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Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities; Agency; Chastisement; Conviction; God; God Continued...; Pain; Philosophy; Wicked (People); Thompson Chain Reference - Afflictions; Blessings-Afflictions; Chastisement; Distress; Pain; Trials; The Topic Concordance - Deliverance; Grace; Hearing; Prayer; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Diseases; Sickness;
Verse Job 33:19. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, c. —
IV. - AFFLICTIONS are a fourth means which God makes use of to awaken and convert sinners. In the hand of God these were the cause of the salvation of David, as himself testifies: Before I was afflicted, I went astray, Psalms 119:67; Psalms 119:71; Psalms 119:75.
The multitude of his bones — By such diseases, especially those of a rheumatic kind, when to the patient's apprehension every bone is diseased, broken, or out of joint.
Some render the passage, When the multitude of his bones is yet strong meaning those sudden afflictions which fall upon men when in a state of great firmness and vigour. The original, ורוב עצמיו אתן verob atsamaiv ethan, may be translated, And the strong multitude of his bones. Even the strong multitude of his bones is chastened with pain upon his bed; the place of rest and ease affording him no peace, quiet, or comfort.
The bones may be well termed multitudinous, as there are no less than 10 in the cranium, or skull; upper jaw, 13; lower jaw, 1; teeth, 32; tongue, 1; vertebrae, or back-bone, 24; ribs, 24; sternum, or breast-bone, 3; os innominatum, 1; scapula, or shoulder-blades, 2; arms, 6; hands, 54; thigh-bones, 2; knee-bones, 2; legs, 4; feet, 54: in all, not less than 233 bones, without reckoning the ossa sethamoides; because, though often numerous, they are found only in hard labourers, or elderly persons.
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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 33:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-33.html. 1832.
Elihu accuses Job (33:1-33)
Turning now to Job, Elihu gives the assurance that he speaks with sincerity and with respect for the God who created him (33:1-4). He also speaks as one who is on a level of equality with Job (5-7).
To begin with Elihu recalls Job’s claim to be innocent and Job’s accusation that God has treated him as if he were guilty (8-11). Elihu is shocked that a person could make such an accusation against God, and boldly rebukes Job (12-13). He suggests that if Job were quiet for a while, he might hear God speaking to him, possibly through a dream or vision. God will then show him his pride so that he might repent of it and be saved from destruction (14-18).
Elihu then repeats, and in some ways expands, what the other three have already said. He starts by asserting that God punishes the sinner with disease and suffering (19-21). Then, when the person is almost dead, God sends a messenger to show him his sin and lead him to repentance (22-23. Perhaps Elihu sees himself as this messenger). The person is then saved from death, his body is healed and good health returns (24-25). He rejoices in fellowship with God again, and confesses to all that though he was justly punished for his sin, God has mercifully saved him (26-28).
After giving an added warning not to ignore God’s patience and mercy, Elihu challenges Job to deny the truth of his argument. If Job has nothing to say, let him listen to Elihu further (29-33).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Job 33:19". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/job-33.html. 2005.
He is chastened also with pain - As another means of checking and restraining him from the commission of sin. When the warnings of the night fail, and when he is bent on a life of sin, then God lays him on a bed of pain, and he is brought to reflection there. There he has an opportunity to think of his life, and of all the consequences which must follow from a career of iniquity. This involves the main inquiry before the disputants. It was, why people were afflicted. The three friends of Job had said that it was a full proof of wickedness, and that when the professedly pious were afflicted it was demonstrative of insincerity and hypocrisy. Job had called this position in question, and proved that it could not be so, but still was at a loss why it was. Elihu now says, that affliction is a part of a disciplinary government; that it is one of the means which God adopts, when warnings are ineffectual, to restrain people and to bring them to reflection and repentance. This appears to have been a view which was almost entirely new to them.
And the multitude of his bones with strong pain - The bones, as has before been remarked, it was supposed might be the seat of the acutest pain; see the notes at Job 30:17; compare Job 20:11; Job 7:15; Job 30:30. The meaning here is, that the frame was racked with intense suffering in order to admonish men of sin, to save them from plunging into deeper transgression, and to bring them to repentance.
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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 33:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-33.html. 1870.
Wherefore, Job, [he said,] I pray thee, now hear my speech, hearken to all my words. Behold, I've opened my mouth, my tongue has spoken in my mouth. My words shall be of uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life. If you can answer me, set your words in order before me, stand up. Behold, I am according to your wish in God's stead ( Job 33:1-6 ):
Oh, my, he's going now a little far. Job was saying earlier, "Oh, that there was someone between us, you know, that could lay his hand on." Now, "I'm what you wished for. I am standing here in God's stead." Elihu, you're getting carried away. So I depart from him at this point.
I also am formed out of the clay. Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee. Surely you have spoken in my hearing, I've heard the voice of your words, saying ( Job 33:6-8 ),
And now he's quoting Job. I've heard you say,
I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there any iniquity in me ( Job 33:9 ).
And he heard Job saying concerning God:
Behold, he find occasions against me, he counts me for his enemy; He puts my feet in the stocks, he marks all my paths. Behold, in this, Job, you are not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man. Why do you strive against him? for he gives not account of any of his matters ( Job 33:10-13 ).
"God doesn't owe you any apologies, God doesn't owe you any explanations." Paul said concerning God that He is as a potter and we are as the clay, and what right has the clay to say to the potter, "Why have You made me like this? Why did You put that wrinkle in me?" I have no right to challenge God. As a lump of clay, the Potter has sovereignty over my life. He can make of me whatever He wants to make of me. He can do with me whatever He wants to do with me. He can make me a vessel of honor, a vessel of dishonor. He can make me a drinking cup or a garbage pail. He has absolute power over my life. And He doesn't owe me explanations, though I'm oftentimes demanding explanations from Him. "God, what did You do this for? Lord, why did You allow that to happen?" I'm demanding that God give me an explanation. "God, give me a reason." He really doesn't owe me any explanations. He can do whatever He wants without having to explain to me.
Now we sing, "Farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along we'll understand why. Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine. We'll understand it all, by and by. And we'll talk it over in the by and by. We'll talk it over, my Lord and I. I'll ask the reasons, He'll tell me why when we talk it over in the by and by." Do you think I'm going to sit down in heaven and say, "Now, Lord, do you remember back in 1980, that weird thing that happened, now why did You do that, Lord?" No way! When I get there, I'm going to be so glad just to be there and so excited to get it on with whatever God's got in store, I'm not going to be challenging God or asking God for the reasons why things happened to me here on the earth. At that point, I can care less. Just glad to be there and to enter into the excitement and the thrills and the joys of His eternal kingdom. So there are some people that may want to get to heaven and sit down and get all the explanations for life and all. Not me, I have no desire to waste my time in heaven with that kind of stuff. Just glad to be out of this mess and all of it. Just with the Lord and there in His presence and in His kingdom.
So he declares,
For God has spoken once, yes twice, yet man did not perceive it. In a dream, and in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings on the bed; Then he opens the ears of men, and seals their instructions, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword ( Job 33:14-18 ).
Now God speaks. Once He speaks, twice. How does God speak? He speaks sometimes through dreams. He speaks sometimes through visions. God can speak in various ways to people. I think, though, that our hearts need to be open to hear the voice of God. I believe that God is speaking and does speak quite often and we just don't understand that it is God speaking. We don't understand His voice. We're looking for some echo chamber type of voice. "Charles..." Oh God! You know, just expecting things to just reverberate. But God speaks in such beautiful, natural ways that we're not always aware that it is God speaking. God can speak to us through dreams. He can speak to us through visions. He can speak to us through angels. He can speak to us through His Word. He can speak to us through a friend. God can speak to us in many different ways, and you can't really limit the ways by which God speaks to a man.
Elijah said there was a fire; God wasn't in a fire. There was a horrible wind; God wasn't in the wind. There was an earthquake; God wasn't in the earthquake. And then there came a still small voice and God was in the still small voice ( 1 Kings 19:11-13 ). Now that was that particular experience, but God can speak and did speak to Moses through the fire. God spoke to the jailer through an earthquake. God can speak in different ways. The fact is, God is speaking. Am I listening? Am I tuned in?
Would you believe me if I told you that in this room tonight there are all kinds of pictures and all kinds of voices? There is beautiful symphonic music in this room right now. And there's hard rock. And there's all kinds of sounds in this room right now. Now if you had a little radio and you would tune it, you could pick up all of the music that's floating through the air. Just by turning your tuner. Tuning in. You could see all of the pictures that are floating through the air. Hear the voices. But you've got to be tuned into them. Even so, God is speaking, but we're not always tuned in to the voice of God. It takes really, I think, a definite act of our own will of saying, "Lord, speak to me. Show me." And then waiting to allow God to speak to us. Listening to what the Lord might have to say. And I think that our mistake is that we're not asking God direct questions, and thus we're not getting direct answers. We're not listening enough to hear God speak to us. God has spoken once; God has spoken twice. He speaks in visions. He opens ears. He turns us from our purposes in order that He might keep us back from the pit.
He is chastened also with pain upon his bed [that is, man], and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhors bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that they were not, they stick out ( Job 33:19-21 ).
So he's sort of describing Job's condition. "Man, you know, you're in pain, and your bones are sticking out, and your health is taken away, and all. God is trying to speak to you, Job."
If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show man his uprightness; Then he is gracious unto him, and he says, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favorable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: and he'll render unto man his righteousness. He looks upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul ( Job 33:23-28 )
"If you'll confess," he is saying,
He'll deliver your soul from the pit, and your life shall see the light. Lo, these things God works oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I'm going to speak. And if you have anything to say, then answer: speak, for I desire to justify thee. If not, then listen to me: hold your peace, and I am going to teach you wisdom ( Job 33:28-33 ).
So this young kid's telling Job, "If you've got anything to say, say it, but if not, then just let me talk on, because I'm going to teach you a few things here." Now, what he is saying is basically pretty sound, and that is that God oftentimes uses chastisement to turn us away from the pit. You know, as a child of God, you're in a very good position, because God's not going to let you get away with evil. Now everyone around you may get away with it, that's because they are not children of God. But because He's your Father, and He's watching over you, He's not going to let you get by with perversity, with crookedness. And God uses chastisement to keep His children out of the pit. God'll stop you. He'll allow you to be caught up with. "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord. For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" ( Hebrews 12:5-6 ). And if you are not chastened, then you're like a bastard; you're not really His son.
If you can do evil and get by with it, then I would very worried. If you can cheat and get by with it, then you have cause to really be worried. But if you're a child of God, He's not going to let you get by. You're going to get caught up with. That's because He's trying to save you from the snare, from the pit. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 33:19". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/job-33.html. 2014.
Elihu’s first response to Job ch. 33
This whole speech is an attempt to explain to Job why God was not responding to him. Elihu was very wordy, which he admitted in Job 32:18. In summary, he told Job that God was not silent, as Job had charged, but that He was speaking through dreams and sickness to Job. Rather than using suffering to punish Job for his sins, God was using it to prevent him from dying. Elihu said God was being merciful to Job. The three counselors had said the purpose of suffering was punitive. Job’s wife, before them, had said Job was suffering because God was unfair. Now Elihu offered a third solution: God was trying to teach Job something. He said the purpose of suffering is pedagogical, educational.
Job 33:1-7 record Elihu’s request that Job hear him out. "Yourselves" in Job 33:5 should read "yourself." Elihu next summarized what Job had said (Job 33:8-13). He explained that God spoke in dreams and visions (Job 33:14-18) and through pain (Job 33:19-28). Job had had dreams (Job 7:14) that, Elihu suggested, should keep Job from improper actions and attitudes, specifically, pride that would be sinful and would lead to his death (Job 33:17). In sickness and pain God brings people closer to death. This leads them to evaluate their lives and, if they respond properly, to grow in their relationship with Him.
"God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." [Note: C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p. 81.]
The angels are God’s agents in bringing both sickness and restoration to people (Job 33:23; cf. Job 5:1; Job 9:33). The "ransom" (Job 33:24) probably refers to the sick person’s repentance. Seeing the light (Job 33:28) means being kept alive. Job 33:29-33 summarize Elihu’s argument.
"Unfortunately like so many well-meaning messengers of grace, Elihu was so fully convinced of his good intentions toward Job that he became insufferably overbearing." [Note: Smick, "Job," p. 1007.]
"Elihu did, however, perceive the significance of the all-important principle of God’s free grace, which the others had slighted." [Note: Kline, p. 483.]
Elihu’s views contrasted with those of the three friends as follows.
|Sin leads to suffering.||Suffering leads to sin.|
|Suffering is retributive.||Suffering is protective|
|Suffering is punitive.||Suffering is educational.|
|Job should repent.||Job should learn.|
|Job should initiate restoration.||God had initiated restoration.|
Who was correct? Other Scriptures indicate that God uses suffering both to punish sinners and to produce spiritual growth. In some cases, He may have one purpose in view, and in other cases, another. On the other hand, both Elihu and the three friends were wrong in some of what they said. Job was not a great sinner, and God sometimes intervenes personally and directly in human experience.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Job 33:19". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/job-33.html. 2012.
He is chastened also with pain upon his bed,.... This seems to be another way, in which God, according to his eternal purposes, speaks unto men, as the word "also" intimates; namely, by afflictions, and sometimes painful ones; which have a voice in them, and men of wisdom will hearken to it, Micah 6:9. Pain here signifies not pain of the mind, or a wounded spirit, which is very afflicting, distressing, and intolerable; but pain of the body, as the next clause shows; and this endured on the bed, it being so great as to confine a man to his bed, or is what he felt there, where he might hope for ease and rest; see Job 7:13;
and the multitude of his bones with strong [pain]; not with a slight one, but a very strong one, such as those felt who gnawed their tongues for pain, Revelation 16:10. Jarchi interprets it, the multitude of his bones, which are strong; though they are hardy and strong, yet filled with exquisite pain; and not one, or a few of them, but a multitude of them, as there are a multitude of them in a man's body; even all of them, as Hezekiah complains, which must be very excruciating indeed, Isaiah 38:13; and which was Job's case; not only his flesh was in pain, through the sores and ulcers upon him, but his bones were pierced in him, and his sinews had no rest, and he was full of tossings to and fro, Job 7:3; and in this way he was, as other good men are, reproved and chastened by the Lord; and in which way he had spoke to him, as he does to others, and which should be attended to; and since such painful afflictions are but fatherly chastisements, they should be patiently endured, and the voice of God in them listened to, and before long there will be no more pain: the "Cetib", or textual writing, is, "the contention of his bones is strong"; through pain, or with which God contends with men; we follow the marginal reading.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 33:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-33.html. 1999.
19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: 20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. 21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. 22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. 23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness: 24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. 25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth: 26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. 27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; 28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
God has spoken once to sinners by their own consciences, to keep them from the paths of the destroyer, but they perceive it not; they are not aware that the checks their own hearts give them in a sinful way are from God, but they are imputed to melancholy or the preciseness of their education; and therefore God speaks twice; he speaks a second time, and tries another way to convince and reclaim sinners, and that is by providences, afflictive and merciful (in which he speaks twice), and by the seasonable instructions of good ministers setting in with them. Job complained much of his diseases and judged by them that God was angry with him; his friends did so too: but Elihu shows that they were all mistaken, for God often afflicts the body in love, and with gracious designs of good to the soul, as appears in the issue. This part of Elihu's discourse will be of great use to us for the due improvement of sickness, in and by which God speaks to men. Here is,
I. The patient described in his extremity. See what work sickness makes (Job 33:19-21; Job 33:19-21, c.) when God sends it with commission. Do this, and doeth it. 1. The sick man is full of pain all over him (Job 33:19; Job 33:19): He is chastened with pain upon his bed, such pain as confines him to his bed, or so extreme the pain is that he can get no ease, no, not on his bed, where he would repose himself. Pain and sickness will turn a bed of down into a bed of thorns, on which he that used to sleep now tosses to and fro till the dawning of the day. The case, as here put, is very bad. Pain is borne with more difficulty than sickness, and with that the patient here is chastened, not a dull heavy pain, but strong and acute; and frequently the stronger the patient the stronger the pain, for the more sanguine the complexion is the more violent, commonly, the disease is. It is not the smarting of the flesh that is complained of, but the aching of the bones. It is an inward rooted pain; and not only the bones of one limb, but the multitude of the bones, are thus chastened. See what frail, what vile bodies we have, which, though receiving no external hurt, may be thus pained from causes within themselves. See what work sin makes, what mischief it does. Pain is the fruit of sin; yet, by the grace of God, the pain of the body is often made a means of good to the soul. 2. He has quite lost his appetite, the common effect of sickness (Job 33:20; Job 33:20): His life abhorreth bread, the most necessary food, and dainty meat, which he most delighted in, and formerly relished with a great deal of pleasure. This is a good reason why we should not be desirous of dainties, because they are deceitful meat,Proverbs 23:3. We may be soon made as sick of them as we are now fond of them; and those who live in luxury when they are well, if ever they come, by reason of sickness, to loathe dainty meat, may, with grief and shame, read their sin in their punishment. Let us not inordinately love the taste of meat, for the time may come when we may even loathe the sight of meat, Psalms 107:18. 3. He has become a perfect skeleton, nothing but skin and bones, Job 33:21; Job 33:21. By sickness, perhaps a few days' sickness, his flesh, which was fat, and fair, is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; it is strangely wasted and gone: and his bones, which were buried in flesh, now stick out; you may count his ribs, may tell all his bones. The soul that is well nourished with the bread of life sickness will not make lean, but it soon makes a change in the body.
|"He who, before, had such a beauteous air, And, pampered with the ease, seemed plump and fair Doth all his friends (amazing change!) surprise With pale lean cheeks and ghastly hollow eyes; His bones (a horrid sight) start through his skin, Which lay before, in flesh and fat, unseen."|
|Sir R. BLACKMORE.|
4. He is given up for gone, and his life despaired of (Job 33:22; Job 33:22): His soul draws near to the grave, that is, he has all the symptoms of death upon him, and in the apprehension of all about him, as well as in his own, he is a dying man. The pangs of death, here called the destroyers, are just ready to seize him; they compass him about, Psalms 116:3. Perhaps it intimates the very dreadful apprehensions which those have of death as a destroying thing, when it stares them in the face, who, when it was at a distance, made light of it. All agree when it comes to the point, whatever they thought of it before, that it is a serious thing to die.
II. The provision made for his instruction, in order to a sanctified use of his affliction, that, when God in that way speaks to man, he may be heard and understood, and not speak in vain, Job 33:23; Job 33:23. He is happy if there be a messenger with him to attend him in his sickness, to convince, counsel, and comfort him, an interpreter to expound the providence and give him to understand the meaning of it, a man of wisdom that knows the voice of the rod and its interpretation; for, when God speaks by afflictions, we are frequently so unversed in the language, that we have need of an interpreter, and it is well if we have such a one. The advice and help of a good minister are as needful and seasonable, and should be as acceptable, in sickness, as of a good physician, especially if he be well skilled in the art of explaining and improving providences; he is then one of a thousand, and to be valued accordingly. His business at such a time is to show unto man his uprightness, that is, God's uprightness, that in faithfulness he afflicts him and does him no wrong, which it is necessary to be convinced of in order to our making a due improvement of the affliction: or, rather, it may mean man's uprightness, or rectitude. 1. The uprightness that is. If it appear that the sick person is truly pious, the interpreter will not do as Job's friends had done, make it his business to prove him a hypocrite because he is afflicted, but on the contrary will show him his uprightness, notwithstanding his afflictions, that he may take the comfort of it, and be easy, whatever the event is. 2. The uprightness, the reformation, that should be, in order to life and peace. When men are made to see the way of uprightness to be the only way, and a sure way to salvation, and to choose it, and walk in it accordingly, the work is done.
III. God's gracious acceptance of him, upon his repentance, Job 33:24; Job 33:24. When he sees that the sick person is indeed convinced that sincere repentance, and that uprightness which is gospel perfection, are his interest as well as his duty, then he that waits to be gracious, and shows mercy upon the first indication of true repentance, is gracious unto him, and takes him into his favour and thoughts for good. Wherever God finds a gracious heart he will be found a gracious God; and, 1. He will give a gracious order for his discharge. He says, Deliver him (that is, let him be delivered) from going down to the pit, from that death which is the wages of sin. When afflictions have done their work they shall be removed. When we return to God in a way of duty he will return to us in a way of mercy. Those shall be delivered from going down to the pit who receive God's messengers, and rightly understand his interpreters, so as to subscribe to his uprightness. 2. He will give a gracious reason for this order: I have found a ransom, or propitiation; Jesus Christ is that ransom, so Elihu calls him, as Job had called him his Redeemer, for he is both the purchaser and the price, the priest and the sacrifice; so high was the value put upon souls that nothing less would redeem them, and so great the injury done by sin that nothing less would atone for it than the blood of the Son of God, who gave his life a ransom for many. This is a ransom of God's finding, a contrivance of Infinite Wisdom; we could never have found it ourselves, and the angels themselves could never have found it. It is the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, and such an invention as is and will be the everlasting wonder of those principalities and powers that desire to look into it. Observe how God glories in the invention here, heureka, heureka--"I have found, I have found, the ransom; I, even I, am he that has done it."
IV. The recovery of the sick man hereupon. Take away the cause and the effect will cease. When the patient becomes a penitent see what a blessed change follows. 1. His body recovers its health, Job 33:25; Job 33:25. This is not always the consequence of a sick man's repentance and return to God, but sometimes it is; and recovery from sickness is a mercy indeed when it arises from the remission of sin; then it is in love to the soul that the body is delivered from the pit of corruption when God casts our sins behind his back,Isaiah 38:17. That is the method of a blessed recovery. Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee; and then, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk,Matthew 9:2; Matthew 9:6. So here, interest him in the ransom, and then his flesh shall be fresher than a child's and there shall be no remains of his distemper, but he shall return to the days of his youth, to the beauty and strength which he had then. When the distemper that oppressed nature is removed how strangely does nature help itself, in which the power and goodness of the God of nature must be thankfully acknowledged! By such merciful providences as these, which afflictions give occasion for, God speaketh once, yea, twice, to the children of men, letting them know (if they would but perceive it) their dependence upon him and his tender compassion of them. 2. His soul recovers it peace, Job 33:26; Job 33:26. (1.) The patient, being a penitent, is a supplicant, and has learned to pray. He knows God will be sought unto for his favours, and therefore he shall pray unto God, pray for pardon, pray for health. Is any afflicted, and sick? Let him pray. When he finds himself recovering he shall not then think that prayer is no longer necessary, for we need the grace of God as much for the sanctifying of a mercy as for the sanctifying of an affliction. (2.) His prayers are accepted. God will be favourable to him, and be well pleased with him; his anger shall be turned away from him, and the light of God's countenance shall shine upon his soul; and then it follows, (3.) That he has the comfort of communion with God. He shall now see the face of God, which before was hid from him, and he shall see it with joy, for what sight can be more reviving? See Genesis 33:10, As though I had seen the face of God. All true penitents rejoice more in the returns of God's favour than in any instance whatsoever of prosperity or pleasure, Psalms 4:6; Psalms 4:7. (4.) He has a blessed tranquility of mind, arising from the sense of his justification before God, who will render unto this man his righteousness. He shall receive the atonement, that is, the comfort of it, Romans 5:11. Righteousness shall be imputed to him, and peace thereupon spoken, the joy and gladness of which he shall then be made to hear though he could not hear them in the day of his affliction. God will now deal with him as a righteous man, with whom it shall be well. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, even righteousness,Psalms 24:5. God shall give him grace to go and sin no more. Perhaps this may denote the reformation of his life after his recovery. As he shall pray unto God, whom before he had slighted, so he shall render to man his righteousness, whom before he had wronged, shall make restitution, and for the future do justly.
V. The general rule which God will go by in dealing with the children of men inferred from this instance, Job 33:27; Job 33:28. As sick people, upon their submission, are restored, so all others that truly repent of their sins shall find mercy with God. See here, 1. What sin is, and what reason we have not to sin. Would we know the nature of sin and the malignity of it? It is the perverting of that which is right; it is a most unjust unreasonable thing; it is the rebellion of the creature against the Creator, the usurped dominion of the flesh over the spirit, and a contradiction to the eternal rules and reasons of good and evil. It is perverting the right ways of the Lord (Acts 13:10), and therefore the ways of sin are called crooked ways,Psalms 125:5. Would we know what is to be got by sin? It profiteth us not. The works of darkness are unfruitful works. When profit and loss come to be balanced all the gains of sin, put them all together, will come far short of countervailing the damage. All true penitents are ready to own this, and it is a mortifying consideration. Romans 6:21, What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? 2. See what repentance is, and what reason we have to repent. Would we approve ourselves true penitents? We must then, with a broken and contrite heart, confess our sins to God, 1 John 1:9. We must confess the fact of sin (I have sinned) and not deny the charge, or stand upon our own justification; we must confess the fault of sin, the iniquity, the dishonesty of it ( have perverted that which was right); we must confess the folly of sin--"so foolish have I been and ignorant, for it profited me not; and therefore what have I to do any more with it?" Is there not good reason why we should make such a penitent confession as this? For, (1.) God expect it. He looks upon men, when they have sinned, to see what they will do next, whether they will go on in it or whether they will bethink themselves and return. He hearkens and hears whether any say, What have I done?Jeremiah 8:6. He looks upon sinners with an eye of compassion, desiring to hear this from them; for he has no pleasure in their ruin. He looks upon them, and, as soon as he perceives these workings of repentance in them, he encourages them and is ready to accept them (Psalms 32:5; Psalms 32:6), as the father went forth to meet the returning prodigal. (2.) It will turn to our unspeakable advantage. The promise is general. If any humble himself thus, whoever he be, [1.] He shall not come into condemnation, but be saved from the wrath to come: He shall deliver his soul from going into the pit, the pit of hell; iniquity shall not be his ruin. [2.] He shall be happy in everlasting life and joy: His life shall see the light, that is, all good, in the vision and fruition of God. To obtain this bliss, if the prophet had bidden us do some great thing, would we not have done it? How much more when he only says unto us, Wash and be clean, confess and be pardoned, repent and be saved?
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Job 33:19". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/job-33.html. 1706.
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17