Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
I. THE HUMBLE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD'S POWER. (Ver. 2.) God can do everything; and no "beginning," no germinating or budding thought, is hidden from him; he sees it alike in its origin, development, and end. Both the fearful forms of force in the animal life of nature, and the striking destinies of individual men, are constant proofs of the presence of him who governs the world in power and in justice.
II. AS ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HIS OWN IGNORANCE AND WEAKNESS. (Ver. 3.) Justly did God rebuke him in the question, "Who darkeneth counsel without understanding?" He has been passing judgment on matters he did not understand, drawing conclusions from imperfect premisses, dealing with things that are and must remain to us mysterious, as if they could be explained by the rules of a limited experience. [t is this haste, this childish impatience of suspense, which drives some into discontent and murmuring, others into unbelief and atheism. A haste to speak before our thought is ripe, a haste to judge before the materials of judgment are at hand, - these lead in human intercourse and in Divine relations to false positions, which must be sooner or later abandoned. But we see in Job -
III. THE EXPRESSION AND THE ACT OF PENITENT. (Vers. 4-6.) Quoting (ver. 4) the summons of Jehovah at the beginning of his discourses (Job 38:3 and Job 40:7), he gives the answer alone befitting and required. He had before heard of God, i.e. had had an indirect and imperfect acquaintance with God. There is a knowledge of God at second hand which is insufficient to bring us to the sense of our true relations to him (comp. Psalm 48:9). We hear about God from the sources of early instruction, parents, teachers, pulpits, and books, and yet may thus not be brought into personal communication with God. In contrast to this is the personal vision of God. Not with the eyes of the body, but with the deeper view of the mind - the intellectual intuition, the contemplation of the Invisible through his creative manifestations (Romans 1:19, 20). This immediate view of God produces at once a new view of sell. To see that God is infinite is to see that we are finite; to behold his perfection is to be sensible of our own imperfection; to acknowledge him to be in the right is to confess that our thoughts are wrong; to be amazed and enraptured with his glory is to loathe our own meanness. Yet these thoughts may exist in the mind, and yet be without result except that of conscious misery. But their tendency and their purpose are to produce repentance, as we see in the example of Job. And here we mark the traits of a true repentance. It is to" recall" the idle word, the impious thought; and it is to reverse the attitude of the mind from that of presumption and pride to that of submission and humility. So in dust and ashes, with pride abased, overcome by the Divine majesty, would Job offer those sacrifices which God does not despise (Psalm 51.). In returning to God he returns to his true spirit and attitude of patience. Out of this, by the provocation of his friends, he had allowed himself to be mused. But now hearing the rod, and who hath appointed it, kissing the hand that hath smitten, he waits in silence until the blessing of the Most High anew exalts the sincere penitent. - J.
I. A JUST APPREHENSION OF THE DIVINE POWER. The ability of God to work all in all - to do whatsoever he pleaseth. "Now I know that thou canst do everything."
II. A LOWLY RECOGNITION OF THE DIVINE KNOWLEDGE. "No thought can be withholden from thee." Not only the visible works of the world are before the eye of the Almighty, but the very thoughts and intents of the mind (ver. 2).
III. A BECOMING ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PERSONAL IGNORANCE, ERROR, AND PRESUMPTION. (Ver. 3.) Before God Job confesses his faults, though in presence of man he maintained his untarnished integrity. But he who may feel himself able to answer to his fellow may fall silent before the infinitely Holy One. Job's confession reveals -
IV. A LOWLY PENITENCE, which finds its expression in fervent prayer (ver. 4). Job is willing to be taught of God. He abandons his own self-confident boasting. He is truly humbled. All this is produced by -
V. A VIVID PERCEPTION OF THE SUPREME NATURE OF GOD. He is not dependent for this upon the teachings of friends. "Now mine eye seeth thee." The true vision of God humbles the proudest heart. It is finally perfected -
VI. IN SELF-ABHORRENCE AND SINCERE REPENTANCE. This is the end of all When man has reached his lowest estate he may be lifted up. The whole course of Job's affliction with the whole teaching of the poem brings the sufferer in penitent, contrite humiliation to the footstool of Divine mercy. "In dust and ashes" Job repents, renounces all his claim to self-righteousness, and casts himself upon that God who has declared himself to be just, to care for his creatures, and to wait as with open ear to listen to the voice of their cry. Job is truly broken before God. All his pride is crushed. He is a lowly suppliant. He justifies God in his own self-condemnation. - R.G.
I. THE FACT OF GOD'S SUPREMACY. This is what Job has now come to see. God is supreme both in power and in wisdom.
1. In power. There is no resisting his might. He does as he will with the children of men. Even "the king of the children of pride" is one of his creatures, endowed with the might he has given, and subject to the laws he has imposed. All rebellion against God's will must be futile. It can be no better than dashing one's self against a granite cliff. But if God is so powerful when opposed to us, he is equally powerful as our Saviour. He uses his might to further what is good as well as to thwart what is evil. If he can cast the mighty down, he can lift. the helpless up.
2. In knowledge. There is thought in all the work of God. But God's thought also penetrates to all that we do. No excuses or subterfuges can enable us to elude his searching glance. He knows the hidden sin. But he also knows the hidden sorrow; and the misjudged sufferer is quite understood by God. Friends may calumniate, as they calumniated Job; but God knows all.
II. THE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS FACT. Job is now brought to see that God is supreme in power and knowledge. He may have admitted the truth in words all along. But he did not appreciate it until the end of his long trial. In his very natural but very foolish complaints he was virtually ignoring the great truth which he is now confessing. How, then, has he come at length to perceive it as by the flash of a new revelation?
1. Through suffering. Many lessons are being taught by the strange experience of Job; among them some are for his own benefit. Suffering opens our eyes to our own littleness and to the greatness of God.
2. By means of the works of nature. The great theophany, wherein God called to Job out of the whirlwind, led to a display of some of the grandest works of God, first in the physical forces of the universe, and then in the most wonderful creatures of the animal world. A study of nature should lead us to perceive both the power and the wisdom of God.
III. THE CONFESSION. It is one thing for God to be supreme, and another thing for man to know that he is. Yet a third stage is reached when the truth is-frankly admitted and openly confessed. It is our duty to confess the supremacy of God.
1. For the glory of God. We rob him of his own when we ignore his great power and wisdom. Worship, which acknowledges the greatness of God, and adores him, not only for might and knowledge, but also for righteousness and love, is a right and fitting exercise for all spiritual beings.
2. For our own guidance and assurance. The confession will help us to obey God. It will also aid us in the attempt to bear the strange distresses of life. When the confession advances beyond what Job saw, surely submission should be more perfect. If we are to be patient when we see that God is almighty and all-wise, we should be confident when we go on to see that he is just and merciful. - W.F.A.
I. A HEARSAY KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. This is what Job possessed in the old days. Not that he was without any religious experience in those prosperous times. But the shallowness of it in comparison with what he has now attained makes it look of little worth. Most of us begin in this way. We hear of God "by the hearing of the ear." This is especially true in a Christian country. Here we seem to breathe a Christian atmosphere, and Christian ideas float in upon us unsought. But the faint perception of God that is acquired in this way cannot be of very great value to us. Historical facts can only be known by testimony, and the facts of the gospel must reach us through "the hearing of the ear." But we have got a very little way when we have only come to understand and believe in the historical character of those facts. We are still only among the antiquarian relics at a museum. There is no life in such a knowledge, and it has little influence over us.
II. A PERSONAL VISION OF GOD. "Now mine eye seeth thee." Job had longed for a revelation of God; at length he has received one. But this was not in a vision like those of Jacob at Bethel or Moses at Horeb. It was not after the manner of the startling apparition that Eliphaz describes with so much pomp and self-importance (Job 4:12-21). It was the calm inward vision of spiritual experience, which is indeed an experience of God.
1. This has been brought about through trouble. In his great distress Job has been continually seeking God. His grief has strengthened his hold upon the unseen world by making him feel that world to be most real.
2. God has spoken and manifested himself, Religion is not a one-sided effort of man to reach after God. God descends to man, and the communion of God's Spirit with man's spirit is the deepest fact in religious experience.
3. This interior vision of God is what all our souls need. We have to go beyond the hearing of sermons to our own personal experience of God. Then we begin to understand him; then he becomes real to us; then we can say with Tsuler, "I am more certain of the being of God than I am of my own existence."
III. THE EFFECT OF THE NEW EXPERIENCE.
1. It leads to self-humiliation It is vain any longer to boast of our own rights and to make the most of ourselves. We cannot think of ourselves but with shame and. confusion of face in the light of the new vision of God. When once he manifests himself to us, he is everything.
2. It awakens repentance. In the light of God we not only see our littleness, we perceive our sire This vision had done for Job what all the harangues of his three friends had failed to effect. They had charged him falsely, and his pride had been hardened by their unjust accusations. God had not charged him at all, but the very vision of the Divine at once revealed his mistaken position to Job. He saw that he had been wrong in arraigning the justice of God. So it will ever be. We never know ourselves till we see ourselves in the light of God. - W.F.A.
I. THE DIVINE JUSTIFICATION OF JOB. (Vers. 7-10.) The cure of the inward sickness of the sufferer's spirit is followed here, as we often see in the course of life, by outward health and happiness.
1. The reproof of the friends. (Ver. 7.) Addressing Eliphaz, as their chief spokesman, Jehovah declares his displeasure that they have not spoken the truth concerning him. Not that they have spoken with wilful dishonesty, but that they have been in error. There has been a want of heart, and therefore a want of right thought. They have refused to receive the testimony of a brother's substantial innocence; have persistently tried to fix on him a guilt which did not exist. The habit of censeriousness, the habitual exclusion of charity from our feelings, vitiates and falsifies the whole course of our thought. The grave question arises, whether any intellectual error can in the end escape condemnation; whether the very definition of such error is not the thought arising from an evil state of heart. But Job, on the other hand, has spoken the substantial truth, and for the opposite reason. Again and again we have seen how his contention is for truth; and how, beneath all the irritation of his hasty words, there has been throbbing a heart true to God. And now comes the hour of recognition, as it ever will come for every faithful soul. What a blissful sound is there in those words of recognition and of pardon and of justification, "My servant Job"! What grace in the long-delayed, but now fully granted answer to the prayer (Job 16:21) that right may be done before God and his friends! But let us clearly grasp and retain the principle and the contents of this Divine judgment. The friends spoke ill, and Job spoke well. This is the Divine judgment. On what ground is it based? Their one point was this: affliction is the evidence of God's wrath, and of the afflicted one's guilt. And they were wrong. Job's insistence is that afflictions are not always the sign of the sufferer's guilt nor of the anger of God. And Job is right. And there remains the grand principle illustrated by the discourses of Jehovah, and on which this judgment rests, that affliction comes from the will of supreme power and justice. And this is so, although the reasons of affliction cannot by our imperfect intelligence be fully known. At the same time, the judgment on this great point at issue does not exclude the elements of truth and beauty to be richly found in the discourses of the friends; nor does it excuse the passion and the hasty speeches of Job.
2. Sacrifice for sin and intercessoty prayer. (Vers. 8, 9.) The friends are directed to perform an act of worship, the character el which appears to point back to early times (comp. Numbers 23:1; Genesis 7:2, 3; Genesis 8:20, et seq.). All outward sacrifices were the visible expression of inward feelings, of thankfulness and joy, of reverence, and especially, as here, of the desire of the penitent to renounce his sin and be at one with his God. Blood was the most sacred symbol, because it was the expression of life. The life of the animal offered in sacrifice represents the life of the worshipper surrendered to God. Hence for us the deep significance of the "blood of Christ;" and the highest act of worship is the presenting ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, to God through Christ and his sacrifice; that is, with his spiritual sacrifice present to the eye of the spirit, as the ancient animal sacrifice was present to the bodily eye of the early worshipper. Then, on the other hand, sacrifice as divinely ordained is a language from God to us, as well as one on our part to God. It bespeaks the willingness of God to enter into relations of peace with man. It therefore announces the possibility of repentance and of forgiveness conditional upon repentance; and so calls man to turn, to be converted and healed. Thus regarded and used, the great Christian sacrament is a powerful means of grace, and is most appropriately resorted to at such great epochs of spiritual history as that here set before us. Again, the passage brings to notice the privilege of intercession. "Pray for one another, that ye may be healed" As the intercession of Abraham for Abimelech is honoured, so now is Job appointed a mediator and intercessor for those who have forfeited a measure of Divine grace, and thus the prophecy of Eliphaz (Job 22:30) is realized. We are encouraged in the New Testament to pray for one another. The great law of mediation runs through life (comp. Butler's 'Analogy'), and this is one of its illustrations. A value is justly attached to good men's prayers. How far this privilege extends, and what are its limits, we do not know. It belongs to spiritual laws, the operation of which cannot be fully verified in the field of experience. It is a truth revealed in the heart and for the heart; and the heart has reasons, as Pascal says, which reason knows not. Let us sacredly guard the oracles of the heart, and thankfully receive every ray of confirmatory light that actual experience affords. The song of a tiny bird by the wayside which brings us comfort, may be a messenger of God to the soul; and the prayer of our feebleness for those whom we know not otherwise how to assist may effect a far-working good, as may theirs for us. But what a beautiful touch is this in the narrative, "Jehovah turned the captivity of Job while he was praying for his friends"! For it points to the fact that amongst the best moments of our life are those in which we lose sight of self in thought for others; when we can forgive and forget the injuries we have received from others, and seek their good in deeds of kindness, in words of prayer.
II. RESTORATION OF OUTWARD PROSPERITY. (Vers. 11-17.) "Twice as much as he had before." God takes away only to enrich, never to ruin and destroy, the faithful heart. He knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation; and as we have seen throughout the book the powers by which he leads souls to himself more nearly, so here we see his "end" (James 5:7-11; 1 Corinthians 10:13). The swallow-like friendship of men, vanishing as the winter of trouble draws on, returning when the sun of prosperity gains power once more, is contrasted with t he enduring, never-changing friendship of the eternal, one God. The life, then, the sufferings, the triumph and happy end of Job, are a type for all ages of the lot of the Christian, of the child of God. A harmony of the inward spirit with the outward surroundings is necessary to the completeness of life. This restored possession of wealth and honour is a happier state than his life's beginning, because it is a state more truly in relation to God. All that he has and enjoys he now possesses for God's sake. God is revealed in his gifts, and from his presence and love they derive their savour. Dens meus et omnia! "My God and my all!" is the motto of the heart purified and humbled by affliction. The darkness and the mystery pass away from the life when the great secret is discovered that in all outward changes "God is God to me." Here is a type of him who was humbled to the death of the cross, and who, because he, though a Son, learned obedience by the things he suffered, received a name above every name. What, then, have we to do, as followers of him, but to commit ourselves to God as to a faithful Creator; to receive what he assigns us humbly, and enjoy it thankfully, knowing that by denying us many things on which our hearts are set, he is doing us the greatest kindness in the world, which is to "keep us from temptation," and by keeping us from temptation, to "deliver us from evil," and by delivering us from evil, to prepare and fit us for all the good that can be desired, and for himself, the endless inexhaustible Fountain of it, "in whose presence there is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore"? To whom be ascribed all praise, might, majesty, and dominion for ever. Amen. - J.
I. AN ASSERTION OF THE ERROR OF HIS ENEMIES. (Ver. 7.) They had not spoken of God the thing that was right, and their unjust accusations of Job are found to have had no foundation in truth.
II. A TESTIMONY TO JOB'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Vers. 7, 8.) As the heart is so the lips speak; and Job had spoken that which was right. To this Jehovah bears witness. But a higher testimony is forthcoming -
III. IN THE DECLARATION OF THE ACCEPTABILITY OF HIS PRIESTLY SERVICE. "Him will I accept." Even the self-assured teachers who could find so many faults with Job are now directed to bring their offering to him that he may intercede for them. It was the utmost humiliation of them (ver. 9) and the utmost elevation of him. "The Lord also accepted Job."
IV. A further vindication is given IN THE SPECIAL MARKS OF THE DIVINE FAVOUR SHOWN TO JOB.
1. His affliction was removed. "His captivity was turned."
2. He was enriched with abundant possessions. "The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before" (ver. 12).
3. His friendships were restored (ver. 11).
4. He was enriched by the tokens of sympathy and good will. "Every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an ear-ring of gold."
5. His family joys were restored to him (vers. 13-16).
6. His life was prolonged in honour and happiness (vers. 16, 17). "So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning." - R.G.
I. THEY WHO ACCUSE OTHERS LAY THEMSELVES OUT TO BE ACCUSED. Even when they act innocently this is the case. The censor should be above reproach. His action shows that he is awake to moral considerations, that he is not unable to perceive them, that he sets a high value on them. Then he should apply them to himself. "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things" (Romans 2:1). Further, the habit of censoriousness provokes accusations. It shows an unkind and a proud spirit. There is not the motive of compassion to lead us to pass lightly over his faults in the case of a censorious person, which influences us when we have to do with one of a modest and kindly disposition (Matthew 7:1-7).
II. GOD IS ANGRY WITH THOSE WHO ADVOCATE HIS CAUSE UNRIGHTEOUSLY. This was the great fault of the three friends. They represented themselves as God's champions, and professed to speak for God when they arraigned Job. Yet they spoke what was not right. God cannot but be angry when he is thus misrepresented. He does not seek the low-toned homage of the courtier who cares only to propitiate his Master, regardless of right and truth. Some of the people who think themselves God's best friends will have a great deal to answer for when their just and righteous Lord calls them to account. No falsehood can please God, and least of all can one please him that professes to be uttered for his benefit. This is not a case in which the end justifies the means. It is most grievous in the sight of God, because it dishonours his Name. We cannot depend on unjust actions By representing them as beneficial to the cause of religion. A false theology is not redeemed by the pretext that it glorifies God.
III. THE TRUE REVENGE IS TO "HEAP COALS OF FIRE" ON MEN BY DEEDS OF KINDNESS. Job is fully and gloriously avenged. Not only is his innocence of the gross charges brought against him by his friends made clear, not only are they condemned by God, but Job is called upon to intercede for their pardon. Thus in the first place they are thoroughly humiliated, as Haman was when he was condemned to lead the horse of Mordecai Esther 6:9, 10). But Job is far too magnanimous to triumph over their defeat, Even when he is interceding for them, we may be sure that his action betrays no pride. For has he not been repenting himself in dust and ashes (ver. 6)? Assuredly Job's intercession was generous and heartfelt. He could afford to forgive when he had himself been graciously accepted by God. The best vengeance we can have on those who ill-treat us is to pray for them, not in hypocritical self-righteousness, but in true-hearted, unaffected kindness. This is Christ's method. He subdues his enemies by dying for them. - W.F.A.
I. THE REVERSAL.
1. A true reversal. Job's troubles have come to an end. That was a long avenue of fire which he was made to pass through; but the terminus was reached at last. Man may be "born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7); but he is not born to everlasting trouble. St. Paul writes of "our light affliction, which is but for a moment" (2 Corinthians 4:17). Present distress is not a presage of future evil. The very blackness of the clouds that gather about our heads in the dark hour prevents us from seeing the distant prospect where sunshine awaits those who are faithful in trial. There is room for hope, even if we see no light, for though trouble may be lengthy, love outlasts it; "the mercy of the Lord endureth for ever."
2. A Divine reversal. Satan inflicted the blows, though with the permission of God. It is God himself who brings back prosperity. Through whatever channels and instruments evil may come upon us, good comes from the hand of God. Satan simply disappears from the drama. His bold assertions are so absolutely refuted, and he is so completely discomfited, that he passes into oblivion. In the day of the Lord, God's action is everything.
II. ITS OCCASION. Why did the reversal come when it did? Why not earlier? Why not later? The note of time is significant. God reversed the fortune of Job "when he prayed for his friends."
1. In humility. Job was first brought very low. His fidelity had been severely tested, and it had stood the strain. Job did not "curse God and die." Satan's charge was abundantly refuted. Job was not serving God only for the profits accruing from religion. Disinterested devotion was proved to be possible. Yet Job was not faultless. At least there were advantages to be gained by discipline. It would have been cruel to have used him as an unconscious example for the settlement of a question with which he had no concern, like the victim of vivisection. This was not the case. Elihu showed how God trained and educated his children in the school of affliction. Job had been to that school, and there he had learnt humility and a true appreciation of the greatness of God, whom man cannot judge.
2. In kindness. Job bears no grudge against his three friends. He intercedes for them in genuine concern for their condition under the wrath of God. When he shows a forgiving spirit God is most merciful to him. This is not the formal return of payment; but it is a gracious reward, and it is a favour shown to one who is fit to accept it. For we are never so fit to receive good fortune as when we are chiefly occupied in kindly concern for others. Selfish prayers do not bring a blessing. We are most blessed when we forget ourselves in praying for others.
III. ITS EFFECTS. Job's fortune is doubled. God never blesses imperfectly. He does not simply mend and patch up the broken life. He heals and renews and blesses with superabundant kindness. Job's fortune was but external. This was according to the ideas of primitive time& Christ has led us to look for higher blessings. The Christian Job may never recover his property or his health; and yet in his afflictions he may receive his greatest heritage of blessing from Heaven. But whatever be the form of God's blessing, it is great and wonderful. The Christian has more than a Paradise regained. The second Adam brings a kingdom of heaven that is more precious than the lost Eden. The soul that has been tried by fire has a richer inheritance in God than it ever had in the old days of peace. The discipline of sorrow is the key to wonderful treasures of heavenly joy. - W.F.A.
I. A REVIVAL OF OLD FRIENDSHIPS. We are horrified to have it brought distinctly before us on the last page of the book that Job had had brothers and sisters as well as other acquaintances during the whole time of his affliction; and yet they had discreetly retired from the unpleasant neighbourhood of the afflicted man. Now they reappear with his prosperity. This common experience of life is often commented on with some bitterness. But Job shows no bitterness. His grand soul forgets the previous unkindness In his own humility he ignores the faults of his brethren. With princely magnanimity he accepts their presents when he does not need them, though they had not thought fit to offer them him in the time of his dire necessity. This is the Christ-spirit. There is no true happiness in selfish isolation. Even though our acquaintances may not deserve much attention, it is a miserably selfish thing to throw them off. Generosity is a mark of genuine health of soul. The Christian must learn to be brotherly and to cultivate social sympathies.
II. A RECOVERY OF GREAT POSSESSIONS. Job is now richer than ever, and he is now more than ever fitted to hold wealth. He will receive it back with double gratitude. He will recognize more clearly that it all comes from the hand of God. Having himself suffered from hardships and troubles, he will be the better able to succour the afflicted. Therefore he can well be trusted with great wealth. It is not every good man to whom wealth would be a blessing, or who would make a good use of it. But when God gives temporal prosperity to one of his true servants, this should be accepted not only as a token of his kindness, but also as a trust. The talents are increased; so is the responsibility.
III. THE GIFT OF A NEW FAMILY. Property is a poor recompense to offer to the bereaved and desolate man. A true father values his children above all flocks and herds. Job is to be restored in all respects. And yet we cannot but feel that to have more children, but other ones, could not make up for the loss of the first family. Job's fatherly heart could not have been thus easily satisfied. All we can say is that the picture of the return of prosperity is made as complete as it could be. But we have a brighter prospect through Christ in again meeting the blessed dead, who are not lost, but who have only gone on before us.
IV. THE ENJOYMENT OF FULNESS OF LIFE. Job lives to a green old age. In his misery he had prayed for death; in his renewed prosperity life is a boon. The value of life depends on the use that is made of it. In Christ the poorest earthly life is rich; and the most unfortunate life is well worth living when it is given to God. But the Old Testament blessedness of long life is enlarged in the New Testament, and appears as the gift of eternal life - the greatest blessing enjoyed by God's redeemed children. - W.F.A.
I. THE GOOD MAN MAY RECEIVE TOKENS OF THE DIVINE BLESSING IN THE FORM OF HEALTH, HONOUR, AND FAMILY JOY.
II. THE GOOD MAN, THOUGH MAINTAINING HIS INTEGRITY, MAY LOSE HIS POSSESSIONS, HIS HEALTH, AND HIS FAMILY JOY THROUGH THE TESTINGS AND TEMPTATIONS OF SATAN.
III. THAT THE HONOR OF EVEN A GOOD MAN MAY BE TEMPORARILY OVERSHADOWED BY UNTOWARD CIRCUMSTANCES.
IV. THAT THE LOSS OF ALL THINGS, AND THE ENDURANCE OF SUFFERINGS BY THE FAITHFUL, ARE NOT ALWAYS TO BE INTERPRETED INTO TOKENS OF THE DIVINE DISPLEASURE.
V. THAT IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE GOOD TO MAINTAIN THEIR INTEGRITY UNIMPAIRED AMIDST GREAT LOSS, PAIN, AND SORROW.
VI. THAT TO HIM WHO MAINTAINS HIS INTEGRITY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE TIME OF CALAMITY GOD WILL GIVE A FINAL TESTIMONY OF APPROVAL.
VII. THAT THE END OF AFFLICTION AND SORROW IS THE PURIFICATION OF THE CHARACTER, AND THE GLORY OF GOD.
VIII. THAT THE VINDICATION OF THE CHARACTER OF THE GOOD IS IN THE HANDS OF THE LORD. So the Book of Job harmonizes with the general teaching of the entire Word of God. Its many beautiful, simple truths scattered in such profusion are as so many separate flowers; but the whole presents the appearance of a well-watered garden. The book has its place of high importance in that book which is for the education of the world. It has served its purpose as a medium for the revelation of important truths, and it has been made a means of blessing to thousands of afflicted ones who have "heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; how that the Lord is full of pity, and merciful" (James 5:11). - R.G.