For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting…
Job and Jeremiah were alike in wishing they had never been born. They were both men of sorrow.
I. A PREFERENCE ALIKE IRRELIGIOUS AND IRRATIONAL.
1. Good men should not for a moment think that non-existence is preferable to life and being. These were both good men, children of God; existence was therefore a blessing to be prized, not an evil to be mourned over. Had they been versed in the design and results of Divine dispensations, as Paul, they would have said, "Our light affliction," etc. With such a destiny before them, instead of cursing the day of birth, they would have blessed it as the dawn of an eternal existence, to be hereafter crowned with a glory that fadeth not away.
2. Ungodly men may with some degree of reason prefer non-existence; because in trouble they have no Divine support, in death no good hope, in eternity no expectation but the penalty of sin.
II. NON-EXISTENCE IS PREFERABLE TO EXISTENCE UNLESS EXISTENCE POSSESS MORE PLEASURE THAN PAIN.
1. If every ungodly man lived out threescore years and ten, and the whole was spent in pleasure, yet, as that period is but momentary as compared with his eternal existence, and as that existence is to be one of pain, he might curse the day of his birth.
2. Existence, eternal existence, is a blessing to all unfallen ones, and also to such fallen ones as are redeemed by the death of Christ.
3. But perpetuity of existence can be no blessing to "the angels who kept not their first estate," nor to those of the human race who by impenitence and unbelief reject the great salvation and bring upon themselves the double condemnation of the law and the Gospel.
III. HELL AND HEAVEN ARE TWO GREAT TEACHERS.
1. Hell teaches — the folly of wickedness, the full enormity of sin in the penalty it has entailed, and leads all its victims amid the consequences of their depravity to curse the day they were born.
2. Heaven teaches — the wisdom of holiness, the full benefits of redemption in the felicity it has secured, and leads all the ransomed to bless the day of their birth as the morn of their noontide of glory.
IV. GOD IS NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD HAVE OCCASION FOR PREFERRING NON-EXISTENCE.
1. He has devised and carried out a costly plan by which the existence of fallen ones might be made an eternal blessing.
2. Every man who now wishes for a glorious existence has only to look to Jesus and be saved.
Parallel VersesKJV: For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.
WEB: For I have heard the defaming of many, terror on every side. Denounce, and we will denounce him, [say] all my familiar friends, those who watch for my fall; perhaps he will be persuaded, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.