Then Job answered and said,…
I. He regarded Him as JUST. "I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?" His language implies the belief that God was so just, that He required man to be just in His sight. Reason asserts this; the Infinite can have no motive to injustice, no outward circumstance to tempt Him to wrong. Conscience affirms this; deep in the centre of our moral being, is the conviction that the Creator is just. The Bible declares this. Job might well ask how can man be just before Him? He says, not by setting up a defence, and pleading with Him; "if he will contend with Him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand." What can a sinner plead before Him?
1. Can he deny the fact of his sinfulness?
2. Can he prove that he sinned from a necessity of his nature?
3. Can he satisfactorily make out that although he has sinned, sin has been an exception in his life, and that the whole term of his existence has been good and of service to the universe? Nothing in this way can he do; no pleading will answer. He must become just before he can appear just before God.
II. He regarded Him as WISE. "He is wise in heart." Who doubts the wisdom of God? The whole system of nature, the arrangements of Providence, and the mediation of Christ, all reveal His "manifold wisdom." He is wise, so that —
1. You cannot deceive Him by your falsehoods; He knows all about you, sees the inmost depths of your being.
2. You cannot thwart Him by your stratagems. His purposes must stand.
III. As STRONG. "Mighty in strength." His power is seen in the creation, sustenance, and government of the universe. The strength of God is absolute, independent, illimitable, undecayable, and always on the side of right and happiness.
IV. HE REGARDED HIM AS RETRIBUTIVE. There is a retributive element in the Divine nature — an instinct of justice. Retribution in human governors is policy. The Eternal retributes wrong because of His instinctive repugnance to wrong. Hence the wrong doer cannot succeed. The great principle is, that if a man desires prosperity, he must fall in with the arrangements of God in His providence and grace; and wisdom is seen in studying these arrangements, and in yielding to them.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Job answered and said,
WEB: Then Job answered,