Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call on God?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Will he delight himself?—It is only the godly who can say, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison with Thee;” and again, “I will praise Thy name, because it is so comfortable;” but this man hath no promise that he can plead, and therefore no assurance of access at all times to the presence of God.Job 27:10. Will he delight himself in the Almighty? — When he has nothing else to delight in? No: his delight is in the things of the world, which now sink under him. Will he always call upon God? — Will he have the confidence to pray to God, and expect any comfort from him? Nay, will he not rather despond in such a case, and cease to call upon him? Certainly those who do not delight in God will not long call upon him.
Will he always call upon God? - That is, he will not always call upon God. This is literally true. The hypocrite pray:
(1) when he makes a profession of religion;
(2) on some extraordinary occasion - as when a friend is sick, or when he feels that he himself is about to die, but he does not always maintain habits of prayer.
He suffers his business to break in upon his times for prayer; neglects secret devotion on the slightest pretence, and soon abandons it altogether. One of the best tests of character is the feeling with which we pray, and the habit which we have of calling on God. The man who loves secret prayer has one of the most certain evidences that he is a pious man; compare the notes at Job 20:5.
always call—He may do so in times of prosperity in order to be thought religious. But he will not, as I do, call on God in calamities verging on death. Therefore I cannot be a "hypocrite" (Job 19:25; 20:5; Ps 62:8).Isaiah 58:2;
will he always call upon God? God only is to be called upon, and it becomes all men to call upon him for all blessings, temporal and spiritual; and this should be done in faith, with fervency, in sincerity and uprightness of soul, and with constancy, always, at all times both of prosperity and adversity; but an hypocrite does not, and cannot call upon God in a sincere and spiritual manner; nor is he constant in this work, only by fits and starts, when it is for his worldly interest and external honour so to do. Now Job was one that delighted in God, was uneasy at his absence, longed for communion with him, sought earnestly after him, frequently and constantly called upon him, though he was wrongly charged with casting off the fear of God, and restraining prayer before him, and therefore no hypocrite. Some understand (f) all this as affirmed of the hypocrite, setting forth his present seeming state of happiness; as that he has a hope of divine favour, and of eternal felicity; has much peace and tranquillity of mind in life, and at death; is heard of God when trouble comes, and so gets out of it, and enjoys great prosperity; professes much delight and pleasure in God, and his ways, and is a constant caller upon him, and keeps close to the external duties of religion; and yet, notwithstanding all this, is in the issue, when death comes, exceeding miserable, as the following part of the chapter shows.Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. will he delight himself?] Or, doth he delight himself? The wicked man has no consolation, no resource, in the manifold conditions of life when men need higher help than their own; he has no pleasure in God nor fellowship with Him, and cannot appeal to Him.
It is manifest that in these verses the speaker means to contrast his own condition of mind with that of the godless man. He has hope in God, in death and in trouble, for he delighteth himself in God at all times. Such words as those in Job 27:8; Job 27:10, are not out of place in the mouth of Job, comp. ch. Job 16:19 seq., Job 19:25 seq., Job 23:10 seq., Job 31:2-6. It is less easy, however, to combine what is implied in the words of Job 27:9, “Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?” with Job’s repeated complaints that God refused to hear him, e. g. ch. Job 13:24, Job 19:7, and many other passages. The only solution would be to consider that he had fought his way through to an assured trust in God, such as he had cherished during his past life (ch. Job 12:4 seq.), or rather, that such a trust here suddenly broke upon him and filled his mind, and enabled him to look now for release from his calamities and restoration—in a word to anticipate that issue of his afflictions which actually ensued. And such is the construction which some of the ablest commentators (e.g. Ewald) put upon the language. Such a change of view in regard to the issue of his afflictions implies a complete revolution in Job’s mind, for he had hitherto consistently and even pertinaciously (ch. Job 17:1-2; Job 17:10-16) contended that his malady was mortal, and continued to do this even so late as ch. Job 23:14, “For he will perform the thing appointed for me.” Such a revolution, however, may be conceived and admitted, provided Job’s subsequent utterances are in harmony with it. Unfortunately, however, they are not; for in ch. Job 30:20 he exclaims, “I cry unto thee and thou dost not hear me, I stand up and thou gazest at me”; and in Job 27:23 of the same chapter he says, “For I know that thou wilt bring me unto death” (i. e. through his present afflictions). Here he is found again occupying the same position in regard to his malady under the hand of God as he had consistently maintained throughout. It is very hard to reconcile such expressions with ch. Job 27:7-10, on the assumption that the last-named passage really belongs to Job.Verse 10. - Will he delight himself in the Almighty? A further ill result of hypocrisy is noted. Not only does it alienate God from us, but it nile,ares us from God. The hypocrite cannot "delight in the Almighty." He must shriek from him, tear him, dislike to dwell on the thought of his presence and realize it. His natural inclination must be to withdraw his thoughts from God, and give himself up to the worldliness which has been his attraction to assume the hypocrite's part. Will he always call upon God? Can be even be depended on not to renounce the service of God altogether? The mutual alienation above spoken of must tend to check communion, to disincline to prayer and calling upon God, to erect a barrier between the hypocrite and the Almighty, which, though for a while it may be insufficient to withstand the force of use and wont, will yet, in the long run, be sure to tell, and will either put an end to prayer altogether, or reduce it to a formality.
2 As God liveth, who hath deprived me of my right,
And the Almighty, who hath sorely saddened my soul -
3 For still all my breath is in me,
And the breath of Eloah in my nostrils -
4 My lips do not speak what is false,
And my tongue uttereth not deceit!
5 Far be it from me, to grant that you are in the right:
Till I die I will not remove my innocence from me.
6 My righteousness I hold fast, and let it not go:
My heart reproacheth not any of my days.
7 Mine enemy must appear as an evil-doer,
And he who riseth up against me as unrighteous.
The friends are silent, Job remains master of the discourse, and his continued speech is introduced as a continued שׂאת משׁלו (after the analogy of the phrase נשׂא קול), as in Numbers 23:7 and further on, the oracles of Balaam. משׁל is speech of a more elevated tone and more figurative character; here, as frequently, the unaffected outgrowth of an elevated solemn mood. The introduction of the ultimatum, as משׁל, reminds one of "the proverb (el-methel) seals it" in the mouth of the Arab, since in common life it is customary to use a pithy saying as the final proof at the conclusion of a speech.
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