Job 33:1
But now, Job, hear my speech, and listen to all my words.
Sermons
Personal Applications of TruthJoseph Parker, D. D.Job 33:1-7
The Divine CorrectionR. Green Job 33:1-33


In the self-assurance of his competency to give wisdom to Job, and to correct his errors and to solve the mystery of his affliction, Elihu continues his speech and invites reply. "If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up." He makes his accusation against Job that he has not only affirmed his own innocence, but that he has also made charges against God. He then proceeds to vindicate the purposes of God in human affliction. "God speaketh once, yea twice;" the error is on man's part, who "perceiveth it not." He gives a view of the Divine corrections.

I. AS TO THEIR METHOD. The God that "is greater than man," who worketh secretly and "giveth not account of any of his matters," giveth instruction:

1. In a dream, in the visions of the night; opening the ears of men, and sealing their instruction.

2. By the severities of affliction; when man is "chastened with pain upon his bed." This is applicable to Job; and the former may have been mentioned gently to introduce this.

II. AS TO THEIR PURPOSE. This is always gracious. It is to save from impending danger, and to lead in safe and good ways.

1. To restrain man from evil paths. "To withdraw him from his purpose."

2. To hide pride from man. To bring down the high looks of the self-complacent and the wicked.

3. To save from untimely death, and from the weapons of destructive violence. To keep "his life from perishing by the sword." Sin tends to death both by natural causes and by violence. Then Elihu views these corrections -

III. IN THEIR HAPPY RESULT.

(1) Should the mediating Counsellor be near, and the way of life, the right way - the way of righteousness - be pointed out; and

(2) the smitten one return with repentance, saying, "I have sinned, and perverted that which was right;" and

(3) lifting up his voice "pray unto God;" then

(4) shall the Divine deliverance come:

(a) in an expression of the Divine forbearance;

(b) in admission to the Divine favour - "he shall see his face with joy;"

(c) in a gracious restoration, delivering "his soul from going into the pit'" and bringing him to rejoice in the light.

This is the Divine response to repentance which Elihu urges upon Job. Happy is every smitten one who, returning to God, finds a ransom price paid for his soul, and rejoices in a deliverance which restores to him the days of his youth, when "his very flesh becometh fresher than a child's." - R.G.







Wherefore, Job, I pray thee, hear my speeches.
Here is the great failure in the case of the three friends and Elihu: they speak broad generalities; they are sure the doctrine is right. With these, as mere utterances, we have no fault to find; but where was the wisdom which could apply the doctrine to the individual case? Where the holy skill that could touch the wound without aggravating it? Where that learned and eloquent tongue that could speak a word in season to him that is weary, and speak as if he were singing? Who could utter himself without making any noise; who could declare a judgment without perpetrating a violence? Such condolence is the very balm of heaven, but such comfort was never associated with bald generalities, rough, vague statements of truths, however profound; such condolence, such solace, can only be applied out of the heart that has itself become rich in experience, and learned through many a long school day to suffer and be strong. Common places, however profound and beautiful, cannot touch the agony of life. By "common places" is here meant statements which may for their truthfulness pass without challenge; they have become amongst the established truths of the world; they are accepted; the Church listens to them as to falling rain; they excite no surprise; they come and operate as by a gracious necessity. But what we want is particular application, study of every individual case; each heart has its own history, each spirit knows its own want. So, in listening to great broad declarations from the pulpit, we must each receive these declarations according to our individual need: they cease to be merely general when they become definitely and personally applied.

(Joseph Parker, D. D.)

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