And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man…
1. Constancy in piety, notwithstanding the sharp temptations of an afflicted condition, is a singular commendation in God's esteem; for hereby Job so acquits himself that the old characters of his piety are not sufficient without this new addition to his commendation (1 Peter 1:7). And the reason of this is insinuated in the word "holding fast," which in the original imports a retaining and holding of a thing firmly and with our whole strength, because of difficulties and opposition; as the traveller keeps his garment on a windy day.
2. Whatever it be in religion wherewith men please themselves, yet nothing pleaseth God better than sincerity and uprightness when it is persevered in under affliction, and in a trying condition.
3. As God is specially pleased with men's sincerity, so it is against this that Satan plants his chief engines and battery. Satan did not assault Job's outward prosperity, but to better his integrity thereby. Nor is it men's formality or outward profession that he doth so much malign, if he can keep them from being sincere in what they do.
4. Albeit it be no small difficulty to stand fast, and to continue straight and upright in sharp trials, yet the truly sincere are, by the grace of God, able to do it, and to abide never so many and sharp assaults. Even weak grace, supported by God, is a party too hard for all opposition.
5. It is an act of Divine wisdom, when things of the world are going to ruin, not to cast away piety also, and a good conscience; or, because God strips us of outward contentments, therefore to turn our back upon that which ought to be a cordial under all pressures: for this is commended as an act of great wisdom in Job, when other things were pulled from him, still "he held fast his integrity." To take another course will nothing benefit men, or ease their griefs, but doth indeed double their losses.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
WEB: Yahweh said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? For there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil. He still maintains his integrity, although you incited me against him, to ruin him without cause."