After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.…
How can Job be set up with so much admiration for a mirror of patience, who makes such bitter complainings, and breaks out into such distempered passions? He seems to be so far from patience that he wants prudence; so far from grace, that he wants reason itself and good nature; his speeches report him mad or distracted, breaking the bounds of modesty and moderation, striking that which had not hurt him, and striking that which he could not hurt — his birthday. Some prosecute the impatience of Job with much impatience, and are over-passionate against Job's passion. Most of the Jewish writers tax him at the least as bordering on blasphemy, if not blaspheming. Nay, they censure him as one taking heed to, and much depending upon, astrological observations, as if man's fate or fortune were guided by the constellations of heaven, by the sight and aspect of the planets in the day of his nativity. Others carry the matter so far, on the other hand, altogether excusing and, which is more, commending, yea applauding Job, in this act of "cursing his day." They make this curse an argument of his holiness, and these expostulations as a part of his patience, contending —
1. That they did only express (as they ought) the suffering of his sensitive part, as a man, and so were opposite to Stoical apathy, not to Christian patience.
2. That he spake all this not only according to the law of sense, but with exact judgment, and according to the law of soundest reason. I do not say but that Job loved God, and loved Him exceedingly all this while, but whether we should so far acquit Job I much doubt. We must state the matter in the middle way. Job is neither rigidly to be taxed of blasphemy or profaneness, nor totally to be excused, especially not flatteringly commended, for this high complaint.It must be granted that Job discovered much frailty and infirmity, some passion and distemper, in this complaint and curse; yet notwithstanding, we must assert him for a patient man, and there are five things considerable for the clearing and proof of this assertion.
1. Consider the greatness of his suffering: his wound was very deep and deadly, his burden was very heavy, only not intolerable.
2. Consider the multiplicity of his troubles. They were great and many — many little afflictions meeting together make a great one; how great, then, is that which is composed of many great ones!
3. Consider the long continuance of these great and many troubles: they continued long upon him — some say they continued divers years upon him.
4. Consider this, that his complainings and acts of impatience were but a few; but his submission and acts of meekness, under the hand of God, were very many.
5. Take this into consideration, that though he did complain, and complain bitterly, yet he recovered out of those complainings. He was not over. come with impatience, though some impatient speeches came from him; he recalls what he had spoken, and repents for what he had done. Look not alone upon the actings of Job, when he was in the height and heat of the battle; look to the onset, he was so very patient in the beginning, though vehemently stirred, that Satan had not a word to say. Look to the end, and you cannot say but Job was a patient man, full of patience — a mirror of patience, if not a miracle of patience; a man whose face shined with the glory of that grace, above all the children of men. Learn —
(1) The holiest person in this life doth not always keep in the same frame of holiness.
(2) Great sufferings may fill the mouths of holiest persons with great complainings,
(3) God doth graciously pass by and forget the distempered speeches and bitter complainings of His servants under great afflictions.
Parallel VersesKJV: After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.