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Wovm; how much it is our wisdom to submit to him who is aJ» mighty. He sees many sins and corruptions in us, which we see not in ourselves; and therefore we may well tremble to appear before his tribunal. Farther, let this lead us to admire and adore the divine condescension in taking notice of us; and above all to acknowledge the grace of Christ Jesus in becoming a man of sorrows for our sake. David, speaking of the Messiah, says, Psalm xxii. 6. I am drsfiitscd, a worm, and no man ; (it is the same word in the original as that which is used here.) This was the most remarkable display of divine love to sinners. Let us make such thoughts familiar to our minds, and often make that reflection to which David alludes, Lord, what in man, that thou art mindful of him, and the ton of many that thou visitcst him. Psalm viii. 4.
Jub observing Bildad wandering from the fioint, derides hit affectation of-wisdom, and shows hi in that he was as capable of talking of the** things as himself.
U T Job answered and said, How hast thou helped [him that is] without power; that is, Eliphaz, who tecs borne down by my arguments? [how] savest thou the arm fthat hath] no strength? as if he had said, thou art a noble ally in this causet 5 a mighty support to the argument! How hast thou counselled [him that hath] no wisdom? surely Eliphaz is very unhappy to have S3 bad a defender .' and [how] hast thou plentifully declared;
4 the thing as it is? alluding to the shortness of his speech. To •whom hast thou uttered words? am J ignorant of these things t and whose spirit came from thee ? dost thou speak by inspiration .? Bildadhad spoken of God's majesty in the heavens; here Job in an.
5 exalted strain goes on to observe other instances of it. Dead [things] are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants
6 thereof; great gigantic things, as vast fnhes, and the like. Hell [is] naked before him, and destruction hath no covering; he displays his power in the unseen world; not only in the grave, but in
7 the world of separate spirits, and in hell itself. He stretcheth out the north, the whole expanse of heaven, over the empty place, the abyss or chaos, [and] hangeth the earth upon nothing; supportsif, and keeps it in its place, notwithstanding its motions and revo
t lutions. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; as in a bag, or leather bottle, which prevents the rainjrom coming down violently, and causes it to distil in drops; and the cloud is not rent
9 under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, [and] spreadeth his cloud upon it ; conceals his brightest glory from JO human eyes, which are in.apab/e of beholding it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end; keeps the sea in bounds as kng as the world shall stand.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof; the highest, strongest mountains^ called the pillars of heaven, as the clouds teem to rest upon them, these tremble -with earthquakes.
12 He divideth the sea with his power, raiseth high waves, which look like lieefi furrows, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud, maketh it calm again; or rather, here is an allusion to his dividing the Red sea and striking through the
13 proud; in the original it is Rahab, that is, Egypt. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens, adorned them with to many bright luminaries; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent, the con
1Ф stellation so called, or the milky way.* Lo, these [are] parts of bis ways, the outlines or sketches of them : but how little a por« tion is heard of him? Л/я wisdom is unsearchable : but the thunder of bis .power who can understand ? it is as impossible to be traced or discovered, as to resist the stroke of his arm, or withstand his thunder.
1. Т Т may be here observed, that useful truths may not always JL be to the purpose. Bildad hath some just and noble thoughts: the premises are good, but the conclusion wrong; it was not adapted to Job's case, nor suited to comfort him. He should have set before hirrt'consolations, rather than the majesty and terror of the Lord. It should be our care that our addresses to our friends, especially to those in affliction, may be suitable, a word spoken in seaлоп. This should be the peculiar study of ministers; and they should pray that God would give them the tongue of the learned.
2. Let us contemplate the omniscience and majesty of God. It îs a useful and instructive subject. He sees all things, in heaven and earth; the deep places and repositories of the dead, and therefore he can raise them. Hell is o/u:n to him. Let us reverence his power, who supporteth the earth. It hath no prop but omnipotence; a man tannot hang a feather upon nothing, but God supports the earth, ile formed the heavenly luminaries, he garnished them. Let this lead our thoughts to the almighty architect; he can shake the pillars of/icavm, ttteft the sea within bounds, and in his hand are the deep places of 'he earth. Great is the l^ord, and greatly to be
feared, His power is vast, his understanding infinite. 'Who would not fiar thi-c, O King ofi:ations!
3. We should remember and consider, that v;c know but little of God at best. After the most diligent inquiries, the helps of reaso«> Scripture, historv, and observations, we know but a small part, only the outlines. His wisdom is infinite; his works, and the wonders contained in them, ace innumerable. Let us guard against presumption, in arraigning his proceedings, and not determine positively upon a plan which we see but little of. Let our understanding; and conscience pay the highest veneration to God. The more sen« ously we contemplate his nature and his works, the greater reason we shall have to admire and adore, and to say with the apostle, 0 the defith of the riches of the •wisdom and the knowledge of God! hoy) un* •^searchable ate his judgments, and his ways fiast finding out.
'• JJp. Sherlock thick« this ¡i an allusion t» SaUn api caring in that form to tempt Eve.
Job in this chafiter proceed* to assert his innocence i represents the doom of hypocrites, and the misery of the wicked, who are often, but not always, destroyed by signal judgments.
1 ""^/TOREO VER Job continued his parable,* and said, [As]
2 _LVX God liveth, [who] hath taken away my judgment; and ihc Almighty, [who] hath vexed my soul; as God liveth who
S hath afflicted me, and taken away the comforts of my life; All the while my breath [is] in me, and the spirit of God [is] in my
* nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue Utter deceit ; as long as I live I will not vindicate myself, if guilty;
5 or accw.e myself, if innocent. God forbid that I should justify you, and confess the guilt with which you charge me: till I die I
6 will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach [me] so long as I live; I am determined to maintain and defend my innocence, and never say or do any thing for which my conscience
7 may u/ibraid me. Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous; / can wish no greater mischief to my worst enemy, than to be wicked; and therefore I
8 do not approve tf it, whatever you may think of me. For what [is] the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, though he grows rich and great, when God taketh away his soul? alas I he
9 hath no comfortable hope of hereafter. Will God hear his cry
10 when trouble cometh upon him ? he cannot expect it. Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God? can he have confort from religion, and will he persevere in it, even
11 when afflictions come? I will teach you by the hand of God: [that] which [is] with the Almighty, will I not conceal; by the assistance of God, I will instruct you in snme of the dispensation*
12 of his providence. Behold, all ye yourselves have seen [it ;] why then are ye thus altogether vain? I appeal to your own experience, which makes it strange you should persist in your opinion.
13 This [is] the portio% of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, [which] they shall receive of the Almighty;
14 this is often their portion, but not universally so. If his children be multiplied, [it is] for the sword, either of justice, or popular tumult: and his offspring shaU not be satisfied with bread; O»'/j
15 ers of them shall be reduced to poverty. Those that remain of
• A pariplt her; ncini i weighty and iintructivc di scourie. He spoke at one having authority, as UK word »ijni&. j.
him shall be buried in death : and his widows shall not weep;
other» shall be destroyed by pestilential disease», to that none »hall bury them; even their nearest relations shall not lament for themt
16 their character is so detestable. Though he heap up silver as the!
17 dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; He may prepare [it,] but the just shall put [it] on, and the innocent shall divide the
IB silver; God shall transfer it to another and better family. He buildeth his house as a moth, which is most easily destroyed, and as a booth [that] the keeper maketh, a little hut, run ufi in the corner oj'the garden or vineyard, for the kec/icr to watch the fruit
19 there. The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered, shall not have the honour of burial: he openeth his eyes, and
CO he [is] not, he it gone at once. Terrors take hold on him as water», in great numbers and violence, a tempest stcaleth him
21 away in the night, silently hurries him aiuay; or The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth
22 him out of his place, in a fiuolrc, violent manner. For [Clod] shall cast upon him, and not spare ; send one plague after another, so that he shall not escajie, though he would fain flee out of his
23 hand, though he qflen and vigorously attempts if. [Men] shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place; men shall rejoice -when he is dead, and Mes him out of the filace where he has been so much magnißed.
1. "XTiT^ 'n^er' tliat ser'lott3' s°lcmn engagements tobe just and V V honest, are proper and useful. Job here binds himselfi fts it were by a solemn oath, not to lie or deceive, even where his own character and credit were concerned. In doubtful and indifferent matters it is good and safe not to be peremptory; but when sin and duty are concerned, it is necessary to lay ourselves under the strictest engagements. In this view, solemn professions in prayer, written engagements to be the Lord's, end partaking of the Lord's supper, which is a sacred oath of fidelity to God, are very useful, and ought frequently to be recollected.
2. The condition of the hypocrite is most dreadful ; we could wish even our greatest enemy no worse. Thry have no comfort in religion or devotion; they cannot look up to God with peace in time of distress- Religion is a task and drudgery to them, and will soon be cast off. They may gain much, may hcafi ufi silver as dust, but what profit is Ihis, when G'«/ takcih away riHr soul? Let us dread this detestable character, and diligently search and try ьиг maye, that ve may not deceive and ruin ourselves.
3. We may reflect on the contrary character, thai of a good таи; and a truly honourable and comfortable one it is. He delights himte/fin the jilniighty; he а/п-ауя culls tt/iwi God, and can approach hi» throne with humble confidence in the day of evil. Though he gi'ins liule of the world, has little or no silver, yet he has an
better portion; he lives honoured, and dies lamented. When God takes away his soul, he takes it to himself, to be perfectly and eteinally happy. And therefore,
4. Let us never remove our integrity from us, but continue upright, hold fast our righteousness, and never ¡rt it go, upon any temptation whatsoever; and be careful so to behave, that our heart may never re/troach us as long as we live.
The fiur/tarl of this whole chapter is, that there are dffiths in the divine councils unknown to us, particularly, why God does not inflict those fiuniikmente on all wicked men in this life that he does itflon tome; and that the chief wisdom of man is to be religious
1 O U RELY, there is a vein for the silver, and a place for kj gold [where] they fine [it ;] men find out ¡ireciout metals
2 and refine them. Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass [is] tuoltcn [out of] the stone ; they discover and /ire/iare iron and
•3 brass. He setteth an end to darkness, and scarcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness and the shadow of death ; he diggeth down into dark /¡laces, even into the most hidden and obscure fiart« of the earth, and acorches them out in the most /lerfccC
t manner. The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; [even the waters] forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they arc gone away from men ; they find great maters in the botvils of the earth, which those who walk en it know not of, and by the art. and labour of miners they are turned into a different channel, or
5 drained off. [ As for] the earth, out of, or from, it coineth bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire; si¿//¡/.ur, coals,
6 and other fuel. The stones of it [are] the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold ; among the stones they find gems and gold.
7 [Tnere is] a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen; a filace so dee/i, that no shar/i night
8 ed bird ever discovered it. The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it; lion« that rove about and
9 »eek solitary ¡ilace» never find it. He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overtumelh the mountains by the roots.
10 He cuttcth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth evei-y precious thing; the minera cut their may through rockt,
11 or blow (hem ufi, and discover precious minerait or metals. He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and [the thing that is] hid bringeth he forth to light; they dam ufi maters, or turn the course of rivers, to find out the treasure] contained in the
12 earth. But, though he be so indefatigable and successful in /hete searches, yet where shall wisdom be found? and where [is] the place of understanding I he can nrver penetrate the depths of the
13 divine countel: Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living; it cannât Ьсpossessed orfound
Vol. IV. Y