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Bible Commentaries
Job 5

Simeon's Horae HomileticaeHorae Homileticae

Verses 19-27

DISCOURSE: 455
THE SECURITY OF GOD’S PEOPLE

Job 5:19-27. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace: and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin. Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth. Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season. Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.

THE friends of Job were men of undoubted piety, and of very deep and extensive knowledge in the things of God. Unhappily they had taken up an erroneous principle in relation to the dealings of God with men in this world; and from that error proceeded all their criminations of Job, together with a continual misapplication of the sublimest truths. This distinction we must ever bear in mind: their general views of divine truth were most sublime and glorious: it was only the particular point of doctrine respecting divine providence in which they were mistaken, and in which their sentiments are not to be depended on. This very speech of Eliphaz is repeatedly quoted in other parts of Scripture as of divine authority. Solomon adopts one part of it [Note: Proverbs 3:11.]; St. Paul quotes different parts [Note: 1Co 3:19.Hebrews 12:5.]; St. James also refers to it [Note: James 1:12; James 5:11.]: we may therefore safely regard the promises recorded in our text as the declarations of God himself; more especially as there is not one expression in them which is not confirmed by a variety of other passages of Holy Writ. Indeed Eliphaz himself lays singular stress upon them, declaring, from the deepest “search,” his full conviction of their truth; and urging a reliance on them as a most infallible source of “good.” Regarding them therefore in this light, we shall endeavour to explain, confirm, and improve them.

I.

To explain them—

They are very great and comprehensive—
[They ensure to every believing soul a full deliverance from all evil. Evils may arise in quick succession, not only “six or seven,” but to an indefinite extent: the pressure of famine and the calamities of war may be felt by him as well as others; and the scourge of calumny may be directed against him in a more peculiar and exclusive manner: but he shall find such interpositions of God in his favour, either for his exemption from the trial, or for his support under it, as shall sufficiently distinguish him from all others. In the very midst of the trials he shall feel himself like a man in an impregnable fortress, that “laughs at” the efforts of his bitterest foes. So chained shall all his enemies appear, that he shall feel as if the very “stones of the field were in league with him” not to wound his foot, and “the beasts of the field” not to open their mouths against him.

The same sweet assurance also is given him as to an enjoyment of all comfort. Not only is his mind at peace in relation to his own personal concerns; he has equal composure in reference to those of a domestic nature. Whilst he sees his family growing up around him, he knows that they also are under the protection of an all-wise Providence; and that no evil shall befall them. If he “visit his habitation,” he has no fear that he shall find his family overwhelmed with troubles, or that he shall be disappointed [Note: The word translated “sin,” is in the margin translated “err:” and the true sense of the passage is that given above.] in his hopes of seeing them in “peace” and safety. Nor is it in life only that he is thus blessed, but in death also; to which he shall be brought, when ripe for glory, as a shock of corn, fully meet for the granary of heaven.]

They must however be understood with limitations and restrictions—
[Though “godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come [Note: 1 Timothy 4:8.],” we are not to imagine, that the temporal promises are on the same precise footing with those which relate to things spiritual and eternal. Grace and glory are secured to the believer at all events; whilst temporal prosperity is secured only so far as shall ultimately conduce to his eternal welfare. To this extent the promises are equally sure: but where the benefit of the soul will be most promoted by circumstances that are painful to flesh and blood, the lesser good gives way to the greater; and God, as a wise Parent, sends us that which he knows to be most for our eternal good. If we do not thus restrict the promises of temporal happiness, we shall be at a loss to account for all the trials that have befallen the saints from the time of Abel until this present hour: but, with that solution, there is not, nor ever has been, the smallest difference between the promises of God’s word, and the dispensations of his providence.]

The promises in our text being thus explained, we proceed,

II.

To confirm them—

The whole Scripture bears testimony to the truth of them. “Search,”

1.

The Law—

[Precisely the same promises were made to the Jewish people, if only they would serve their God in sincerity and truth [Note: Leviticus 26:3-12.] — — —]

2.

The Prophets—

[Not to dwell on each individual promise, we may find the whole collected together in one psalm by the sweet singer of Israel [Note: Psalms 91:1-16.] — — —]

3.

The New Testament—

[Not only are we told in general that “God is faithful, and will not suffer his people to be tempted above that they are able [Note: 1 Corinthians 10:13.],” but we find the Apostle actually applying to himself the promises of God to the full extent that they are specified in the text [Note: 2 Timothy 4:18.], and actually glorying over all the enemies that might be supposed capable of interfering with their accomplishment [Note: Romans 8:35-39.] — — —

In a word, the promises which we have been considering are confirmed by the uniform tenor of the Holy Scriptures; and “they are sure to all” who truly rely upon them [Note: Romans 4:16.].]

Convinced of the truth of these promises, we are now only concerned,

III.

To improve them—

Nothing can exceed the importance of them; since they most forcibly teach us,

1.

Submission in trials—

[Be it so, that our afflictions are great and manifold; can we have any reason for complaint, when we know that they are all ordered in number, measure, and duration, for our best and greatest good, according to the counsels of infinite wisdom and love? Can we have reason for complaint when we are assured, that they are the very dispensations which we should choose for ourselves, if we saw the issue of them as clearly as God sees it? It is in this very view that the promises are introduced, namely, to pacify the mind of Job, and to reconcile him to the afflictions which he was called to sustain [Note: ver. 17, 18.]: and, if once we are convinced that God is fulfilling to us the promises of his word, we shall receive even the most painful dispensations as blessings in disguise [Note: See Rom 8:28. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. 1 Peter 1:7.].]

2.

Confidence in supplications—

[What will he who unsolicited “has given us such exceeding great and precious promises,” refuse to our earnest petitions? The very end for which he gave them was, “that by them we might be partakers of the divine nature [Note: 2 Peter 1:4.],” and be enabled “to perfect holiness in the fear of God [Note: 2 Corinthians 7:1.].” Can we ask for any thing more than this? If we can conceive of any thing beyond, he says, “Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you:” yea, he teaches us to expect that he will do for us exceeding abundantly “above all that we can ask or think.” Let us then “draw nigh to him in full assurance of faith:” let us “open our mouths wide, that he may fill them;” and let us say to him in the confidence of a successful issue, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”]

3.

Activity in obedience—

[Who can hear such promises as God has made to us in our text, and not say, “What shall I render unto the Lord?” Can any “commandment be grievous,” that proceeds from him? If dissuaded from any exertion or any sufferings for his sake, should we not instantly reply, “What mean ye to weep and to break my heart?” for “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die” the most cruel death for so unspeakably gracious and good a God [Note: Acts 21:13.]. My Brethren, let this unbounded “love of His constrain you to live no more unto yourselves, but wholly and unreservedly to him” — — — Then indeed will this grace of God have produced its due effect, and, as Eliphaz intimates in our text, we shall have “heard and known it for our good.”]


Bibliographical Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Job 5". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/shh/job-5.html. 1832.
 
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