Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
"Shall man be more just than God?" The vision described in the passage from which the text is taken, is awful and sublime. Its spiritual meaning, and the moral instruction it conveys, are of superior interest and importance. That the acknowledged probity of Job's life might not justify such impatience and complaint, Eliphaz, from a vision that was revealed unto him, disparages all human attainments and excellency before God, in order to vindicate the ways of God to man; to prove that all His laws are holy, just, and good; to repress pride and inculcate humility. The duty of humility may be proved —
I. FROM MAN'S RELATIVE CONDITION IN THE WORLD. That we did not bring ourselves into existence, and are incapable, for a moment, to support ourselves in it, are self-evident truths. If we, and all that belongs to us, be the gift of God, of what have we to be proud, even in the most favourable estimate we can make of ourselves, and of all our acquisitions? Of scientific improvement and cultivated talents how little reason there is for boasting. Of moral and religious improvement how can he boast who even knows not his secret errors?
II. FROM THE EXAMPLE OF OUR SAVIOUR. As it is a perfect pattern of universal excellence, so in the display of this virtue it is eminently instructive. If anything could give addition to such illustrious acts of goodness, it was the mildness, the tenderness, the humility, with which they were conferred. If we be His true disciples, we, like Him, will be clothed with humility, and consider it as the distinguishing characteristic of our Christian profession.
III. THE ADVANTAGES WITH WHICH IT IS ATTENDED, STRONGLY ENFORCE THE PRACTICE OF THIS VIRTUE. It paves the way for general esteem, exempts us from the mortifications of vanity and pride; by enabling us to form just views of our own characters, it teaches us where to correct them when wrong, and where to improve their excellence when good; it leaves us in full possession of all our powers and attainments, without envy and without detraction; it repels chagrin and engenders contentment; it is a sunshine of the mind, which throws its mild lustre on every object; and affords to every intellectual and moral excellence the most advantageous light in which it can appear. In short, it is leasing to God, and equally ornamental and advantageous to man.
(A. Stifling, L. L. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?