Satan usually keeps his greatest strength and most violent temptations unto the last. When he thinks we are at the weakest, then he commeth with the strongest assaults. If Satan had sent Job word of the death of his children first, all the rest would have been as nothing to him; he would not have regarded the loss of his cattle when he heard that all his Children were crushed to death by the fall of the house. As one great evil falling upon us, takes the heart off from having any sense and feeling of a lesser evil; that great evil which fell upon the Wife of Phineas, when she heard that the Ark of God was taken, afflicted her so extremely, that she could not at all rejoice in the birth of her son she had no sense of that. Here was therefore the cunning of Satan, lest Job should have lost the smart of the lesser afflictions, least they should have all been swallowed up in the greater, he brings them out in order, the least first, the greatest reserved for the last.
We observe in war that when once the great ordinance are discharged, the soldiers are not afraid of the musket; so when a great battery is made by some thundering terrible judgement upon the soul, or upon the body or the estate of any man; the noise and fears of lesser evils are drowned and abated. Therefore Satan keeps his greatest shot to the last, that the small might be heard and felt, and that he last coming in greater strength might find the least strength to resist it.
To lose all our children is as grievous as to lose an only child; now that is made a cause of the highest sorrows, Zach 12:10. They shall mourn for him, as one that mourneth for his only son; that is, they shall mourn most bitterly. Now as the measure of mercies may be taken by the comforts which they produce, so we may take the measure of an affliction by the sorrow which it produceth, and that is the greatest affliction that causes the greatest sorrow.