|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
40:1-5 Communion with the Lord effectually convinces and humbles a saint, and makes him glad to part with his most beloved sins. There is need to be thoroughly convinced and humbled, to prepare us for remarkable deliverances. After God had shown Job, by his manifest ignorance of the works of nature, how unable he was to judge of the methods and designs of Providence, he puts a convincing question to him; Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? Now Job began to melt into godly sorrow: when his friends reasoned with him, he did not yield; but the voice of the Lord is powerful. When the Spirit of truth is come, he shall convince. Job yields himself to the grace of God. He owns himself an offender, and has nothing to say to justify himself. He is now sensible that he has sinned; and therefore he calls himself vile. Repentance changes men's opinion of themselves. Job is now convinced of his error. Those who are truly sensible of their own sinfulness and vileness, dare not justify themselves before God. He perceived that he was a poor, mean, foolish, and sinful creature, who ought not to have uttered one word against the Divine conduct. One glimpse of God's holy nature would appal the stoutest rebel. How, then will the wicked bear the sight of his glory at the day of judgment? But when we see this glory revealed in Jesus Christ, we shall be humbled without being terrified; self-abasement agrees with filial love.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?.... Is he capable of it? He ought to be that takes upon him to dispute with God, to object or reply to him; that brings a charge against him, enters the debate, and litigates a point with him; which Job wanted to do. But could he or any other instruct him, who is the God of knowledge, the all wise and only wise God; who gives man wisdom, and teaches him knowledge? What folly is it to pretend to instruct him! Or can such an one be "instructed?" as the Targum: he is not in the way of instruction; he that submits to the chastising hand of God may be instructed thereby, but not he that contends with him; see Psalm 94:12. Or should he be one that is instructed? no, he ought to be an instructor, and not one instructed; a teacher, and not one that is taught; he should be above all instruction from God or man that will dispute with the Almighty, The word for instruct has the signification of chastisement, because instruction sometimes comes that way; and then the sense either is, shall a man contend with the Almighty that chastises him? Does it become a son or a servant to strive against a parent or a master that corrects him? Or does not he deserve to be chastised that acts such a part? Some derive the word from one that signifies to remove or depart, and give the sense, shall the abundance, the all sufficiency of God, go from him to another, to a man; and so he, instead of God, be the all sufficient one? Or rather the meaning of the clause is, has there not been much, enough, and more than enough said, Job, to chastise thee, and convince thee of thy mistakes? must more be said? is there any need of it?
he that reproveth God, let him answer it; he that reproves God, for his words, or works, or ways, finding fault with either of them, ought to answer to the question now put; or to any or all of those in the preceding chapters, and not be silent as Job now was.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. he that contendeth—as Job had so often expressed a wish to do. Or, rebuketh. Does Job now still (after seeing and hearing of God's majesty and wisdom) wish to set God right?
answer it—namely, the questions I have asked.
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