But none said, Where is God my maker, who gives songs in the night;…
In regard of God's dealings with our race, there is an almost universal disposition to the looking on the dark side, and not on the bright; as though there were cause for nothing but wonder, that a God of infinite love should permit so much misery in any section of His intelligent creation. We cannot deny, that if we merely regard the earth as it is, the exhibition is one whose darkness it is scarcely possible to overcharge. But when you seek to gather from the condition of the world the character of its Governor, you are bound to consider, not what the world is, but what it would be, if all which that Governor has done on its behalf were allowed to produce its legitimate effect. When you set yourselves to compute the amount of what may be called unavoidable misery — that misery which must equally remain, if Christianity possessed unlimited sway — you would find no cause for wonder, that God has left the earth burdened with so great a weight of sorrow, but only of praise, that He has provided so amply for the happiness of the fallen. The greatest portion of the misery which exists, arises in spite of God's benevolent arrangements, and would be avoided, if men were not bent on choosing the evil and rejecting the good. There must be sorrow on the earth, so long as there is death; but, if this were all, the certain hope of resurrection and immortality would dry every tear, or cause at least triumph so to blend with lamentation, that the mourner would almost be lost in the believer. For wise ends, a certain portion of suffering has been made unavoidable. When we come to give the reasons why so vast an accumulation of wretchedness is to be found in every district of the globe, we cannot assign the will and appointment of God; we charge the whole on man's forgetfulness of God; on his contempt or neglect of remedies and assuagements Divinely provided; yea, we offer in explanation the words of our text, — "None saith, Where is God my Maker, who giveth songs in the night?" Elihu represents it as a most strange and criminal thing, that, though our Maker giveth songs in the night, He is not inquired after by those on whom the calamity presses.
1. What an aggravation it is of the guilt of men's forgetting their Creator, that He is a God who giveth "songs in the night." It is one beautiful instance of the adaptation of revelation to our circumstances, that the main thing which it labours to set forth is the love of our Maker. Natural theology, whatever its success in delineating the attributes of God, could never have proved that sin had not excluded us from all share in His favour. The revelation, which alone can profit us, must be a revelation of mercy, a revelation which brings God before us as not made irreconcilable by our many offences. This is the character of the revelation with which we have been favoured. But if God has thus revealed Himself in the manner most adapted to the circumstances of the suffering, does not the character of the revelation vastly aggravate the sinfulness of those by whom God is not sought?
2. With how great truth and fitness this touching description may be applied to our Maker. Take the cases of death in a family, or the times of sorrow a minister meets with. And how accurate the description is, if referred generally to God's spiritual dealings with our race. Who would not be a believer in Christ? when such are the privileges of righteousness, the privileges through life, the privileges in death, the wonder is, that all are not eager to close with the offers of the Gospel, and make these privileges their own.
(Henry Melvill, B.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;