I made a covenant with mine eyes.
( W. Gurnall..)
Job 30:30, 31). This is not what we have thought of Providence. We have said, Who lives best in the public eye will be by the public judgment most honourably and cordially esteemed: the public will take care of its servants; the public will stand up for the man who has done all he could in the interests of the public; slave, man or woman, will spring to the master's rescue, because of remembered kindnesses. Is Job quite sure of this? Certainly, or he would not have used such imprecations as flowed from his eloquent lips: — If I have done thus, and so, then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out: let my wife grind servilely unto another: let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. So then Job himself is speaking earnestly. Yet, he says, though I have done all this, I am cast into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes: though I have done all this, God is cruel unto me, and He does not hear me: I stand up, and He regardeth me not: with His strong hand He opposeth Himself against me: He has lifted me up to the wind, and He has driven me away with contempt: He has not given me time to swallow down my spittle: I, the model man of my day, have been crushed like a venomous beast. Job, therefore, does not modify the case against God. He misses nothing of the argument and withholds nothing of the tragic fact. He makes a long, minute, complete, and urgent statement. And this statement is found in the Bible! Actually found in a Book which is meant to assert eternal providence and justify the ways of God to man! It is something that the Bible could hold within its limits the Book of Job. It is like throwing one's arms around a furnace; it is as if a man should insist upon embracing some ravenous beast, and accounting him as a member of the household. These charges against Providence are not found in a book written in the interests of what is called infidelity or unbelief; this impeachment is part of God's own book.
(Joseph Parker, D. D.)
What then shall I do when God riseth up?1. Job's mind was deeply impressed with a sense of his own responsibility. There is a natural inclination in the mind of man to diminish the sense of responsibility. In most transactions of life men frequently evince a desire to escape as much as possible from personal responsibility. There are responsibilities arising out of the very conformation of the society in which we live, that cannot be avoided. It never can be a matter of choice with us, whether we shall be responsible to God, and in the sight of God. The very nature of our relation to God implies responsibility, and the very character of God, in reference to that relationship, also implies responsibility. The responsibility of man to God reaches to the whole of man's moral being.
2. Job's conviction that there is a day coming in which God will arise. As a Sovereign, making inquisition, and holding a grand assize in which the universe should be concerned. And God will "visit." That term is often used in the sense of visitation for the purpose of punishment. God will arise as the legislator of the universe — as the promulgator of a law which has been universally violated, and which has not exercised its restraining influence upon the hearts of men because their allegiance had departed. Of necessity there must be vindication. Either the justice of God must fail, or there must be a vindication. As the law of God reaches to the minutest details of human existence and of human conduct, the vindication must reach every personal interest, the details of every individual life. And the Lord must visit as an avenger; for vindication implies vengeance. The God whose own arm hath brought salvation, shall be the God who shall visit in the way of vengeance. Job asks, "When He visiteth, what shall I answer Him?" Should not we ask the same question? What will the man of this world, of pleasure, and of gain, answer? Realise the necessity for finding some answer. There is but one answer. There is nothing to do but to cling to the Cross of Jesus.
(George Fish, LL. B.)
I. MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY. We must all give account to God, not merely masters, but servants also; and we must give account in all the transactions of everyday life. Every man has time, talents, opportunities, gifts; every man has a certain station, every man has a certain amount of influence; and we are all responsible for the right use before God. Not one of you can help this influence going forth upon those around you; not one of you can avoid the things you do, telling, in one way or another, upon those with whom you have intercourse. You must do good, or you must do evil. This responsibility "we need to face, for it is one that presses always.
II. THE WAY OF MEETING THIS RESPONSIBILITY. Two things are spoken of here.
1. What shall we do? Regarding ourselves as responsible to God, what shall we do when He rises in judgment? Shall we not fear to face a holy God? Shall we hide ourselves from God, in order to elude His searching eye? That surely is a vain consideration. Shall we resist His summons? Surely that too is vain.
2. What shall we answer? Shall we say that we have not broken one of God's commandments? Shall we, like the Pharisee, compare ourselves with others? Shall we "begin to make excuse"? Shall we plead God's mercy? The careless cannot meet God. Nor can the formalist; nor the hypocrite and pretender. The two great things we require to be experimentally acquainted with, are repentance and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," and you are delivered at once from the power of the law, and all the accusations of Satan, because Jesus has conquered him, and you also win the victory through faith in Him.
(John W. Reeve, M. A.)
I. THE CERTAINTY OF A DAY OF VISITATION AND RECKONING.
1. This is indicated by the testimony of conscience. Conscience is the vicegerent of the Almighty. It discriminates between virtue and vice, attaching to either their respective awards.
2. By a reference to the moral economy of man, or the economy of God's dealings towards man.
3. The certainty of a day of visitation is fully unfolded in the Book of God.
II. THE GROUND UPON WHICH AN ANSWER IS TO BE PREPARED TO THE QUESTION IN OUR TEXT. Classify the Christian community into four compartments.
1. There are some who have no answer prepared. This is a fact of undoubted certainty.
2. Others prepare an answer on a self-righteous principle. They plead obedience to the requirements of God's law.
3. Others confide in the uncovenanted mercy of God.
4. But some take higher ground, and are preparing their answer in reference to the righteousness of Christ Jesus our Lord. This is the only plea which will bear inspection, the only foundation for the exercise of mercy.
(Adam Gun, A. M.)
I. THE OCCASION CONTEMPLATED. "When God will rise up, and when He will visit" in judgment.
1. He appears now, as it were, indifferent to the affairs of men.
2. A day is coming when He will arise and visit. It is the day of death. It is the day of punishment. It is the day of judgment.
3. The certainty of its approach. Accountability seems almost an instinct in man. The day of judgment must come — there is no escape from it.
4. Yet most persons believe and act as if they believed it not. How surprising is the indifference of professed believers!
II. THE IMPORTANT INQUIRY RESPECTING THIS SOLEMN EVENT. "When He visiteth, what shall I answer Him?"
1. There is individuality in this question; it is the soul's soliloquy. Not what shall this man do; but what shall I do?
2. It is, what shall I do? But the time for action is then over. Can I escape and hide myself? Can I evade or deceive? Can I contend with Him?
3. It is, what shall I answer? Various are the excuses with which men satisfy their consciences now, but they will avail nothing then. The following will have nothing to answer, — vicious men and dissipated. Men who have neglected their souls. Self-satisfied formalists. The spiritual professor who has not departed from secret sin. There will be one who can answer — the poor, penitent, humble, believing disciple of Jesus.
(F. Close, A. M.)
Did not He that made me in the womb make him?
Homilist.I. ILLUSTRATE THE DOCTRINE HERE CONVEYED. Both high and low, rich and poor, all sorts and conditions of men, have one common Creator.
1. The unity of creation, Men's tastes, habits, abodes, and appearances differ, but men are one family.
2. The high position of the Divine Being. There are none to divide His praise, none to claim His position.
3. The harmony of God's providential dealings. He can cause one event to fit in with another, one person to assist and help his fellow, and out of the apparently diverse elements to make one perfect,, harmonious, and beautiful whole.
II. APPLY THE SUBJECT TO OUR OWN IMPROVEMENT. We are taught from the fact stated by Job. If we see another sin, our language should be, "Did not He that made me make him?" And we should bear with him tenderly. If we see another in want or poverty our thoughts should be, "Did not He that made me make him?" And we should afford our best relief.
1. Some suggestions for our duty towards God. He is our Creator. As our supreme Benefactor and Maker we should manifest our sense of His authority over us and our dependence on His care.
2. Some reflections on our duty one to another.
1. That it indicates a very advanced state of view in regard to man. The attempt has been always made by those who wish to tyrannise over others, or who aim to make slaves of others, to show that they are of a different race, and that in the design for which they were made, they are wholly inferior. Arguments have been derived from their complexion, from their supposed inferiority of intellect, and the deep degradation of their condition, often little above that of brutes, to prove that they were originally inferior to the rest of mankind. On this the plea has been often urged, and oftener felt than urged, that it is right to reduce them to slavery. Since this feeling so early existed, and since there is so much that may be plausibly said in defence of it, it shows that Job had derived his views from something more than the speculations of men and the desire of power, when he says that he regarded all men as originally equal, and as having the same Creator. It is, in fact, a sentiment which men have been practically very reluctant to believe, and which works its way very slowly even yet on the earth.
2. This sentiment, if fairly embraced and carried out, would soon destroy slavery everywhere. If men felt that they were reducing to bondage those who were originally on a level with themselves, — made by the same God, with the same faculties, and for the same end; if they felt that in their very origin, in their nature, there was that which could not be made mere property, it would soon abolish the whole system. It is kept up only where men endeavour to convince themselves that there is some original inferiority in the slave which makes it proper that he should be reduced to servitude, and be held as property. But as soon as there can be diffused abroad the sentiment of Paul, that" God hath made of one blood all nations of men," that moment the shackles of the slave will fall, and he will be free.
If I have seen any perish for want of clothing.
1. To be like our blessed Saviour.
2. To do services acceptable to God.
3. To save our souls forever. Wherefore, if ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
(John Hartcliffe, B. D.)
If I have made gold my hope.
(T. Chalmers, D. D.)
If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom.
1. In the guilt of it. The obligation to punishment takes stronger hold upon the soul, and every man is bound the faster with those chains of darkness by how much the more he labours to keep his sins in the dark. The longer a sin remains upon the conscience unpardoned, the more doth the guilt of it increase. Now all the while sin is hid, all the while sin is artificially and intentionally covered, it remains unpardoned; and therefore the guilt of it must needs increase upon the soul.
2. Sin being thus covered, increaseth in the filth and contagion of it, in the strength and power of it, it gains more upon the soul, it grows more master and more masterly; lust begins to rage, rave, it commands and carries all before it, while we are so foolish as to keep it close and covered. If any say, Surely it is not so sinful to cover and hide sin, for doth not Scripture condemn those that did not hide it? I answer, that there is a two-fold not hiding of sin.(1) There is a not hiding which proceeds from repentance.(2) And there is a not hiding which proceeds from impudence. Or there is a not hiding of sin which proceeds from a broken heart, and there is a not hiding of sin which proceeds from a brazen face, from a brow of brass. As Job in speaking this, would deny the hiding and covering of his sin, so he affirms the confession of it. So that here is more intended than expressed; when he saith he did "not cover," his meaning is, he discovered his sin; when he saith he did not hide it, his meaning is, he did disclose it. A godly man doth not only "not hide," but is ready to confess his sin. He makes confession that he may be freed from condemnation. The holy confession of sin, which is opposed to the covering or hiding of sin, hath three things in it.
1. A confession of the fact, or the thing done (Joshua 7:19).
2. A confession of the fault; that is, that in doing so we have done amiss, or done sinfully and foolishly.
3. There is in confession not only an acknowledgment of the fact and fault, but a submission to the punishment. Confession is a judging of ourselves worthy of death. True confession is a submitting to the sentence of the Judge, yea, a judging of ourselves, and a justifying of God in all, even in His sharpest and severest dispensations. Some may say, Is there a necessity to make such a confession of sin, seeing that God is already acquainted with and knows our sins, with all the circumstances and aggravations of them? But we do not confess to inform God of what He knows not, but to give glory to God in that which He knows. We are also called to an acknowledgment and confession of our sins to God, that we ourselves may be more deeply affected with them. The knowledge which God hath of sin in and by Himself may be a terror to sinners, His knowing of them by us is only a ground of comfort; God hath nowhere promised to pardon sin because He knows it, but He hath if we make it known. Nothing is known properly to God in that capacity as He pardons and forgives, but that which is acknowledged by us. The acknowledgment of sin is —
(1) (2) (3) (Joseph Caryl)
(2) (3) (Joseph Caryl)
(3) (Joseph Caryl)
The words of Job are ended.
The Biblical Illustrator, Electronic Database.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com