Will God hear his cry when trouble comes on him?…
By the word hypocrite, Job meant everyone whose religion is merely nominal — i.e., every insincere and inconsistent professor — all who are not in practice what they are in profession. The emphasis in text place on the second question, "Will he always call upon God?" It is implied that he will sometimes; it is denied that he will always. So perseverance in prayer, the persisting in prayer under all variety of circumstances, is given as a test by which to try the sincerity, the reality of religion. The man whose religion is of the heart, prays always; any other, who has but the outside of religion, will pray, but not always, only on some contingency. There is an instinct in our nature which prompts man to prayer, even if you keep out of sight the tendencies derived from a Christian education. We may ask whether the mere formal prayers of those whose religion is a name, should be called prayers at all; for, unless the heart go along with the lip, there is undoubtedly nothing of acceptable petition. There must be true religion, the religion of the heart, religion ingrained in the inner man, before there can be the true calling upon God always. All prayer supposes a sense of wants to be supplied, and a consciousness that the supply must come from God. There may be a praying by fits and starts. Under particular circumstances, all men feel wants. There is not a habit of prayer, except as there is a constant sense of wants, requiring a constant supply. There is a close connection between the two parts of the text. It is because he does not "delight himself in the Almighty," that the hypocrite or the formalist will not "always call upon God." There is here a very broad and a very important difference between the real and the nominal Christian. With the gift, the nominal Christian is satisfied. Nothing can satisfy the real and sincere Christian but God Himself.
(Henry Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?