How forcible are right words! but what does your arguing reprove?
Job is not so unreasonable as he appears to his friends. He will admit the force of truth and reason. Only he considers the arguments he has heard false and fallacious.
I. REASONABLE MEN RECOGNIZE THE FORCE OF RIGHT WORDS. Words may be like arrows that pierce, like swords that divide, like hammers that crush; or they may be like seeds that grow and bear fruit, like loaves of bread to feed the hungry, and streams of living water flowing by the dusty highway, from which all thirsty souls may drink. Thus they are more than mere sounds. They are expressions of thought. God's words come with power. All right Words are forcible. But there are empty words that fall without any weight, and vapid words that are dissipated in the air without effect. It is not the number, the volume, or the noise, of the words that gives them force, but the rightness of them. We must, therefore, inquire wherein this rightness resides.
1. In truth. False words may seem to carry great weight. But in the end all lies fail. The truth, simply told, has a force which no rhetoric can equal.
2. In adaptability. There are truths which are not suitable for the occasion on which they are spoken. This was the case with many of the remarks which Eliphaz had made, which were right enough in themselves, but which did not apply to Job. They lost force by being irrelevant.
3. In moral weight. The justice of what we say adds weight to it. The most forcible words are those that find their way to our conscience. Others may be luminous; these words flame out with startling vividness.
4. In sympathy. Truth spoken in love comes with double force.
II. IT IS FOOLISH TO DISREGARD THE FORCE OF RIGHT WORDS.
1. In the speaker. This was the Temanite's mistake. He was not sufficiently considerate of the rightness of what he said. He meant well, but he spoilt all by this grievous error. We need to weigh our words. They may have many excellent qualities - clearness, grace, apparent vigour - yet if they are not right words they will fail. The Christian teacher needs to test and correct his words by standing close to the fountain of truth and right in the Holy Scriptures, and by keeping his heart pure and sympathetic. Otherwise all his eloquence will be barren, or even poisonous as mephitic vapours.
2. In the hearer. It is excessively foolish to disregard words as though they were merely "sound and fury, signifying nothing." They are the chariots in which thoughts ride; and if we would but open our gates to receive them, we might find those thoughts most welcome guests. Even if the words are unpopular or painful, we should be foolish to disregard them when we know them to be right. For truth does not cease to be truth by being rejected. Many unpalatable ideas are most medicinal. And many words, rejected at first, when once they are received, prove to be as the very bread of life. The words of the everlasting gospel are right words, which we may reject at our peril; which we may receive for our salvation. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?