Job 14* Job speaks of man's life. (1-6) Of man's death. (7-15) By sinman is subject to corruption. (16-22)1-6 Job enlarges upon the condition of man, addressing himselfalso to God. Every man of Adam's fallen race is short-lived. Allhis show of beauty, happiness, and splendour falls before thestroke of sickness or death, as the flower before the scythe; orpasses away like the shadow. How is it possible for a man'sconduct to be sinless, when his heart is by nature unclean? Hereis a clear proof that Job understood and believed the doctrineof original sin. He seems to have intended it as a plea, why theLord should not deal with him according to his own works, butaccording to His mercy and grace. It is determined, in thecounsel and decree of God, how long we shall live. Our times arein his hands, the powers of nature act under him; in him we liveand move. And it is very useful to reflect seriously on theshortness and uncertainty of human life, and the fading natureof all earthly enjoyments. But it is still more important tolook at the cause, and remedy of these evils. Until we are bornof the Spirit, no spiritually good thing dwells in us, or canproceed from us. Even the little good in the regenerate isdefiled with sin. We should therefore humble ourselves beforeGod, and cast ourselves wholly on the mercy of God, through ourDivine Surety. We should daily seek the renewing of the HolyGhost, and look to heaven as the only place of perfect holinessand happiness. 7-15 Though a tree is cut down, yet, in a moist situation,shoots come forth, and grow up as a newly planted tree. But whenman is cut off by death, he is for ever removed from his placein this world. The life of man may fitly be compared to thewaters of a land flood, which spread far, but soon dry up. AllJob's expressions here show his belief in the great doctrine ofthe resurrection. Job's friends proving miserable comforters, hepleases himself with the expectation of a change. If our sinsare forgiven, and our hearts renewed to holiness, heaven will bethe rest of our souls, while our bodies are hidden in the gravefrom the malice of our enemies, feeling no more pain from ourcorruptions, or our corrections. 16-22 Job's faith and hope spake, and grace appeared to revive;but depravity again prevailed. He represents God as carryingmatters to extremity against him. The Lord must prevail againstall who contend with him. God may send disease and pain, we maylose all comfort in those near and dear to us, every hope ofearthly happiness may be destroyed, but God will receive thebeliever into realms of eternal happiness. But what a changeawaits the prosperous unbeliever! How will he answer when Godshall call him to his tribunal? The Lord is yet upon amercy-seat, ready to be gracious. Oh that sinners would be wise,that they would consider their latter end! While man's flesh isupon him, that is, the body he is so loth to lay down, it shallhave pain; and while his soul is within him, that is, the spirithe is so loth to resign, it shall mourn. Dying work is hardwork; dying pangs often are sore pangs. It is folly for men todefer repentance to a death-bed, and to have that to do which isthe one thing needful, when unfit to do anything.
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