Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?…
Job again points to the anomalous conditions of human life - goodness, which has its approval in every breast, and on which, by universal consent of belief, a Divine blessing rests, is nevertheless often overcast with the shadow of calamity; and, on the other hand, evil-doing, which merits only judgment, affliction, and correction, is often found to prosper. To it outward events seem to be favourable. Men sin without let or hindrance. Apparently, "God layeth not folly to them." This aspect of human affairs is much dwelt upon in the Book of Job; it seems to be one of the central themes of the book. It finds its exemplification in the case of Job himself. The principal idea of the book is the unravelling of this mysterious confusion. Punishment may follow evil-doing, but it does not always immediately accompany it. Therefore some explanation is needed. It is evident -
I. THAT A TRUE ESTIMATE OF THE DIVINE JUDGMENT MUST NOT BE BASED ON MERE INCIDENTS. Incidents do not always explain themselves. There are hidden springs of events. We know but little of every incident. We cannot trace its rise or its end. Other considerations must be taken into view besides the mere events on which judgment is to be passed.
II. THE ESTIMATE OF THE DIVINE JUDGMENT MUST NOT BE BASED ON A PARTIAL VIEW. All the materials needed to enable one to form a just estimate of God's dealings in any single instance are not always immediately to hand. Much is hidden. Many purposes are to be served as much by the Divine inaction as by the Divine work. Men expect judgment upon an evil work to be presently executed. The Divine hand is withheld for many purposes which are not apparent. All judgment, to be true, must take all things into account. A wide range of vision needed for this. Few have opportunity of making it; therefore judgment must be suspended.
III. THE ESTIMATE OF THE DIVINE JUDGMENT CAN ONLY BE TRULY FORMED WHEN THE WHOLE PURPOSES OF GOD ARE MADE KNOWN. The one purpose most vital to S correct estimate may be withheld. It may be beyond the power of the human mind to grasp all. Certainly it is not possible to see all the bearings of the conduct of men. God alone can see the end from the beginning. In patience then must men wait for the end. A final judgment is needed to clear up the apparent anomalies of the present. Judgment upon the wicked is mercifully suspended that men may repent; chastisement falls upon the righteous for the perfecting of character. In due time the chastened, sorrowful, but good man shall receive an ample reward. These latter truths are especially illustrated in the history of Job. - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?