Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.…
(vers. 8, 11; and Job 40:4). —
A three-fold estimate of a good man's character: —
I. JOB'S CHARACTER AS ESTIMATED BY GOD. God regarded the character of Job. He estimated Job as "perfect." Every part of his character contained the germ of completeness. He estimated Job as "upright." His life was parallel with the commandments of heaven, and the precepts of truth. Job recognised carefully his domestic responsibilities. This perfection is alleged of human nature, "an upright man." Note the blessedness of this character.
(1) Divine protection. A hedge about him.
(2) Business prosperity. "Substance increased in the land."
II. JOB'S CHARACTER ESTIMATED BY SATAN. The Satanic test of character must he viewed in a two-fold aspect.
(1) As a subtle scheme to secure Job's ruin.
(2) As a merciful messenger permitted by God to enhance the worth of Job's life. The test was severe, but limited. He estimates that Job's character was superficial, that underneath his garb of goodness there was a smouldering impiety, which only required outward circumstances to develop it into obstinate rebellion.
III. JOB'S CHARACTER ESTIMATED BY HIMSELF.
1. He designates himself "vile." True, his sorrows may have had a depressing effect upon him, and continued suffering have brought him under the influence of gloomy views. Perhaps he had circumstances as an index of his heart life, thinking that his trials were the infliction of wrath, rather than the chidings of love. However, it is evident that reverent humility was a great element in his piety. He had such lofty conceptions of God, His purity and justice, that, in remembrance of such an ideal of life, his own paled into absolute imperfection.
2. Job calls attention to his vileness. — "Behold!" This is somewhat unusual, as people try to conceal the miserable rottenness of their lives, either by a mock modesty or daring pretension.
3. Job takes the blame of his vileness — "I am vile." He does not make his assumed pollution the result of original depravity; he does not attribute it to the despotism of circumstances, to the evil tendency of education, and the impurity of society. No; without palliation or excuse, he renders himself culpable. Ought we not to be shamed into honesty by the plain, bold confession of this good man? Job could afford to consider himself vile, when God thought him perfect.
(Joseph S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.