|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:7-16 Job says, Remarkable judgments are sometimes brought upon notorious sinners, but not always. Wherefore is it so? This is the day of God's patience; and, in some way or other, he makes use of the prosperity of the wicked to serve his own counsels, while it ripens them for ruin; but the chief reason is, because he will make it appear there is another world. These prospering sinners make light of God and religion, as if because they have so much of this world, they had no need to look after another. But religion is not a vain thing. If it be so to us, we may thank ourselves for resting on the outside of it. Job shows their folly.
Verse 15. - What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? "Who is Jehovah," said Pharaoh to Moses, "that I should obey his voice? I know not Jehovah" (Exodus 5:2). So the ungodly in Job's time. They pretend to have no knowledge of God, no sense of his claims upon them, no internal consciousness that they are bound to worship and obey him. They are agnostics of a pronounced type, or at least they profess to be such. What profit, they ask, should we have, if we pray to him? Expediency is everything with them. Will serving God do them any good? Will it advance their worldly interests? Persuade them of that, and they will be willing to pay him, at any rate, a lip-service. But, having prospered so long and so greatly without making any religious profession, they see no reason to believe that they would prosper more if they made one.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him?.... "Who is he" (t)? as some render it; or what is there in him, in his nature, in his excellencies and perfections, that should oblige us to serve him? One would think the attribute of "Almighty", they own and acknowledge, is sufficient to engage to it, since he is the lawgiver that is able to save and to destroy, even to destroy with an everlasting destruction, both body and soul in hell, who obey him not; but fulness of riches, power, and authority, swell the mind with pride, and put men on asking such questions, and running such lengths as these; see Exodus 5:2. The question is full of atheism, and suggests there was nothing in God excellent or worthy of any regard, or on account of which he should be served and worshipped; as if he was a mere idol, which is nothing in the world; and that he was indeed nothing in it, neither did good nor evil, nor concerned himself with the affairs of men; had forsaken the earth, and took no notice of what was doing is it; at least, the question supposes that such think themselves under no obligations to serve him, and shows them to be sons of Belial, without a yoke; that they neither are nor can he subject to the law of God without his grace; they are not willing God should reign over them, nor to be obedient to his commands and ordinances; but are for freeing themselves from all obligations to him, and choose to serve various lusts and pleasures; be the vassals of sin and Satan, rather than be the worshippers of God:
and what profit should we have if we pray unto him? Prayer is one part of the service of God, and may be here put for the whole: this, as all the rest, is very disagreeable to a natural man, who, as he is biased entirely by profit and gain, thinks there is nothing to be got by religious exercises; he observing, that the worshippers of God, as to external things, fare worse than those who do not pray unto him, or do not serve and worship him; see Malachi 3:14; though there is much profit, and many things, and those most excellent and valuable, got by prayer; for whatsoever good men ask in prayer, believing, they receive, Matthew 7:7. The Targum is
"if we pray in his Word,''
in the name of the essential Word, the Son of God; whereas to ask or pray in his name is the only way of succeeding; and such, who do ask in faith in his name, have what they ask for, John 14:15.
(t) "quis est?" V. L.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. (Compare Jer 2:20; Pr 30:9, Margin, Ex 5:2).
what profit—(Job 35:3; Mal 3:14; Ps 73:13). Sinners ask, not what is right, but what is for the profit of self. They forget, "If religion cost self something, the want of it will cost self infinitely more."
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