Although you say you shall not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust you in him.
1. These words suppose that there are seasons and situations, in which the ways of heaven seem dismaying and inexplicable. This is abundantly evident to whatever department of the Divine government we turn our eyes. If we look on the natural world we shall not always find unobscured the God of nature. If we look into the social department, here, too, we shall find His ways mysterious. There are times when the protection of His providence would seem to be withdrawn from society. Its interests appear subject to the caprices of fortune and the passions of men. If we turn our attention to the normal department, here, too, we shall find occurrences to astonish and perplex us. Affliction maintains a powerful and oppressive dominion among the sons of men. It is not uncommonly the lot of the righteous to bear the heaviest burdens, and experience the severest trials of life. In the management of their allotments, the ways of the Deity are inscrutable. When we compare the terrors of nature with His benevolence who rules her movements; when we contrast the triumphs of iniquity in the world, with His power and holiness by whom it is governed; when we combine the afflictions of the virtuous, and the trials of the Church, with His love to whom they are devoted: it must be confessed that there are seasons when he whose faith is most firmly fixed, may be ready to exclaim with the amazed prophet, "Verily, Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, Oh God of Israel, the Saviour!" Of this, however, we may be sure. His government must be as pure, just, and benevolent, as His nature; and consequently, righteous in every measure of it; seeking unceasingly the manifestation of justice, and the melioration and happiness of the creature. "The Lord is righteous in all His ways and holy in all His works." We ought to maintain, in every situation in which His providence places us, an unshaken trust in His goodness, and obedience to His will. Nothing more frequently distresses the feelings, and disturbs the principles of men, than the inscrutableness of the dealings of God. But are the measures of His government wrong, because they do not coincide with our partial views? Are the methods of His providence to be condemned, because they cannot be comprehended by our limited understandings? That His ways are mysterious should fill us with humility. It should inspire us with reverence and godly fear; but it ought not to excite our surprise. We are assured by reason and by Scripture, that His government is infinitely and uniformly righteous. In the gift of His Son for our salvation, He has offered us the greatest pledge we are capable of receiving, that His aim, His wish, His constant care is the preservation and happiness of His offspring. In men assured of the perfection of a governor, and of the principles by which he acts, it is absurd to be dissatisfied with measures which they can see but in part. The most afflictive and inexplicable dispensations may often be the springs of the most important and happy operations. Let us learn, from what has been said, to preserve in every situation an unshaken reliance on the love of the Almighty, and a steadfast obedience to His will.
Parallel VersesKJV: Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him.