ob's former comforts. (1-6) The honour paid to Job, His
usefulness. (7-17) His prospect of prosperity. (18-25)
Verses 1-6: Job proceeds to contrast his former prosperity with his
present misery, through God's withdrawing from him. A gracious
soul delights in God's smiles, not in the smiles of this world.
Four things were then very pleasant to holy Job. 1. The
confidence he had in the Divine protection. 2. The enjoyment he
had of the Divine favour. 3. The communion he had with the
Divine word. 4. The assurance he had of the Divine presence.
God's presence with a man in his house, though it be but a
cottage, makes it a castle and a palace. Then also he had
comfort in his family. Riches and flourishing families, like a
candle, may be soon extinguished. But when the mind is
enlightened by the Holy Spirit, when a man walks in the light of
God's countenance, every outward comfort is doubled, every
trouble is diminished, and he may pass cheerfully by this light
through life and through death. Yet the sensible comfort of this
state is often withdrawn for a season; and commonly this arises
from sinful neglect, and grieving the Holy Spirit: sometimes it
may be a trial of a man's faith and grace. But it is needful to
examine ourselves, to seek for the cause of such a change by
fervent prayer, and to increase our watchfulness.
Verses 7-17: All sorts of people paid respect to Job, not only for the
dignity of his rank, but for his personal merit, his prudence,
integrity, and good management. Happy the men who are blessed
with such gifts as these! They have great opportunities of
honouring God and doing good, but have great need to watch
against pride. Happy the people who are blessed with such men!
it is a token for good to them. Here we see what Job valued
himself by, in the day of his prosperity. It was by his
usefulness. He valued himself by the check he gave to the
violence of proud and evil men. Good magistrates must thus be a
restraint to evil-doers, and protect the innocent; in order to
this, they should arm themselves with zeal and resolution. Such
men are public blessings, and resemble Him who rescues poor
sinners from Satan. How many who were ready to perish, now are
blessing Him! But who can show forth His praises? May we trust
in His mercy, and seek to imitate His truth, justice, and love.
Verses 18-25: Being thus honoured and useful, Job had hoped to die in
peace and honour, in a good old age. If such an expectation
arise from lively faith in the providence and promise of God, it
is well; but if from conceit of our own wisdom, and dependence
on changeable, earthly things, it is ill grounded, and turns to
sin. Every one that has the spirit of wisdom, has not the spirit
of government; but Job had both. Yet he had the tenderness of a
comforter. This he thought upon with pleasure, when he was
himself a mourner. Our Lord Jesus is a King who hates iniquity,
and upon whom the blessing of a world ready to perish comes. To
Him let us give ear.