Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
I. Every excuse for sin condemns God. This will be apparent if we consider (1) that nothing can be sin for which there is a justifiable excuse. (2) If God condemns that for which there is a good excuse, He must be wrong. (3) But God does condemn all sin. Hence either there is no apology for it, or God is wrong. (4) Consequently every excuse for sin charges blame upon God, and virtually accuses Him of tyranny.
II. Consider some of these excuses in detail: (1) Inability. (2) Want of time. (3) A sinful nature. (4) Sinners plead that they are willing to be Christians. (5) Sinners say they are waiting God's time. (6) Sinners plead that their circumstances are very peculiar. (7) Another excuse is in this form: "My heart is so hard that I cannot feel." (8) "My heart is so deceitful," etc.
III. All excuses for sin add insult to injury. (1) A plea that reflects injuriously upon the court or the lawgiver is an aggravation of the original crime. (2) The same is true of any plea made in self-justification. (3) It is truly abominable for the sinner to abuse God and then excuse himself for it. This is the old way of the guilty.
IV. (1) Excuses render repentance impossible. (2) Sinners should lay all their excuses at once before God. (3) Sinners ought to be ashamed of their excuses and repent of them.
C. G. Finney Sermons on Gospel Themes, p. 72.
References: Job 40:23.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 120. Job 42:5.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. v., p. 18; J. M. Neale, Sermons in Sackville College, vol. iii., p. 434.
Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.