Job complains of unkind usage. (1-7) God was the Author of his
afflictions. (8-22) Job's belief in the resurrection. (23-29)
Job's friends blamed him as a wicked man, because he was so
afflicted; here he describes their unkindness, showing that what
they condemned was capable of excuse. Harsh language from
friends, greatly adds to the weight of afflictions: yet it is
best not to lay it to heart, lest we harbour resentment. Rather
let us look to Him who endured the contradiction of sinners
against himself, and was treated with far more cruelty than Job
was, or we can be.
How doleful are Job's complaints! What is the fire of hell
but the wrath of God! Seared consciences will feel it hereafter,
but do not fear it now: enlightened consciences fear it now, but
shall not feel it hereafter. It is a very common mistake to
think that those whom God afflicts he treats as his enemies.
Every creature is that to us which God makes it to be; yet this
does not excuse Job's relations and friends. How uncertain is
the friendship of men! but if God be our Friend, he will not
fail us in time of need. What little reason we have to indulge
the body, which, after all our care, is consumed by diseases it
has in itself. Job recommends himself to the compassion of his
friends, and justly blames their harshness. It is very
distressing to one who loves God, to be bereaved at once of
outward comfort and of inward consolation; yet if this, and
more, come upon a believer, it does not weaken the proof of his
being a child of God and heir of glory.
The Spirit of God, at this time, seems to have powerfully
wrought on the mind of Job. Here he witnessed a good confession;
declared the soundness of his faith, and the assurance of his
hope. Here is much of Christ and heaven; and he that said such
things are these, declared plainly that he sought the better
country, that is, the heavenly. Job was taught of God to believe
in a living Redeemer; to look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come; he comforted himself with the
expectation of these. Job was assured, that this Redeemer of
sinners from the yoke of Satan and the condemnation of sin, was
his Redeemer, and expected salvation through him; and that he
was a living Redeemer, though not yet come in the flesh; and
that at the last day he would appear as the Judge of the world,
to raise the dead, and complete the redemption of his people.
With what pleasure holy Job enlarges upon this! May these
faithful sayings be engraved by the Holy Spirit upon our hearts.
We are all concerned to see that the root of the matter be in
us. A living, quickening, commanding principle of grace in the
heart, is the root of the matter; as necessary to our religion
as the root of the tree, to which it owes both its fixedness and
its fruitfulness. Job and his friends differed concerning the
methods of Providence, but they agreed in the root of the
matter, the belief of another world.