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Job continueth in a voice of complaint through this Chapter. He seems to express himself, as one so borne down with sorrow that he knows not what he sayeth. He pleads hard with God, for a little respite of ease before his death.
(1) ¶ My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. (2) I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
Though there is in those verses much seeming impatience, yet when the mourner crieth out, Do not condemn me; is there not in the same voice, a cry for mercy and favor? Reader! how sweet is it in the afflictions of GOD'S redeemed, that in a thousand afflictions there is no curse. JESUS hath taken out the whole curse, when he was made a curse for his people. Oh! the soul-reviving, soul-comforting thought! Yes! thou dearest LORD, thou didst drink the cup of trembling; that thy people might drink the cup of salvation.
(3) Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked? (4) Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth? (5) Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man's days, (6) That thou enquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?
Reader! you and I may derive much good from this enquiry of Job, if so be the SPIRIT of JESUS graciously lead out our minds, when at any time under affliction, to a similar enquiry, "Show me wherefore thou contendest with me; " if in humbleness of soul we refer our cause to GOD, is a blessed plea of the seeking soul under affliction. We are bad judges in our own concerns. And therefore, if like Job we conclude that JESUS doth not contend for nothing, we may well suspect our own hearts, if at any time the LORD speaks in frowning providences, afflicting dispensations, dead ordinances, and the like. Mark this down, my brother, as a sweet token of grace, when we not only desire to have our souls abide by GOD'S trials, but fearing lest evil should be lurking beneath, we desire to be tried. Search me, O GOD , (said one of old) try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24 .
(7) Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
When Job saith, as here, I am not wicked, we should compare it with what he had said before, in order to apprehend his meaning. He had before cried out, I have sinned. Chap. 7:20. And in the preceding chapter to this, again and again declared, that if he justified himself, his own mouth would condemn him; therefore by saying here, that the LORD knew he was not wicked, Job could mean nothing more, than that he was not an intentional sinner, or as Satan charged him, and his friends wanted to prove him to be, an hypocrite before GOD; a dissembler with the LORD. This view of Job's meaning, I have the more largely insisted upon, because it will serve to throw a light upon many other similar passages, in his whole history.
(8) ¶ Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me. (9) Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? (10) Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? (11) Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. (12) Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. (13) And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.
What a beautiful description Job gives of GOD'S work in his formation? He eyes GOD as making him, feeding him, sustaining, protecting, fencing him, and granting continued instances of life and favor. Now saith Job, (and he pleads these things, as so many arguments for mercy), did my GOD thus bestow such tokens of wisdom and love, and will he not hear the cries of his afflicted creature? There is a great sweetness, and strength of persuasion, in this argument. But Reader! how this pleading riseth to an higher note; when paraphrased in the melodious accents of the gospel? How may every poor believer in JESUS, bring forth those arguments and say; Thou hast made me, O LORD, and new made me in CHRIST JESUS, thy dear, ever blessed Son; not only given me a being, but a new being, and an union of being in and with JESUS; thou hast fed me with his body, and caused me to drink of his blood; clothed me with his righteousness, put on the garment of salvation, fenced me from all the accusations of sin and Satan, of law and justice; visited me day by day with thy grace; granted me life and favor; and JESUS himself hath preserved my spirit; and shall I now despond; shall I now be afraid? Surely if the LORD were pleased to kill me, would he have received JESUS as my Redeemer at my hands, or accepted me in JESUS; or have showed me all these things? Judges 13:23 .
(14) ¶ If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity. (15) If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction; (16) For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me. (17) Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me. (18) Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me! (19) I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave. (20) Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, (21) Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; (22) A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
What Job hath here said, that he was full of confusion, and that his affliction encreased, may serve to account, in some measure, for the many hasty complaints he throws out. It is one of the most interesting beauties of the scriptures, and for which we never can sufficiently offer up our praises to GOD the HOLY GHOST, that he hath not only recorded the faith of the eminent servants of the Lord, but their frailties also. And the gracious intention of that blessed, and condescending Teacher, in this kind and merciful act, no humble soul should be at a loss to understand. Surely it was to comfort the LORD'S people, under their infirmities, that, as these things were written aforetime, written for our learning, so we in the view of them through patience, and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope. Romans 15:4 .
OUR views of Job in this chapter are various. In one part of it, we behold him in the exercise of grace. In another under the frettings of nature. Alas! What is man in his highest attainments, when for a moment he loseth sight of JESUS? My Brother! if you know anything of your own heart, you will know also, if so be that the LORD hath quickened you, to a new and spiritual life, that you are still in the body; and a body of sin and death, which drags down the soul. Much of nature as well as grace, is in the best of saints. If you have the spirit of CHRIST, you have also a body of flesh. If you have strong faith, you know what it is to have strong corruptions. And hence, were it not that perpetual communications are imparted, to keep the soul alive amidst the rubbish of corruption, what believer would be able to withstand long the many powerful foes of his salvation, which he hath to encounter?
We see Job, in this chapter, giving way to much impatience. But it will be a profitable view of the subject, if from the view we are led to see where our strength is, and by whom alone the best of men are kept, from similar backslidings. My Brother! it is JESUS alone that keeps his people in the hour, and from the power of temptation; and to have an eye steadfast upon him, to live to him, to believe in him, to delight ourselves in him, to lie passive in his hands, under every dispensation however trying, to be pleased with him as a sure friend when all things frown, as though he was turned to be our enemy; to depend upon his word, his faithfulness, his truth, when every method whereby he can be faithful, seems for the time to be lost; and like the prophet, when the fig trees blossom, and the fields fruit both fail; yet even then to live upon an unchangeable GOD in CHRIST, when all outward circumstances are changed; this, this is the patience of the saints. This is what GOD the FATHER is pleased with, in the grace of his dear Son, manifested in the faith of his people, and while the believer thus gives glory to GOD, GOD will give peace to the believer. Them that honor me, said GOD, I will honor. Oh! then for grace to live to his glory, in dark seasons as well as light, and to make CHRIST all and in all.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent