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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary
Job 17



Verse 9

Job 17:9

These words assure us of two things which our minds need—a security of our continuance and of our growth.

I. Who are the righteous? (1) A righteous man is a true man; (2) a righteous man is upright in his daily life and conversation; (3) a righteous man understands, and recognises, and puts on another righteousness—the righteousness of Christ; (4) a righteous man is therefore a justified man, a man pleasing and dear to God for the sake of Jesus Christ.

II. "The righteous shall hold on his way." Can we read these words and deny the perseverance of saints? An unseen hand will be over you, attractions too strong to be resisted will draw you, a spirit not your own will animate you, and you will hold on your way.

III. "He that hath clean hands." To have clean hands means two things: (1) it is to be washed in the fountain that cleanseth from all sin; (2) to have clean hands is the Scriptural expression for a man who is living without any one known, wilful, deliberate sin.

IV. The forgiven man who lives purely "shall be stronger and stronger." (1) His conceptions of truth will grow continually firmer; (2) his faith in that truth will strengthen; (3) his power over his besetting sin will be greater; (4) his ability for service will grow; (5) his happy sense of God's love and favour will increase.

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 4th series, p. 125.

I. It is not possible to set out the salient features of Job's strength without taking into account the immense energy he derived from his burning consciousness of unimpeachable integrity. Integrity is power. Sincerity is a high form of human energy. Righteousness as a passion of the heart and an element in character and life is a manifest and undeniable source of imperial force. The strongest of beings is the holiest, and we men reach the very spring-head of power as we become partakers of the Divine purity.

II. But, strange to tell, the closing picture of Job is not that of a conqueror, but a confessor, not of an enthroned prince, but of a kneeling penitent. The unexpected revolution is effected by the revelation of God to the eye of the soul. Job knows God as he did not know Him before. The character of his knowledge is changed, heightened, vitalised, intensified, personalised. God is no longer a voice crying in the wilderness, but a Presence in his heart and before his spiritual eye.

III. Here then is one signal value of the knowledge of God, even of His immense power and greatness. By the knowledge of God is the knowledge of self, in the knowledge of self is the knowledge of sin, through the knowledge of personal sin we come to repentance, and by a baptism in the fiery waters of repentance we pass to the reality and strength of life.

IV. Such God-inspired penitence swiftly vindicates itself in the pure sincerity and holy brotherhood it creates and the reconciliation it effects between man and men and man and his lot. The voice of prayer is exchanged for the clash of debate; the incense of reconciling sacrifice ascends in place of the smoke of anger and scorn.

J. Clifford, Daily Strength for Daily Living, p. 325.

References: Job 17:9.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiii., No. 749, and vol. xxiii., No. 1361; J. H. Evans, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 435; J. A. Picton, Christian World Pulpit, vol. i., p. 211. Job 17:11.—Old Testament Outlines, p. 94. Job 17:13.—S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 201. Job 17:14.—J. M. Neale, Sermons in Sackville College, vol. ii., p. 169. Job 17—D. Moore, Penny Pulpit, No. 3171.


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Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

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