Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
The world is full of complaints and murmuring. It sometimes is observable that those whose lot is peculiarly fortunate, whose circumstances are peculiarly favourable, are foremost in complaint when anything occurs to them which does not fall in with their expectations, which does not correspond with their desires. On the other hand, we now and again meet with the poor, the suffering, the friendless, who display a cheerful, uncomplaining disposition.
I. ALL PUNISHMENT IS DESERVED BY THOSE UPON WHOM IT IS INFLICTED. Conscience testifies to this. God hath not "rewarded us according to our iniquities." No afflicted one can plead innocence, can justly affirm that he has been treated with undue severity. For this reason affliction should be endured in silence and with submission.
II. WHEN GOD CHASTISES HE DOES SO IN EQUITY, AND NOT IN INJUSTICE OR CAPRICE, The heathen attribute to arbitrary and fickle deities, even to malevolent deities, many of their misfortunes. But to us God is "righteous in all his works." To rebel against him is to question the wisdom of the only Wise, the justice of the supremely Righteous. The afflicted should look through the chastisement to the hand which inflicts it.
III. TO REBEL AGAINST GOD IS TO RESIST HIS. PURPOSES OF COMPASSION WHICH INTEND our need. Observe that murmuring is not only wrong, it is most inexpedient. A complaining spirit is inconsistent with the disposition which alone can receive the wholesome lessons and discipline of sorrow and can turn them to highest and lasting profit. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?