Then Job answered the LORD, and said,…
Job, chastened with severe afflictions, harassed by the biting words of incompetent teachers, and now by the Divine voice humbled into the very dust, makes his lowly confession unto Almighty God, and casts himself upon the Divine forbearance and mercy. The confession of this truly humble, lowly, contrite, and obedient heart embraces -
I. A JUST APPREHENSION OF THE DIVINE POWER. The ability of God to work all in all - to do whatsoever he pleaseth. "Now I know that thou canst do everything."
II. A LOWLY RECOGNITION OF THE DIVINE KNOWLEDGE. "No thought can be withholden from thee." Not only the visible works of the world are before the eye of the Almighty, but the very thoughts and intents of the mind (ver. 2).
III. A BECOMING ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PERSONAL IGNORANCE, ERROR, AND PRESUMPTION. (Ver. 3.) Before God Job confesses his faults, though in presence of man he maintained his untarnished integrity. But he who may feel himself able to answer to his fellow may fall silent before the infinitely Holy One. Job's confession reveals -
IV. A LOWLY PENITENCE, which finds its expression in fervent prayer (ver. 4). Job is willing to be taught of God. He abandons his own self-confident boasting. He is truly humbled. All this is produced by -
V. A VIVID PERCEPTION OF THE SUPREME NATURE OF GOD. He is not dependent for this upon the teachings of friends. "Now mine eye seeth thee." The true vision of God humbles the proudest heart. It is finally perfected -
VI. IN SELF-ABHORRENCE AND SINCERE REPENTANCE. This is the end of all When man has reached his lowest estate he may be lifted up. The whole course of Job's affliction with the whole teaching of the poem brings the sufferer in penitent, contrite humiliation to the footstool of Divine mercy. "In dust and ashes" Job repents, renounces all his claim to self-righteousness, and casts himself upon that God who has declared himself to be just, to care for his creatures, and to wait as with open ear to listen to the voice of their cry. Job is truly broken before God. All his pride is crushed. He is a lowly suppliant. He justifies God in his own self-condemnation. - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Job answered the LORD, and said,