But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach you; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell you:
1. The great lesson which the animal creation, regarded simply as the creature and subject of God, is fitted to teach us, is a lesson of the wisdom and power and constant beneficence of God. Job reminds the friends that what they had been laying down to him in so pompous a manner constituted only the mere elements of natural religion, and that a man had only to look around him and observe and ponder the phenomena of the visible universe, to be abundantly convinced that God, the maker of all things, was also the upholder of all things, and the supreme disposer of all events. Job sends us to the animal creation that we may gather from it instances of the greatness of the Creator's hand, and the constancy of the Creator's providence. Himself invisible, God is revealed in all the work of His hands, and it needs but the observing eye and the candid judgment to satisfy every one of His being and His perfections. God reveals Himself no less in the lapse of events than in the arrangements of creation. There is no nation, there is no household, but has in the record of its own experience abundant manifestations of His constant, and wise, and gracious superintendence of the affairs of earth. In the lesson which is thus taught to us concerning God, the animal creation bears its part. Not one of the creatures but is "fearfully and wonderfully made"; not one of them but is wisely and mercifully provided for. For every one of them there is a place, and to this each is adapted with transcendent skill and beneficence. Even the lower animals may be our teachers and speak to us of God.
2. The way in which the creatures spend their life, and use the powers which God has given them. In many respects they are examples to us, and by the propriety of their conduct rebuke the folly and wickedness of ours. The beasts, etc., will teach us the following things as characteristic of their manner of life.
(1) They constantly and unceasingly fulfil the end of their being.
(2) They are seen always to live according to their nature.
(3) They teach us to seek happiness according to our nature and capacity, and with a prudent foresight to avoid occasions of disaster and sorrow. Man stands rebuked by "the brutes that perish."
(W. Lindsay Alexander, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: