And Job answered and said,
I. The great lesson which the animal creation, regarded simply as the creature and subject of God, is fitted to teach us, is a lesson of the wisdom, and power, and constant beneficence of God. Job sends us to the animal creation that we may gather from it instances of the greatness of the Creator's hand and the constancy of the Creator's providence. For every creature there is a place, and to this each is adapted with transcendent skill and beneficence. Nowhere do we detect a fault or a flaw amid all these teeming myriads. All are perfectly complete, and attest the majesty of Him by whose hand they have been formed.
II. Consider the lessons which the lower animals are fitted to teach us by the way in which they spend their life and use the powers which God has given them. (1) They constantly and unceasingly fulfil the end of their being. Be their sphere large or small, they always occupy it to the full. What a lesson is here addressed to man, and what a rebuke to him for the studied and persevering neglect he manifests of the purpose for which God has made him and sent him into the world! (2) The lower animals are seen always to live according to their nature. They neither transgress that nature, nor do they fall short of it. Can this be said of man? How far is the best from yielding his entire nature in its symmetry and its fulness to what truth and righteousness demand of him. (3) The lower animals teach us to seek happiness according to our nature and capacity, and with a prudent foresight to avoid occasions of disaster and sorrow. Let us not despise the reproof because it comes from a humble source, but rather let the humility of the source enhance the pungency of the reproof, and appeal to us with a more cogent conclusiveness to bethink ourselves and turn into a wiser and better course.
W. Lindsay Alexander, Pulpit Analyst, vol. i., p. 488.
References: Job 12:8.—H. Macmillan, Bible Teachings in Nature, p. 152; G. Morrison, The House of God, p. 113. Job 12:9, Job 12:10.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vi., No. 326. Job 12:20.—G. Matheson, Moments on the Mount, p. 165. Job 12:22.—J. Martineau, Hours of Thought, vol. ii., p. 348. Job 12-14—S. Cox, Expositor, 1st series, vol. v., pp. 172, 273; Ibid., Commentary on Job, p. 149. Job 13:14.—J. Robertson, Expositor, 2nd series, vol. vi., p. 256.
No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.
He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.
The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?
With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.
Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.
With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.
He leadeth counsellers away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.
He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.
He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.
He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.
He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.
He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.
He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.
He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.
They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.