Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?
The truth which was here held up before Job is an inspiring one. We have to do with a God who does unsearchably marvellous things, not a few, but many, things, literally numberless.
I. Why then do we not expect marvellous things from God? (1) One reason is that we go too much by past experience. We often read our past experience in a most imperfect, careless, and unfair way, forgetting important parts and misinterpreting others. But even though we read it correctly, we should be wrong in forecasting our future by it. We have no right to measure God by our experience. (2) Some, again, think too much of law. They forget two things—freedom and God. A spirit is something not included in the rigid system of law. A spirit is itself a cause, and originates. It produces. It makes a new start. That lies in the very nature of a moral being, and God is infinitely free. He deals with the soul in ways unsearchable. (3) Some think only of their own working, and not of God's. Feeling and knowing their own force, and not thinking of God's, men settle down into small expectations. They do not realise the possible by God's power and promise. (4) We fear to lessen our own diligence by the expectation of great and marvellous things being done for us by God.
II. Notice some reasons why we should cherish the expectation of the great and marvellous. (1) Such an expectation is essential to the fulness of the praying spirit. (2) It would raise our zeal in God's cause to live in expectation of the vast promises in His word being fulfilled any day. (3) Such a thought would fill us with courage and joy, and elevate us above present care, and toil, and sorrow.
J. Leckie, Sermons Preached at Ibrox, p. 51.
Job 5:19I. The Friend spoken of in the text is none other than God Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus. "In six troubles He will be with you; yea, in seven no evil shall happen unto you." When trouble comes, it is trouble, say what we will; and when misfortune happens, it cannot do so without the evil of it touching us in some way. But if the Lord Jesus be with us in our trouble, then the trouble will be found easy to bear; and if when misfortune happens Christ is with us, we shall find that His presence outweighs in good all the evil that would crush us if it could. Learn then to cultivate nearness to Jesus. Go to Him constantly. Pray often. Read His holy word. Do His holy will. Then He will always be with you, ready to help in time of need.
II. A traveller has told us that he once witnessed a battle between a poisonous spider and an insect which it attacked. Every time the insect was bitten by the spider, and before the poison could work it settled on the leaves of a plant hard by and sucked them; and as it sucked them it was healed, and returned to the battle as strong and brave as before. But the traveller was cruel enough to take away the plant. The poor insect when bitten went as usual to look for it, but could not find it, and presently died on the spot. Here you have a picture of what is going on continually. Just like this feeble insect, you have to wage a battle with a poisonous enemy—Satan. As the insect, every time it was bitten, went to the healing plant, so you must go to the Healer likewise. There is but one; it is the Lord Jesus. Go to Him, and you will come back to the battle as brave and fresh as ever. Nobody and nothing can remove Christ out of the way. He remains an everlasting refuge to all who choose to flee to Him.
G. Litting, Thirty Sermons for Children, p. 168.
References: Job 5:23.—W. Burrows, Christian World Pulpit, vol. x., p. 68. Job 5:24.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 314. Job 5:26.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. i., No. 43. Job 6:1.—S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 208. Job 6:10.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxv., No. 1471. Job 6:15-17—Homiletic Magazine, vol. x., p. 71. Job 6:25.—Expositor, 3rd series, vol. iv., p. 79. Job 6-7—S. Cox, Ibid., 1st series, vol. iv., p. 401; Ibid., Commentary on Job, p. 88. Job 7:1.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxi., No. 1258; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 286. Job 7:6.—E. Blencowe, Plain Sermons, 1st. series, p. 1. Job 7:12.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 262.
For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation.
His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them.
Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance.
Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;
Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:
Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:
Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields:
To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety.
He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.
They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night.
But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.
So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.
In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.
Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.
For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.
And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.
Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.
Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.
Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.