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the noon in regard of the clearness of thy light, and as the morning as to the increase and continuance of it. So these two includes the highest expressions of a prosperous condition. God can quickly turn all our sorrows into joys. The sum of this mercy is laid down in five particulars, in verses 18, 19.
“ Verse 18. 1st, - Thou shalt be secure because there is hope.
“ This security arises from the exercise of a vigorous faith in God, as revealed in his word. It is a sure foundation, on which to cast the anchor of thy hope, which rests firm on the promise of good things to come. Saints walk by faith and not by sight, and this leads them into the treasury of God for all their supplies. But worldly men walk by sight not by faith, and this leaves them seeking happiness among the treasures of men.
“ The consideration of what God hath done, and the relation in which he stands to his people, is ground of encouragement for them to hope in him. For he is a father who always speaks what he means, and is able to do what he speaks.
“ 2dly, · Yea thou shalt dig about thee.' Digging is either strictly to till and manure the earth, or for the labour of any calling. So it means that thou shalt prosper in all thy lawful undertakings, and carry them on without fear or danger, and nothing shall prevent thy success.
“ 3dly, " And thou shalt take thy rest in safety.'
“ As thou shalt dig and thrive at thy work, so thy repose in the day, and thy sleep in the night, shall be sweet 'unto thee. When the Lord undertakes our protection, we may sleep securely and comfortably. When he watches over us we need not fear, though thousands seek our hurt.
“ Verse 19. 4thly, - Thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid.
“ The word here used signifies the lying down of cattle in the fields or folds, and, understood thus, it is a distinct mercy. That our estates are quiet as well as our persons, that our beasts may lie down safely as well as our children, ought to be numbered among our mercies, for which we are to be thankful.
“ Though neither all nor our chief happiness consists in these outward things, yet they are described in the inventory of the happy man. Ps. cxliv. .“ The fifth privilege is greater than any of the former.
wo Yea many shall make suit unto thee.' Heb. They shall entreat thy face. The word entreat signifies also to weary, and, when joined with the word face, it signifies to weary one with prayer and entreaty. As many are weary of prayer, so some are wearied with prayers, and grant the petitions of the poor, not so much to relieve them as to ease themselves. Luke xviii. 5. I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. So the meaning is this, they shall make many suits to thee, even as many as are made to him that is wearied with suitors. We give honour unto God when we sincerely seek unto him and obey him.
“ Zophar having mentioned these privileges to encourage Job, now points out the contrary condition of wicked men.
« Verse 20. «The eyes of the wicked shall fail.'
“ The failing of our eyes is the disappointment of our hopes. The eyes of the wicked shall indeed fail with waiting upon their idols, vanities, lusts, and lies ; upon their relations and friends, their policies and plots.
“ It should make the saints lift up their heads and eyes with confidence that God will cause the eyes of wicked men to fail.
"" And they shall not escape.'
“ As they shall not receive the good which they expect, so they shall not be able to deliver themselves from the evil which they fear. Seeing that God rejects the confidence which wicked men pretend to have in him, and blasts every outward thing in which they place their confidence; how is it possible for them to escape?
*Their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.'
“ When hope dies all dies. Hope is the last commodity which a man parts with. As all the hopes of wicked men perish when they die, so, while they live, their hopes are dying. A godly man hath not only a living but a lively hope.
“ This and the two following chapters contains Job's reply to Zophar, and the two furmer speakers, and he
“ 1st, Sharply rebukes the pride of spirit and confidence in their own opinions. “.“ 2dly, He refutes their assertion, that good or evil things distinguish good and evil men. from verse 5. to the end of the chapter, he shows that outward evils are often the lot of good men, &c.
“ Verse 1. ' And Job answered and said.' He seems to assert his own positions more fully than he answers or disputes with his friends. !« Verse 2. “No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. Wisdom is peculiar to none, and an opinion of our own wisdom savours of great folly. Some take this as a plain assertion ; others as an irony, which is a speech filled with derision, while the letter of it makes no doubt the spirit of it is an absolute denial. Without breach of charity we may check pride with derision.
" Verse 3. “But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior even to you.' The Hebrew is, I have a heart, &c.- I have courage to maintain what I have asserted. It "is not a good proof of preferable understanding to boast of it. But in some cases self-commendation is not uncomely. Job had derided their ignorance, and now he compares himse.i
with them both in the matter and degree of his understanding; and then he triumphantly asks, Yea, who knows not such things as these? There are some common principles that it is a shame not to know; and about common truths to affect mystery is vanity. Job next takes notice of the scorn of his friends.
66 Verse 4. "I am as one mocked of his neighbour. Instead of comforting, you have mocked me in my adversity. The unkindness of a friend hath much of the enemy in it.
"Who calleth upon God and he answereth him. The vulgar read, He who is derided of his neighbour as I am, will call upon God, and God will hear him. It is the privilege of the saints to make God their refuge when men despise them. He is the helper of the friendless. God is the best friend at all times, and the only friend at sometimes. Perhaps God gives up his people to reproach, to stir up a spirit of prayer in them. Or it may be a reproof to them for having loved the world and the praise of men too much. When we are reviled and mocked, let us call upon God, who will not mock but answer us. He will not give stones for bread, &c. for he loves to be giving, and delights to give good gifts to all who ask him. Job next gives an answer to the question, How is a just upright man entertained in this world ? Do not all respect and reverence him? No, he is laughed to scorn. er The just upright man is laughed to scorn.' Holiness is in disgrace among ungodly men. Those men of whom the world was not worthy,