Essex Congregational Remembrancer
Job 12:20
He removes away the speech of the trusty, and takes away the understanding of the aged.

The text is part of an address in which Job enumerates a variety of events in which, more or less prominently, the interference of Divine providence was to be traced.

I. THE PECULIAR DISPENSATION WHICH THE TEXT BRINGS BEFORE US. Job is not stating here a general rule of the Divine procedure, but only alluding to an event of occasional occurrence.

1. The nature of the calamity referred to. It deals with the mind. The operations of the mind are deranged and disabled. This is the heaviest calamity to which human nature is subject. We cannot conceive of a more pitiable object than a man bereft of understanding.

2. The subject of the calamity. "The aged." Not exclusively. It often overtakes persons in the meridian of life.

3. The author of the calamity. In some cases the individual himself, by evil propensities. Sometimes the loss of understanding is occasioned by the conduct of others. The Divine interference must be recognised as permitting the calamity, but in the text it is treated as the occasion of it. It may be a part of that plan which God has formed, in unerring wisdom and infinite love, as best calculated to secure the attainment of His benevolent designs.

II. SOME PROBABLE REASONS FOR WHICH SUCH DISPENSATIONS MAY OCCUR. The understanding may sometimes be taken away —

1. As a just penalty for a perverted and injurious use of the intellectual faculties. Scripture teaches that we may often calculate on the loss of a privilege as the just penalty of its abuse; nor can human reason question the propriety of this.

2. To exhibit, in the most striking manner, human frailty, and the entire dependence of all upon God Himself. We can scarcely conceive of any case which so forcibly impresses us with these truths.

3. As a means of important instruction and salutary discipline to those more immediately connected with the sufferers.

4. To show the danger of procrastination on the subject of personal religion. How many persons are satisfying themselves in a present neglect of the soul and eternity, under a determination to regard these points more seriously in advancing years! But they cannot be sure of the continued exercise of those mental faculties, the continuance of which would be essential to carrying their salutary resolutions into effect.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.).

Parallel Verses
KJV: He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.

WEB: He removes the speech of those who are trusted, and takes away the understanding of the elders.

Instances of the Overruling Wisdom of God
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