Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.Job 17:11
Happy is the man, no matter what his lot may be otherwise, who sees some tolerable realization of the design he has set before him in his youth or in his earlier manhood. Many there are who, through no fault of theirs, know nothing but mischance and defeat. Either sudden calamity overturns in tumbling ruins all they had painfully toiled to build, and success for ever afterwards is irrecoverable; or, what is most frequent, each day brings its own special hindrance, in the shape of ill-health, failure of power, or poverty, and a fatal net is woven over the limbs preventing all activity.
—Mark Rutherford, The Deliverance, p. 142.
The Bed of Darkness
These words said in a moment of profound depression by Job, and untrue for him, are yet terribly true for others.
I. Terribly true will these words be to him who has spent his life without making eternity his aim, whose days are past, and his purposes, all of this world, are broken off. How true also of one whose mind is occupied exclusively by business. We are given the taper of life, by which we are to prepare our future bed, by the light of which we are to make ready for the place of our repose. If we have employed our time otherwise, shall we find rest on that ill-made couch? I trow not, we have made our bed in the darkness.
II. We have here a work to do. God did not send us here to dawdle through life. Every day brings with it responsibilities. We are sent into the world to glorify God and save our own souls. It is work done, and not work to be done, that we shall look to with confidence, and which will deserve commendation of God. Look to what God has set thee to do—see how much of it thou hast accomplished. Injuries forgiven, not to be forgiven; restitution made, not to be made; pardon asked, not to be asked; confession made, not to be made; responsibilities executed, not merely undertaken.
—S. Baring-Gould, Sermon-Sketches, p. 201.
References.—XVII. 14.—J. M. Neale, Sermons Preached in Sackville College Chapel, vol. ii. p. 169. XVIII. 12.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxv. No. 1510. XIX.—Ibid. No. 2909.
Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation?
Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?
For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.
He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.
He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.
Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow.
Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.
The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you.
My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.
They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.
If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.
I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.