|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:13-17 As Job does not once question but that his trials are from the hand of God, and that there is no such thing as chance, how does he account for them? The principle on which he views them is, that the hope and reward of the faithful servants of God are only laid up in another life; and he maintains that it is plain to all, that the wicked are not treated according to their deserts in this life, but often directly the reverse. But though the obtaining of mercy, the first-fruits of the Spirit of grace, pledges a God, who will certainly finish the work which he has began; yet the afflicted believer is not to conclude that all prayer and entreaty will be in vain, and that he should sink into despair, and faint when he is reproved of Him. He cannot tell but the intention of God in afflicting him may be to produce penitence and prayer in his heart. May we learn to obey and trust the Lord, even in tribulation; to live or die as he pleases: we know not for what good ends our lives may be shortened or prolonged.
Verse 15. - Therefore am I troubled at his presence. The thought of these further afflictions troubles me, and makes me shrink from his unseen presence. I know not how soon he may lay a fresh burden upon me. When I consider, I am afraid of him. When I reflect on the many forms of suffering which I may still have to undergo, my fears increase, I tremble at the future.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore am I troubled at his presence,.... Not at his gracious presence, which he wanted, and every good man desires; but at his appearance as an enemy, as he apprehended him, laying and continuing his afflictive hand upon him, and indeed at his appearance as a Judge to try his cause; for though he had most earnestly desired it, yet when he thought of the sovereignty of God, and the immutability of his counsels, and of his perfect knowledge of all things; and he not knowing what he had with him, and to bring out against him, when he came to the point, might be troubled and shrink back, see Psalm 77:3;
when I consider, I am afraid of him: when he considered his terrible majesty, his sovereign will, his unalterable purposes, his infinite wisdom, and almighty power, his strict justice, and spotless purity; he was afraid to appear before him, or afraid that since many such things were with him he had already experienced, there were more to be brought forth, which might be greater and heavier still.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. God's decrees, impossible to be resisted, and leaving us in the dark as to what may come next, are calculated to fill the mind with holy awe [Barnes].
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