But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God…
Our use of these words is very lax. There is a sense in which it is impossible for us to receive that which is evil at the hand of God. There is a sense in which we speak of Him as one from whom all good gifts come. The terms good and evil may be absolute or they may be relative. A thing may be in itself absolutely good, whereas to me it may be relatively what seems evil. I may individually be a sufferer for that which is for the general good. On the other hand, that which is absolutely evil may be to me relatively a source of advantage. The sick rooms of the human race are the schoolrooms of compassion, and the battlefields of the world are the training grounds of heroism. Distinguish between that which is in itself intrinsically good and evil and that which is to us in our experience good and evil. On this distinction will hinge very many of our relations to God. God has placed man upon the earth in a universe that is endowed with infinite possibilities, and He has left man to find out these possibilities for himself; and man, until he found them out, has constantly injured himself through ignorance, and has frequently mistaken that which was created for his benefit and thought it a curse. Take, for example, such a power as electricity. What were the thoughts of generations now long buried when they watched the summer sky blazing with fire, or stood by the blackened ruins of some stricken homestead? Did they dream then, in their ignorance, that this same force should one day flash intelligence from pole to pole, and carry a faint whisper upon its docile current? Did it not seem to them then, nothing but pure beauty, nothing but cruel violence? Does it not seem to us now, infinite wisdom? Man has to learn the use of the weapons in the armoury of God, and until he has learnt their use he does not know what they are, he misapplies them, and oftentimes injures himself, then rebels and calls out against God's cruelty. The wise man — that is, the religious man — arguing from what he knows to what he does not know, believes that the wisdom and goodness of God will soon shine out clear in the light of later knowledge. God could only have made man as He has made him, a child in the eternal years, and placed him in the midst of laws and forces and powers the use of each and all to be learned by experience.
(W. Covington, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.