The Complaint that Goes Beyond Man
Job 21:4
As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?

I. THE COMPLAINT THAT IS OF MORE THAN MAN'S DOINGS. Job does not only complain of man's injustice. That would be hard to bear; and yet a strong soul should be able to withstand it, trusting in a higher justice that will set all right at last. But the mystery, the horror, the agony, of Job's complaint, spring from the persuasion that his troubles are to be attributed to a more than earthly origin. They are so huge and terrible that he cannot but ascribe them to a superhuman source. This fact intensifies the complaint in many respects.

1. The mystery of the supernatural. Man quails before it. The bravest hero who is not afraid of any human strength trembles at the thought of the unseen.

2. The power of the Divine. Job can resist man, but he cannot stand out against God. It is not mortal frailty, but immortal Omnipotence, that assails him. The contest is unequal.

3. The apparent injustice of the Just One. This is hardest of all. It would be possible to bear the lower injustice if assured of the impartiality and triumph of the higher justice. But when Job looks up for justice to its great central throne, even there he seems to see wrong, misapprehension, and unfair treatment. It is not that Job directly charges God with injustice; but there is in his heart an all-perplexing, baffling thought, discouraging confidence. Though we may not doubt God, it is hard to bear his hand when he seems to go against justice and love. Here is the great test of faith.

II. THE COMPLAINT THAT GOES BEYOND MAN'S EARS. As Job complains of what is done by more than man, so he cries to a power above the human. The sublimity of the drama is seen in its relations with the unseen world. It assumes more than heroic proportions. It is concerned with God as well as man.

1. The complaining cry. Job continually lifts up his voice to God. We have to learn to look above the earth. It is foolish to complain of God, but it is natural to complain to God. If we even think hard thoughts of God, it is not necessary for us to bury them in the secrecy of our own breasts. There they will only burn as hidden fires, and consume all faith and hope. It is far better to be courageous, and confess them frankly to God himself. He can understand them, judge them fairly, and see the sorrow and perplexity from which they have sprung. And it is he who can dissipate them.

2. The merciful Heaven. God hears every cry of his children, and when faith is mixed with fear he accepts the faith and dispels the fear. Men judge their fellows harshly for their complaining utterances. God is like the patient mother who soothes her fretful child. Though the cry is wrung from the heart in an agony of dismay, so that no hope of relief is visible through the blinding veil of tears, God does not fling it back with angered dignity; he treats it with pitying mercy. If only the soul will give itself utterly up to him, even in its darkness and despair, he will hear and save. - W.F.A.

Parallel Verses
KJV: As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?

WEB: As for me, is my complaint to man? Why shouldn't I be impatient?

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