You have granted me life and favor, and your visitation has preserved my spirit.…
I. GOD THE ORIGINAL SOURCE. Job appeals to his Creator, and recognizes the Divine Source of all he is and all he has. The prologue shows that Job had always been a devout man, not forgetful of God. But his frightful losses and troubles brought home to him the thought of his relations to God with a vividness never before experienced. Job is now face to face with God. Huge calamities have swept away all intermediate interests, and over the wreck of his wasted life he looks straight to God his Maker. Terrible hours of distress reveal the deeper facts of life, as the earthquake exposes the granite foundations of the hills. Tragedy destroys superficiality. Those who have been through the raging waters el trouble are best able to perceive the Divine Source of all things.
II. GOD'S PRIMAL GIFTS.
(1) This can only come from God. The chemist may analyze the component elements of our bodily frame, but the subtle life-principle can never be caught in his crucible. The engineer may construct a most delicate machine, but he can never breathe life into it. God is the one Source of life.
(2) This is essential to all else. Here we are at the first and most fundamental gift. Men may bury treasures with the dead, but the silent sleepers in the tomb can never touch one of the gifts that rust and moulder by their side. We must live if we are to own or use anything. We must have the spiritual life in order to enjoy the gospel blessings.
2. Favour. Life is itself a favour. It is never deserved; yet it is good to live. But with life God gives other favours. Even Job in his desolation did not forget this fact, as some seem to forget it when they murmur against Providence, and complain of the world as though everything were working for the misery of man. Greater than all earthly favour is the grace of Christ, the favour shown to fallen man in the redemption of the race by the sacrifice of God's Son.
III. GOD'S CONTINUED GOODNESS. Job acknowledges that his very breath is continued by God's care. God does not merely create once for ell; he preserves his creatures. If he were to withdraw his hand for one moment, they would cease to be. That we arc alive now is a sign that God is now good to us. Present existence is a proof of present providence. Therefore our thanksgivings should be fresh; not the withered flowers of yesterday, but the new blossoms of to-day, with the dew still upon them. Daily renewed mercies call for daily renewed praises. We have not to look far for God, searching the annals of antiquity, inquiring of the deeds of old-world history, or scraping together the geologic records of the rocks. God is with us in the new sunrise, in each day's life and blessing.
IV. GOD'S ASSURED CASE. It cannot be as Job supposes. His remonstrance is natural to him, but it is needless. If God has made and preserved us, it is impossible that he should be turned against us. His past and present favours are proofs of his unchanging love. Though he smites, he cannot hate. Though he withdraws his smiling countenance, he does not remove his supporting baud. Creation and preservation are prophecies of redemption and salvation. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.