« PreviousContinue »
glory or honour from it; show me why thou contendest with me.
"The vulgar has it, is it good for thee that thou shouldest slander me? that is, to give others occasion to speak evil of me. Slander and censure wound deep; hard words bruise the credit and break the heart, but here it may be taken for outward violence, cunning, cheating. Hos. xii. 7, He is a merchant, &c. who by light weights oppress, by withholding what is due, as well as by forcibly taking away from any.'
"As if Job said, I know thou dost not love to oppress; whence is it then that thou actest so unlike thyself to a poor creature, the work of thy hands?
"The hand of God implies his power and wisdom. Job means himself or any other man when he says, That thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, which in general is of the same sense with the former clause.
"That we are the work of God's hands, is an argument to move his compassion towards us, and should prevent us from proudly disputing with him; at the same time, we may humbly plead with him not to despise the work of his hands. It seems to intimate that the plea hath a kind of command upon God, as Isa. xlv. 11, concerning the works of my hands command ye me.'
"Verse 4. Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?'
"To have an eye of flesh, is to judge according to the flesh; and to see as man, is to see no more than man sees.
By this question, Job seems to say, Lord I have been long afflicted with sore distress, why hast thou brought me to such a trial? It is not with thee as with men, who can see no farther than the outside of things: and, therefore, mortal judges must fetch out what lies in the heart of man by examination, or by torture. But there is no need that thou shouldest take this course with me, for though I should not speak a word, yet thou hearest the voice and understandest the language of my spirit; wherefore is it then that thou inquirest by these afflictions into what is naked before thine omniscient eye?
By this Job seems to vindicate God from another dishonourable insinuation, and justifies him either in reference to the truth or manner, the clearness or speediness, the certainty or impartiality, the infallibility or charity of his judgment.
Upon all which his former request is again
Show me wherefore thou con
to be inferred.
tendest with me?
"Job seems to comfort himself, that the Lord judged him by the settled temper of his inward man, and not by the casual distemper of his outward man.
"He proceeds to a fifth dishonourable thought, which he also by way of interrogation removes from God, and so virtually says again, Show me, &c.
"Verse 5. Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man's days?'
"I know they are not, and therefore I won
der why thou dealest so severely with me, as if thou shouldest have no other season for it.
"God who inhabiteth eternity, need not hasten his work; and therefore he doth not precipitate, but does his work deliberately, because he may take what time he pleases.
"Wicked men, do not ye hope? godly men, do not ye fear? that God will never do what he hath said, because he hath not already done it.
"He hath not lost his time, although he hath passed over the time or season that you expected.
“The next words will show why Job made
That thou inquirest after mine
Surely thou needest not search and examine me in this manner, seeing thou art Omniscient.
"Observe, that God knows us before he search us, and he searches us that we may know ourselves. Observe 2d, that there are not many who know God at all, and none know him enough. God searches us that we may seek after him; and this is the design of every affliction, to acquaint us with God and ourselves. It is said, that then Manasseh knew the Lord when he was in the briers.
"The next verse contains one of the chief questions of that grand controversy, whether Job was a wicked man or not; Satan represented him to God as such, and upon that challenge, the Lord gave him up to grievous trials.
Job now appeals to the Lord's own knowledge, and is content to stand er fall according to his determination, being still satisfied that he stood right in the sight of God.
"Verse 7. Thou knowest that I am not wicked, and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.'
"Wicked and just are judiciary terms equivalent to justified and condemned, as Psalm cix. 7. Hebrew, Let him go out wicked,' that Let him go out from the bar of his judges a condemned man.'
"It is matter of consolation to the saints that God knows them. David seems as glad that God knows him as that God would save him, Psalm cxxxix. To be wicked is inconsistent with the possession of saving grace. Sin reigns in all wicked men, in a hypocritical professor as well as in the openly profane, he drives a trade of, and purposes to sin, &c.
Peter did not deny Christ because he was resolved to do it; but because he resolved not to do it without a due dependence upon Christ for power to withstand the temptation to do it.
There is none that can deliver out of thine hand. No, neither power, policy, nor riches can avail in the day of wrath, and even prayer cannot prevail in some seasons of wrath. Let us, therefore, take heed how we fall into the hands of God's justice, for till God discharge us there is no escaping.
"At verse third Job questions- Is it good for thee that thou shouldest oppress, &c.' From verse 8 to 13, he insists upon and illustrates
that argument by fitting it to his own condition. Seeing thou wilt not despise the work of thy hands, why shouldest thou despise me?' Am not I the work of thy hands? This point is proven, first, in his formation in general, verse 8. 2dly, The matter of which he was made, verse 9. His conception, verse 10. The conjunction of his parts, verse 11. The quickening of his parts and preservation of life, verse 12. And then Job's assertion concerning all this at verse 13, which is as if he had said, • Lord thou knowest all is truth that I have spoken.'
"Verse 8. Thine hands have made me, and fashioned me together round about, yet thou dost destroy me.'
"Man receives not only his nature, but his figure from God. The structure and frame of nature is the work of God. He ascribes his own formation to God as well as the making of Adam. Second causes work purely at the will of God, though means are used by man, yet it is God that gives effect.
Now, as in the work of redemption we are of God by grace, so we are his by creation, and the same reason holds in both, viz. Glorify God with your bodies which are not your own, but God's. Let them be holiness unto the Lord.' It is but reasonable that creatures formed and fashioned by God should be at his disposal, and it is their wisdom to obey and submit to him in all things cheerfully.
"To destroy signifies to swallow up. Job had a great army of afflictions encompassing