wine,   or   of   a   feast   of   wine,   an   extraordinary   feast   is   meant. For   instance,   Queen   Esther   invited   the   king   and   Haman   to   a   banquet   of   wine   (Esth.   5:6),   not   that   there   was   nothing   but   wine   at   the   banquet,   but   that   addition implies   that   it   was   a   plentiful   banquet,   a   solemn   banquet.   It   is   more   to   make   a banquet   of   wine ,   than   to   make   a   banquet ,   though   scarce   any   banquet   is   made without   wine.   So   when   there   wanted   wine,   the   solemnity   and   glory   of   the   feast was   thought   to   be   blemished.   “They   have   no   wine”    (John   2:4),   said   the   mother of   Christ   to   him   at   the   marriage   feast   in   Cana.   And   when   the   spouse   would   set forth   the   wonderful   fulness   of   spiritual   delights,   which   she   had   from   Christ,   she expresses   it   thus,   “He   brought   me   into   the   banqueting   house”    (Song.   2:4);   the Hebrew   word   is,   he   brought   me   into   the   house   of   wine ;   the   house   of   wine   notes extraordinary   spiritual   refreshing.   What   sort   of   banquet   had   the   spouse   for   her soul   there?   Christ   called   her   to   eat   and   drink   abundantly,   to   be   filled   with   his love.   See   the   like   in   Isa.   25:6.   So   Job’s   children   were   eating   and   drinking   wine,   so they were at a plentiful and solemn feast that day. 3 . It   was   a   day   of   feasting   in   their   “eldest   brother’s   house” ;   that   is   another   which proves   it   was   an   extraordinary   feast   day.   It   was   a   feast,   and   a   feast   of   wine,   and   a feast   of   wine   in   their   eldest   brother’s   house,   who   had   a   larger   estate,   a   fuller portion,   and   to   answer   the   dignity   of   his   primogenitor,   ought   to   make   a   more solemn   feast   than   the   rest   did.   This   was   the   day   that   Satan   picks   out   and   chooses to   bring   all   these   sad   afflictions   upon   Job;   an   ordinary   day   would   not   serve   his turn.   Without   doubt   this   was   not   the   immediate   day   or   time,   after   which   he   got that   commission   from   God,   “All   that   he   hath   is   in   thine   hand…”    (vs.   12).   Satan went   away;   he   would   have   been   at   it   as   soon   as   he   could   but   yet   he   waited   for   a special   time,   wherein   he   might   do   it   with   greatest   advantage;   and   that   is   the point I shall observe from this: That   Satan   observes   and   watches   his   time   to   fasten   his   temptations   most   strongly   upon   the soul .   He   watches   a   day,   “There   was   a   day…” ,   and   there   was   not   a   day   in   the   whole year,   upon   which   he   could   have   done   it   with   greater   advantage   than   upon   that   day. This   is   just   as   the   mercies   of   God   are   exceedingly   endeared   to   us   by   the   season   in which   they   come   to   us.   When   they   come   to   us   in   our   special   need,   how   sweet   is   a mercy   then!   And   as   our   obedience   is   exceedingly   commended   to   the   acceptation   of God,   when   it   is   upon   a   fit   day,   when   it   is   on   the   day   wherein   he   calls   for   and expects   it,   so   are   our   sins   exceedingly   aggravated   by   the   season   and   time   wherein they    are    committed.    What!    Sin    upon    this    day?    A    day    of    trouble,    a    day    of humiliation?   Just   as   Elisha   rebuked   Gehazi,   “Is   this   a   time   to   receive   money   and   to receive   garments”    etc.   (II   Kings   5:26).   Is   this   a   time   for   your   heart   to   run   out sinfully   after   the   world?   So   likewise,   the   temptations   of   Satan   and   the   afflictions which    he    brings    upon    the    servants    of    God,    are    exceedingly    embittered    by    the season,   and   he   knows   well   enough   what   seasons   will   make   them   most   bitter.   What can   more   embitter   a   cup   of   sorrow   than   to   have   it   brought   us   upon   a   day   of rejoicing?    Solomon    tells    us,    that    “as    he    that    taketh    away    a    garment    in    cold weather,   and   as   vinegar   upon   nitre,   so   is   he   that   sings   a   song   to   a   heavy   heart”   (Prov.   25:20).   If   joy   be   troublesome   in   our   sorrows,   how   troublesome   is   sorrow   in the midst of our joys. So   then,   Satan   could   never   have   found   out   such   a   time   as   this.   Must   he   needs   be afflicting   the   father,   when   the   children   were   feasting?   Could   he   find   out   no   other time   but   this?   Must   his   tears   be   mingled   with   their   wine?   Must   the   children’s rejoicing   day   be   the   father’s   mourning   day?   Must   Satan   show   malice   against   the father,   when   the   children   were   showing   their   love   to   one   another?   It   was   a   love- feast. Thus   he   did   with   Christ;   it   is   observed   that   when   Christ   had   fasted   40   days   and   40 nights,   and   afterwards   was   hungry,   then   the   tempter   came.   He   lays   hold   of   this advantage;   he   would   not   come   till   Christ   was   hungry,   to   persuade   him   to   turn stones   into   bread.   What   a   strength   had   this   temptation   from   the   season?   Who would   not   make   bread   for   himself   if   he   can,   when   he   is   hungry?   Had   Christ   been full,   there   had   not   been   such   an   edge   upon,   such   a   weight   in   the   temptation.   How many   does   Satan   provoke   to   turn   stones   into   bread,   when   he   comes   to   them   in   their hunger?   You   who   are   in   a   strait,   likely   to   starve   and   perish,   turn   stones   into   bread; that   is,   procure   for   yourself   meat   and   provision   by   unlawful   and   sinful   ways.   This is   indeed   to   turn   stones   into   bread.   So   here,   at   this   time,   when   Job   was   rejoicing   (as doubtless   he   did)   to   see   the   love   and   unity   of   his   children,   now   at   this   time   Satan attempts   to   turn   their   bread   into   a   stone,   to   bruise   and   break   the   heart   of   their tender father. Afflictions press most when they are least expected. Let   us   observe   then   this   mixture   of   malice   and   cunning   in   Satan,   in   choosing   his time.   To   carry   a   man   from   one   extremity   to   another   puts   him   upon   the   greatest extremity.   To   make   the   day   of   a   man’s   greatest   rejoicing   to   be   the   day   of   his   deepest sorrows,   this   is   cutting,   if   not   killing   sorrow.   To   be   brought   from   extreme   sorrow   to extreme   joy   suddenly,   does   amaze   rather   than   comfort   the   spirit   of   man.   It   is   said that,   “When   the   Lord   turned   again   the   captivity   of   Zion,   the   people   were   like them   that   dream”    (Ps.   126:1).   The   change   was   so   great,   so   sudden,   that   they   were rather   astonished   and   amazed,   rather   than   comforted   with   it,   for   a   while.      So,   much more    to    be    hurried    from    extreme    joy    to    extreme    sorrow,    from    the    borders    of comfort   to   the   brink   of   death   all   of   the   sudden,   is   not   so   much   to   afflict   a   man   as   to confound and distract him. This course Satan takes with Job. It   would   be   well   if   we   could   be   wise   in   this   respect   to   imitate   Satan,   to   choose   out our   day   to   do   good   when   there   is   greatest   probability   of   success,   as   he   chose   out   his day   to   do   mischief.   It   is   the Apostle’s   rule,   “as   you   have   opportunity   do   good”    (Gal, 6:10);   if   we   could   be   wise   to   lay   hold   upon   opportunities,   it   would   be   a   wonderful advantage   to   us;   as   a    “word   fitly   spoken”   is   a   word   upon   the   wheel,   so   a   work   fitly done   is   a   work   upon   the   wheel:   it   goes   on,   takes   upon   the   heart   both   of   God   and man.   Let   us   consider   whether   now   we   have   not   a   season,   whether   this   be   not   a   day that   holds   forth   to   us   a   glorious   opportunity.   Surely,   we   may   present   this   day   to you,   as   a   day   to   be   doing   in.   Let   us   therefore   be   as   quick   in   this   our   day   to   do   good, as   Satan   was   in   that   day   to   do   hurt.   This   is   a   day   wherein   great   things   are   a-doing, and   grievous   things   are   a-suffering   by   many   of   our   brethren.   Therefore   you   should be   working   this   day,   make   a   day   of   it.   This   is   a   day   in   which   sons   of   Belial,   men   that will   not   bear   Christ’s   yoke,   are   combining   to   break   it,   and   to   cast   his   cords   from them.   Then   join,   this   day,   to   help   Christ;   else,   as   Mordecai   said   to   Esther,   “If   thou altogether   holdest   thy   peace   at   this   time”    (this   was   a   day   for   Esther   to   work   in)   “then   shall   there   enlargement   and   deliverance   arise   to   the   Jews   from   another place,   but   thou   and   thy   father’s   house   shall   be   destroyed”    (Esth.   4:14).   So   I   may say   to   you   in   reference   to   the   present   opportunity,   if   you   altogether   hold   your peace,   hold   your   purses,   and   hold   your   hands   at   this   time,   at   such   a   day   as   this, enlargement   will   come   to   the   church   some   other   way,   but   you   may   be   destroyed, who   think   to   hold   and   keep   your   peace   either   by   saying   or   doing   nothing.   If   ever you   will   appear,   this   is   a   day   to   appear   in   to   do   good.   Let   us   be   wise   to   manage   and improve    our    day,    that    it    may    never    be    said    of    us    as    our    Lord    Christ    did    of Jerusalem:   “If   ye   had   known,   even   ye,   in   this   your   day,   the   things   which   belong unto   your   peace”    (Luke   19:42).   It   is   a   sadder   thing   to   have   had   a   season   and   not   to know   it   (or   not   to   use   it)   than   not   to   have   had   it.   Solomon   tells   us   that   “Because   to every   purpose   there   is   a   time   and   judgement,   therefore   the   misery   of   man   is   great upon   him”    (Eccl.   8:6).   Misery   cannot   be   great   to   a   man,   because   there   is   a   time   for every   purpose,   but   because   men   are   either   so   blind   that   they   cannot   see,   or   so sluggish   that   they   will   not   make   use   of   the   proper   time   for   every   purpose.   Thus   the preacher   himself   expounds   it,   “For   man   knoweth   not   his   time,   as   the   fishes   that are   taken   in   an   evil   net,   and   as   the   birds   are   taken   in   a   snare,   so   are   the   sons   of men   snared   in   an   evil   time,   when   it   falleth   suddenly   upon   them”    (Eccl.   9:12). Consider   what   Solomon’s   experience   taught   him.   Let   not   your   inadvertency   of   these times   make   you   a   new   experiment   of   that   ancient   truth. And   leave   men   that   should be   wise,   especially   that   pretend   to   wisdom,   to   be   numbered   among,   and   compared with a silly bird, a silent fish. Then   again,   forasmuch   as   it   was   the   day   of   their   great   feast,   of   their   feast   with wine, upon which this great affliction assaulted Job, observe, That   the   fairest   and   clearest   day   of   our   outward   comfort   may   be   clouded   and   overcast   before the   evening.    It   was   as   fair   a   day   as   ever   began   in   Job’s   family,   a   feast,   and   a   feast   with wine, and that in the eldest brother’s house, and yet all was darkness before night. This    is    true    in    reference    to    ungodly    men,    great    and    terrible    judgements    fall suddenly   upon   them;   their   light   is   turned   into   darkness   in   a   moment,   as   Christ compares   it   to   the   days   of   Noah   and   the   days   of   Lot:   “As   I   was”   (said   he)   “in   the days   of   Noah,   they   did   eat,   they   drank,   they   married   wives,   they   were   given   in marriage   until   the   day   that   Noah   entered   into   the   Ark,   and   the   flood   came   and destroyed   them   all;   and   as   it   was   in   the   days   of   Lot”    etc.   (Luke   17:26ff).   And   the Apostle   said,   “When   they   shall   say,   peace   and   safety,   then   sudden   destruction commeth”    (I   Thess.   5:3).   Thus   it   is   with   ungodly   men,   their   sun   often   sets   at   noon, when   they   say,   yea   when   they   conclude,   all’s   well,   then   judgement   mixed   with wrath   is   at   the   door.   This   is   a   truth   also   in   reference   unto   godly   men   and   the churches   of   God,   all   their   outward   comforts   may   be   clouded   in   a   day,   while   they   are eating   and   drinking,   nor   sinfully   but   in   a   holy   manner,   even   as   the Apostle   advises, “to   the   glory   of   God”    (I   Cor.   10:31),   yet   even   at   that   time   all   may   presently   be   taken away.   And   therefore   as   the   Apostle   said,   “Rejoice   as   if   you   rejoiced   not”   in   the creature   (I   Cor.   7:30),   and   eat   as   if   you   did   not   eat,   and   buy   as   if   you   possessed   not. Why? For the fashion of this world, the scheme of this world passes away. You   see   it   did   with   Job.   In   what   a   goodly   fashion   was   his   worldly   estate   in   the morning;   how   was   it   dressed   and   adorned   in   perfect   beauty,   in   all   its   excellencies (as   we   heard   it   before   described),   yet   before   night   all   the   fashion   of   it   passed   away, and   the   beauty   of   it   was   quite   blasted.   Therefore,   you   that   have   great   estates,   and good   estates,   estates   well   gotten,   and   well   governed,   be   not   high-minded,   trust   not in   uncertain   riches.   If   riches   increase,   and   if   they   increase   in   a   right   way,   “yet   set   not your   hearts   upon   them”    (I   Tim.   6:17),   for   the   fashion   of   worldly   things   quickly passes   away.   Riches   make   themselves   wings   to   fly   away,   when   you   are   making doors and locks, bolts and bars to keep them in. But what did Satan do upon this day? That is set forth in the 14 th  verse, and so on. “And   there   came   a   messenger   unto   Job,   and   said,   The   oxen   were   plowing,   and the asses feeding beside them” (vs. 14). “There   came   a   messenger…”    –   The   Jewish   Rabbins   and   some   of   the   fathers   tell   us that   those   messengers   were   devils,   evil   spirits   in   the   likeness   of   men.   But   surely   the opinion   has   little   likeness   with   the   truth,   therefore   with   Beza,   I   lay   it   by   and   reject   it amongst    the    tales    of    the    Rabbins.    These    messengers    were    really    the    escaped servants of Job, as we shall see afterward. Now   the   messenger   bespeaks   Job   thus,   “The   oxen   were   plowing” ,   they   were   hard at   their   work,   “and   the   asses   were   feeding   besides   them.”    The   word   in   the   Hebrew is   this,   the   asses   were   feeding   at   their   hand,    or   at   hand.   To   be   at   hand   denotes   nearness. In   our   language,   we   say   that   such   a   thing   is   at   hand,   or   such   a   man   is   at   hand,   the day   of   our   fear   is   at   hand,   when   we   mean   they   are   near.   “The   Lord   is   at   hand”   (Phil.   4:5),   i.e.,   nigh   unto   us   for   our   help.   So   also   in   II   Thess.   2:2.   It   is   applied   also   to nearness   of   place,   as   well   as   of   time,   as   in   Neh.   3:2,   where   the   building   of   the   wall   of Jerusalem   is   described,   it   is   said,   “Next   unto   him   built   the   men   of   Jericho” ,   the Hebrew is, at the hand of him build the men of Jericho, that is, next to him in place. Now   the   messenger   describes   all   in   such   a   posture,   “The   oxen   were   plowing,   and the   asses   feeding.”    By   this,   to   assure   Job   of   the   care   and   diligence   of   his   servants about   his   business   for   the   securing   of   his   cattle,   and   improving   of   his   ground;   as   if he   should   have   said,   This   sad   affliction   which   is   come   upon   thee,   did   not   come   through our   negligence   or   improvidence,   we   were   about   our   business   according   to   our   several   places,   “The   oxen   were   plowing,   and   the   asses   were   feeding   by   them” ;   they   were   not carelessly   left   to   danger,   but   our   eye   was   upon   them,   yet   notwithstanding   they   were all surprised and taken away. From   this   relation   of   the   posture   of   Job’s   servants   and   cattle   at   the   time   when   this affliction fell upon them, we may observe thus much: That   all   our   care   and   diligence   cannot   secure   outward   things   unto   us.    Afflictions   may take   us   in   the   midst   of   our   best   and   most   honest   endeavors.   A   man   may   be   looking to   and   ordering   his   estate,   and   yet   at   the   very   time   while   his   eye   is   upon   it,   he   may see   it   take   its   flight   like   an   eagle   towards   heaven;   while   he   is   ordering   of   it,   he   may see   disorder   and   confusion   coming   upon   it;   while   he   is   settling   of   it   by   honest   care, he   may   quickly   see   it   unsettled,   removed   and   all   broken   to   pieces,   as   it   was   here with   Job;   he   was   in   a   very   good   way;   his   servants   were   honestly   employed,   but suddenly all is gone. The oxen were taken away, and the asses that fed by them.  —— This article is taken from:  Caryl, Joseph.  An Exposition with Practical Observations upon the Book of Job. London: G. Miller, 1644.  A PDF file of this book can be downloaded, free of charge, at http://www.ClassicChristianLibrary.com            
© 1994-2017, Scott Sperling
[Here we continue a reprint of a small portion of Joseph Caryl’s study in Job.  Mr. Caryl wrote twelve volumes on the book of Job.  His study is a great example of how deep one can dig into the truths of the Bible.]   A Study by Joseph Caryl (1644) Job 1:13-15 (part 1) - The Time of Affliction   13 And    there    was    a    day    when    his    sons    and    his daughters   were   eating   and   drinking   wine   in   their eldest     brother’s     house: 14 And     there     came     a messenger    unto    Job,    and    said,    The    oxen    were plowing,    and    the    asses    feeding    beside    them. 15 And   the   Sabeans   fell   upon   them,   and   took   them away;   yea,   they   have   slain   the   servants   with   the edge   of   the   sword;   and   I   only   am   escaped   alone   to tell thee. (KJV)   In   the   former   context   we   showed   you   the   affliction   of Job,   moved   by   Satan   and   permitted   by   God,   Touch   all that   he   hath ,   is   Satan’s   motion;   All   that   he   hath   is   in   thine hand,    is   God’s   permission.   From   this   13 th    verse   to   the end   of   the   19 th    the   afflictions   of   Job   are   particularly described;   and   we   may   observe   six   particulars   in   the context concerning his afflictions. 1 . The   time   or   season   of   his   afflictions :   “And   there   was   a day   when   his   sons   and   his   daughters   were   eating and   drinking   wine   in   their   eldest   brother's   house” (vs. 13). 2 . The   instruments   or   the   means   of   his   afflictions .   Satan who    undertook    the    afflicting    of    Job,    stands    as    it were   behind   the   door;   he   does   not   appear   in   it,   but sets   on   others.   His   instruments   were   first   cruel   and bloody-minded   men,   the   Sabeans   (see   vs.   15),   and the   Chaldeans   (see   vs.   17).   Secondly,   those   active creatures,   devouring   fire   (see   vs.   16),   and   stormy winds (see vs. 19). 3 . The    matter    of    his    affliction ,    or    in    what    he    was afflicted, it was in his outward estate. 4 . The   variety   of   his   affliction .   He   was   not   smitten   in some   one   thing,   in   some   one   part   of   his   outward estate,   but   he   was   afflicted   in   all:   his   oxen,   his   asses, and    his    camels    violently    taken    away;    his    sheep burnt   up   by   the   fire;   his   sons   and   his   daughters overwhelmed   and   crushed   by   the   fall   of   a   house;   all his   servants   attending   upon   these   slain,   consumed, destroyed,   excepting   only   one   from   every   stroke,   to be the sad relater or messenger of these calamities. 5 . The   suddenness   of   his   afflictions .   They   came   all   upon him in one day. 6 . The   incessantness   of   the   report   of   these   afflictions .   The sound   of   them   all   was   in   his   ears   at   once,   as   they were   all   brought   upon   him   in   one   day,   so   they   are all   told   him   in   one   hour,   yea   by   the   story   it   appears there   were   but   very   few   moments   between   the   first and   the   last.   For   the   text   says   that   no   sooner   had one   messenger   ended   his   doleful   news,   but   another begins,   nay   they   did   not   stay   so   long   as   to   let   one another   make   an   end;   but   the   text   says,   “While   the former   was   yet   speaking,   there   came   another   and said...”    And   so,   while   the   next   was   yet   speaking, there   came   another.   So   Satan   did   not   give   Job   so much   as   the   least   minute   of   intermission   to   breathe a   while   or   recollect   himself.   His   troubles   both   in   the acting    and    in    the    reporting,    were    close    linked together,   like   a   chain   one   within   another,   and   him within them all fast bound, and yet free . These    are    observable,    through    the    whole    context concerning   this   great   affliction   of   Job.   Now   we   will consider   the   afflictions   themselves,   their   several   parts, and open the words in which they are presented to us. “And    there    was    a    day    when    his    sons    and    his daughters   were   eating   and   drinking   wine   in   their eldest brother’s house” (vs. 13) “And   there   was   a   day…”   –   To   everything   there   is   a season,   said   Solomon,   and   a   time   for   every   purpose   under the   sun    (Eccl.   3:1).   God   has   a   time   for   his   purposes;   God has   his   day.   Man   has   a   time   for   his   purposes,   and   so does   Satan:   not   just   any   day   will   serve   his   turn;   he picks    and    chooses.    There    was    a    day :    it    intimates    an extraordinary   day,   and   there   is   an   express   addition   in the    original,    which    puts    an    emphasis     upon    it,    and makes   it   more   than   a   day.   There   was   that   day,    or   that special   day .   So   it   is   used   in   II   Kings   4:8:   “And   it   fell   on   a day   that   Elisha   passed   to   Shunem,”    or   upon   that   day, a    notable    day    wherein    so    many    great    things    were done. But   what   day   was   this?   It   is   explained   in   the   words,   in the   latter   part   of   the   verse.   It   was   a   notable   day,   for   it was    a    day    or    that    day,    “when    his    sons    and    his daughters    were    eating    and    drinking    wine    in    their eldest brother’s house.” There   are   three   things   in   those   words,   which   prove that this was an extraordinary day: 1 . It     was     a     feasting     day,     and     feasting     days     are extraordinary days. 2 . It    was    an    extraordinary,    not    an    ordinary    feasting day,   for   it   is   said:   “…they   were   eating   and   drinking wine.”    In   the   beginning   of   the   chapter   (where   the feasts   of   Job’s   children   are   described)   it   is   said   only, that   “his   sons   went   every   one   their   day,   to   eat   and to   drink”    (Job   1:4).   But   here   it   is   said   that   they   did “eat       and       drink       wine,”       which       notes       an extraordinary   feast.   For   still   in   Scripture,   when   we read   of   a   banquet   of   wine,   or   of   a   feast   of   wine,   an extraordinary   feast   is   meant.   For   instance,   Queen Esther   invited   the   king   and   Haman   to   a   banquet   of wine    (Esth.   5:6),   not   that   there   was   nothing   but   wine at   the   banquet,   but   that   addition   implies   that   it   was a   plentiful   banquet,   a   solemn   banquet.   It   is   more   to make    a    banquet    of    wine ,    than    to    make    a    banquet , though   scarce   any   banquet   is   made   without   wine. So    when    there    wanted    wine,    the    solemnity    and glory    of    the    feast    was    thought    to    be    blemished. “They   have   no   wine”    (John   2:4),   said   the   mother   of Christ   to   him   at   the   marriage   feast   in   Cana.   And when    the    spouse    would    set    forth    the    wonderful fulness    of    spiritual    delights,    which    she    had    from Christ,   she   expresses   it   thus,   “He   brought   me   into the    banqueting    house”     (Song.    2:4);    the    Hebrew word    is,    he    brought    me    into    the    house    of    wine ;    the house      of      wine      notes      extraordinary      spiritual refreshing.   What   sort   of   banquet   had   the   spouse   for her   soul   there?   Christ   called   her   to   eat   and   drink abundantly,   to   be   filled   with   his   love.   See   the   like   in Isa.   25:6.   So   Job’s   children   were   eating   and   drinking wine,   so   they   were   at   a   plentiful   and   solemn   feast that day. 3 . It   was   a   day   of   feasting   in   their   “eldest   brother’s house” ;    that    is    another    which    proves    it    was    an extraordinary   feast   day.   It   was   a   feast,   and   a   feast   of wine,   and   a   feast   of   wine   in   their   eldest   brother’s house,   who   had   a   larger   estate,   a   fuller   portion,   and to   answer   the   dignity   of   his   primogenitor,   ought   to make   a   more   solemn   feast   than   the   rest   did.   This was   the   day   that   Satan   picks   out   and   chooses   to bring   all   these   sad   afflictions   upon   Job;   an   ordinary day   would   not   serve   his   turn.   Without   doubt   this was   not   the   immediate   day   or   time,   after   which   he got   that   commission   from   God,   “All   that   he   hath   is in    thine    hand…”     (vs.    12).    Satan    went    away;    he would   have   been   at   it   as   soon   as   he   could   but   yet   he waited   for   a   special   time,   wherein   he   might   do   it with   greatest   advantage;   and   that   is   the   point   I   shall observe from this: That   Satan   observes   and   watches   his   time   to   fasten   his temptations   most   strongly   upon   the   soul .   He   watches   a day,   “There   was   a   day…” ,   and   there   was   not   a   day   in the   whole   year,   upon   which   he   could   have   done   it   with greater   advantage   than   upon   that   day.   This   is   just   as the   mercies   of   God   are   exceedingly   endeared   to   us   by the   season   in   which   they   come   to   us.   When   they   come to   us   in   our   special   need,   how   sweet   is   a   mercy   then! And   as   our   obedience   is   exceedingly   commended   to the   acceptation   of   God,   when   it   is   upon   a   fit   day,   when it   is   on   the   day   wherein   he   calls   for   and   expects   it,   so are   our   sins   exceedingly   aggravated   by   the   season   and time   wherein   they   are   committed.   What!   Sin   upon   this day?   A   day   of   trouble,   a   day   of   humiliation?   Just   as Elisha    rebuked    Gehazi,    “Is    this    a    time    to    receive money   and   to   receive   garments”    etc.   (II   Kings   5:26).   Is this   a   time   for   your   heart   to   run   out   sinfully   after   the world?   So   likewise,   the   temptations   of   Satan   and   the afflictions   which   he   brings   upon   the   servants   of   God, are    exceedingly    embittered    by    the    season,    and    he knows   well   enough   what   seasons   will   make   them   most bitter.   What   can   more   embitter   a   cup   of   sorrow   than   to have   it   brought   us   upon   a   day   of   rejoicing?   Solomon tells   us,   that   “as   he   that   taketh   away   a   garment   in   cold weather,   and   as   vinegar   upon   nitre,   so   is   he   that   sings a    song    to    a    heavy    heart”     (Prov.    25:20).    If    joy    be troublesome    in    our    sorrows,    how    troublesome    is sorrow in the midst of our joys. So   then,   Satan   could   never   have   found   out   such   a time    as    this.    Must    he    needs    be    afflicting    the    father, when   the   children   were   feasting?   Could   he   find   out   no other   time   but   this?   Must   his   tears   be   mingled   with their   wine?   Must   the   children’s   rejoicing   day   be   the father’s     mourning     day?     Must     Satan     show     malice against   the   father,   when   the   children   were   showing their love to one another? It was a love-feast. Thus    he    did    with    Christ;    it    is    observed    that    when Christ     had     fasted     40     days     and     40     nights,     and afterwards   was   hungry,   then   the   tempter   came.   He   lays hold   of   this   advantage;   he   would   not   come   till   Christ was   hungry,   to   persuade   him   to   turn   stones   into   bread. What   a   strength   had   this   temptation   from   the   season? Who   would   not   make   bread   for   himself   if   he   can,   when he   is   hungry?   Had   Christ   been   full,   there   had   not   been such   an   edge   upon,   such   a   weight   in   the   temptation. How    many    does    Satan    provoke    to    turn    stones    into bread,   when   he   comes   to   them   in   their   hunger?   You who   are   in   a   strait,   likely   to   starve   and   perish,   turn stones   into   bread;   that   is,   procure   for   yourself   meat and   provision   by   unlawful   and   sinful   ways.   This   is indeed   to   turn   stones   into   bread.   So   here,   at   this   time, when   Job   was   rejoicing   (as   doubtless   he   did)   to   see   the love   and   unity   of   his   children,   now   at   this   time   Satan attempts   to   turn   their   bread   into   a   stone,   to   bruise   and break   the   heart   of   their   tender   father.   Afflictions   press most when they are least expected. Let    us    observe    then    this    mixture    of    malice    and cunning   in   Satan,   in   choosing   his   time.   To   carry   a   man from    one    extremity    to    another    puts    him    upon    the greatest   extremity.   To   make   the   day   of   a   man’s   greatest rejoicing   to   be   the   day   of   his   deepest   sorrows,   this   is cutting,    if    not    killing    sorrow.    To    be    brought    from extreme   sorrow   to   extreme   joy   suddenly,   does   amaze rather   than   comfort   the   spirit   of   man.   It   is   said   that, “When   the   Lord   turned   again   the   captivity   of   Zion, the   people   were   like   them   that   dream”    (Ps.   126:1).   The change   was   so   great,   so   sudden,   that   they   were   rather astonished   and   amazed,   rather   than   comforted   with   it, for   a   while.      So,   much   more   to   be   hurried   from   extreme joy   to   extreme   sorrow,   from   the   borders   of   comfort   to the   brink   of   death   all   of   the   sudden,   is   not   so   much   to afflict   a   man   as   to   confound   and   distract   him.   This course Satan takes with Job. It   would   be   well   if   we   could   be   wise   in   this   respect   to imitate   Satan,   to   choose   out   our   day   to   do   good   when there   is   greatest   probability   of   success,   as   he   chose   out his   day   to   do   mischief.   It   is   the   Apostle’s   rule,   “as   you have   opportunity   do   good”    (Gal,   6:10);   if   we   could   be wise    to    lay    hold    upon    opportunities,    it    would    be    a wonderful   advantage   to   us;   as   a    “word   fitly   spoken” is   a   word   upon   the   wheel,   so   a   work   fitly   done   is   a work   upon   the   wheel:   it   goes   on,   takes   upon   the   heart both   of   God   and   man.   Let   us   consider   whether   now   we have   not   a   season,   whether   this   be   not   a   day   that   holds forth    to    us    a    glorious    opportunity.    Surely,    we    may present   this   day   to   you,   as   a   day   to   be   doing   in.   Let   us therefore   be   as   quick   in   this   our   day   to   do   good,   as Satan   was   in   that   day   to   do   hurt.   This   is   a   day   wherein great   things   are   a-doing,   and   grievous   things   are   a- suffering    by    many    of    our    brethren.    Therefore    you should   be   working   this   day,   make   a   day   of   it.   This   is   a day   in   which   sons   of   Belial,   men   that   will   not   bear Christ’s   yoke,   are   combining   to   break   it,   and   to   cast   his cords   from   them.   Then   join,   this   day,   to   help   Christ; else,   as   Mordecai   said   to   Esther,   “If   thou   altogether holdest   thy   peace   at   this   time”    (this   was   a   day   for Esther   to   work   in)    “then   shall   there   enlargement   and deliverance   arise   to   the   Jews   from   another   place,   but thou   and   thy   father’s   house   shall   be   destroyed”    (Esth. 4:14).   So   I   may   say   to   you   in   reference   to   the   present opportunity,   if   you   altogether   hold   your   peace,   hold your   purses,   and   hold   your   hands   at   this   time,   at   such a    day    as    this,    enlargement    will    come    to    the    church some   other   way,   but   you   may   be   destroyed,   who   think to   hold   and   keep   your   peace   either   by   saying   or   doing nothing.   If   ever   you   will   appear,   this   is   a   day   to   appear in   to   do   good.   Let   us   be   wise   to   manage   and   improve our   day,   that   it   may   never   be   said   of   us   as   our   Lord Christ   did   of   Jerusalem:   “If   ye   had   known,   even   ye,   in this    your    day,    the    things    which    belong    unto    your peace”    (Luke   19:42).   It   is   a   sadder   thing   to   have   had   a season   and   not   to   know   it   (or   not   to   use   it)   than   not   to have   had   it.   Solomon   tells   us   that   “Because   to   every purpose   there   is   a   time   and   judgement,   therefore   the misery   of   man   is   great   upon   him”    (Eccl.   8:6).   Misery cannot   be   great   to   a   man,   because   there   is   a   time   for every   purpose,   but   because   men   are   either   so   blind that   they   cannot   see,   or   so   sluggish   that   they   will   not make   use   of   the   proper   time   for   every   purpose.   Thus the   preacher   himself   expounds   it,   “For   man   knoweth not   his   time,   as   the   fishes   that   are   taken   in   an   evil net,   and   as   the   birds   are   taken   in   a   snare,   so   are   the sons   of   men   snared   in   an   evil   time,   when   it   falleth suddenly    upon    them”     (Eccl.    9:12).    Consider    what Solomon’s     experience     taught     him.     Let     not     your inadvertency     of     these     times     make     you     a     new experiment   of   that   ancient   truth.   And   leave   men   that should   be   wise,   especially   that   pretend   to   wisdom,   to be   numbered   among,   and   compared   with   a   silly   bird,   a silent fish. Then   again,   forasmuch   as   it   was   the   day   of   their   great feast,   of   their   feast   with   wine,   upon   which   this   great affliction assaulted Job, observe, That   the   fairest   and   clearest   day   of   our   outward   comfort may   be   clouded   and   overcast   before   the   evening.    It   was   as fair   a   day   as   ever   began   in   Job’s   family,   a   feast,   and   a feast   with   wine,   and   that   in   the   eldest   brother’s   house, and yet all was darkness before night. This   is   true   in   reference   to   ungodly   men,   great   and terrible    judgements    fall    suddenly    upon    them;    their light   is   turned   into   darkness   in   a   moment,   as   Christ compares   it   to   the   days   of   Noah   and   the   days   of   Lot: “As   I   was”   (said   he)   “in   the   days   of   Noah,   they   did eat,   they   drank,   they   married   wives,   they   were   given in   marriage   until   the