Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshipped,
The trial in its great severity has fallen upon Job. His oxen and asses have been rapaciously torn away from him by the Sabeans; many of his servants have been slain with the edge of the sword; the fire of God has consumed the sheep and the shepherds who took charge of them; the camels the Chaldeans have stolen, and slain the camel-keepers; the house of the eldest son, in which Job's sons and daughters were feasting, has been smitten by a great wind, and it has fallen, crushing the young men beneath its ruins. Could greater calamities happen to any man? This picture of desolation is complete. Surely every quality of character is tested. What call for passionate, impatient complaining! What is Job's conduct in this hour? He presents the example of the triumphant victory of faith.
I. THE VICTORY OF FAITH HAS ITS FOUNDATION IN A RECOGNITION OF THE DIVINE SUPREMACY. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." To live in the abiding acknowledgment of the Divine supremacy is the first requisite in a pure and a triumphing faith. It sees all things to be God's. He is Lord of all. Job feared God, and he trusted in God. Fear supports faith as truly as it sanctifies love.
II. THE VICTORY OF FAITH IS PROMOTED BY REVERENTIAL DEVOTION. Even the keen pangs of sorrow did not prevent Job from lowly worship. He sought the Lord in the day of his calamity, and he was helped. One allows his affliction to withdraw him from God; but he is driven to despair, for there is no helper; and the poor smitten spirit cannot stand alone. Another is driven to God, and finds a Hiding-place and Rock of defence. When we make God our Refuge, he becomes our Strength. It is foolish to forget God in the time of our need. He can help us when all other help fails. He will not see his feeble creatures come to him with lowly prayer, asking his aid with heart sincere, and yet leave them to their own resources. He who before God confesses his want gains for himself the Divine riches.
III. THE VICTORY OF FAITH IS CONSISTENT WITH GREAT PAINFULNESS AND SORROW Job rent his mantle and shaved off his hair - Eastern methods of representing sorrow. The great Exemplar was "exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." He also "suffered" - was preeminently "a Man of sorrows." The godly in all ages have been put to the proof. "It came to pass that God did tempt Abraham." This is to be said of every son of Abraham.
IV. THE VICTORY OF FAITH IS THE LOWLY' BUT BECOMING TRIBUTE OF THE HUMAN HEART TO THE SUPREMACY, THE WISDOM, AND THE GOODNESS OF GOD.
V. THE VICTORY OF FAITH ENSURES THE UTMOST DIVINE APPROVAL; and, as this completed history is designed to show, ends in a final reward which hides the recollection of the toil and suffering by which it is attained. The great lesson of all: "Have faith in God." - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,