Acquaint now yourself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come to you.
Of all earthly comfort, the firmest basis and the principal constituent is peace of mind. Without this, neither power, nor riches, nor even life itself, can yield any substantial or lasting satisfaction. If our peace of mind be destroyed, all pleasure is destroyed with it. No sufficient remedy was discovered by the efforts of unassisted reason: we may therefore inquire what aid can be derived from Divine revelation.
1. To acquaint ourselves with God, in the sense in which our Scriptures teach, and require the acquaintance, we shall soon perceive to be no difficult task, if we engage in it with zeal and diligence, and take those Scriptures for our instructor and guide. Of the Supreme Being we certainly have not the faculties to comprehend the "Eternal power and Godhead." The misfortune is, we attach ourselves so entirely to the business and the pleasures of our present state, that we are unwilling to turn our thoughts to the greater and better objects of our care. Hence negligence produces many of the effects and mischiefs of ignorance. We must not only make God the subject of inquiry and speculation; we must seriously reflect on the relation in which we stand to this Creator and Ruler of the world, and what His providence is doing every day. In the Bible such laws are prescribed for our conduct, as, if duly observed, would render human life a constant scene of virtue, piety, and peace. More than half our sufferings are the effect of our own misconduct. From the Bible we learn that our present state is the time and place of trial for our faith and conduct. When this life has come to an end, then each will be adjudged to an eternal allotment of happiness or misery, proportioned to his vice or virtue, to his piety or his profaneness. Even this is not the whole of our information and advantages. We are offered, upon our repentance and amendment, the pardon of our sins of error and infirmity, through the merits and mediation of a Redeemer.
2. Of this acquaintance with our God, the declared intention, and the promised effect, are to be at peace — at peace in our own minds. The perplexities of life can only be satisfactorily explained, and the afflictions of life patiently endured, by acquainting ourselves with God, and obtaining this acquaintance by the assistance of his own revelation. It is universally allowed that the human mind is never fully satisfied with what human life can bestow upon us. In the midst even of riches, authority, and honours, some want is still felt, something new is still sought, something better is still desired. Even when we know that we have offended God by the transgression of His laws, when our conscience afflicts us with the sense of guilt and the apprehension of its punishment — under these unhappy circumstances, and most especially under these, to acquaint ourselves with God is the only expedient for us to be at peace. It is, indeed, in the hour of calamity, under the pressure of affliction, that this acquaintance with our God is most necessary, and will most avail us. It is when accident or sickness or poverty has deprived us of worldly comfort or of worldly hope, it is then our trust in Providence, and that only, will support our sinking spirits, speak peace to our minds, and teach us that patient submission which must be at once our duty and consolation. It was under such circumstances that Eliphaz gave to Job the advice of the text.
(W. Barrow, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.