Job 42:1, 2
The patriarch made an unreserved submission. He felt that the very idea of judging the conduct of the Almighty was preposterous. Omnipotence and Omniscience render the thought of calling the Eternal into question superlatively ridiculous.
That first question of the Lord abides in his memory, and now in humble wonder at his own temerity he asks it of himself. It is tantamount to that apostolic question, “Nay, but O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” The patriarch illuminated with new light sees his own folly, and humbly confesses it before the Lord. A very great part of our religious talk consists of utterances which we ourselves do not understand, and all our complaining is based upon ignorance.
Job desired to enter God’s school, and to be taught of him. He will no longer be a pleader but a humble enquirer.
Hearing goes for little till the Lord’s arm is revealed in a man’s heart. Caryl well observes, “No man knoweth what a nothing he is in knowledge, grace, and goodness till the Lord is pleased to reveal himself to him.” While we compare ourselves with ourselves, or with others who are below us, we fancy ourselves important personages, but when the Lord unveils himself we become as nothing in our own eyes. The more we see of God the less shall we think of ourselves. Sound knowledge is the death of conceit.
Out of zeal to defend God’s providence they were not fair in argument. We have no business to defend truth with lies or suppressions. God will have honest defenders or none. He is displeased with untruthful advocates even though they fancy that they are upon the Lord’s side, and at any rate desire to be so.
Let us never judge others, for it may be we may come to be indebted to them for their prayers. We may have to crave their intercession, therefore let us not now judge them harshly.
If the Lord accepted Job and blessed his friends for his sake, how much more doth he accept the Lord Jesus Christ who offered himself a sacrifice for sin, and how safe we, his poor offending friends, are in him.
When in a forgiving spirit we pray for those who have behaved harshly to us some blessing is in store for us.
Thus shall the Lord’s procedures vindicate themselves, and his people shall be no losers by their afflictions.
If peace and plenty crown my days,
They help me, Lord, to speak thy praise;
If bread of sorrows be my food,
Those sorrows work my real good.
I would not change my blest estate
For all that earth calls good or great;
And while my faith can keep her hold,
I envy not the sinner’s gold.