Job 16* Job reproves his friends. (1-5) He represents his case asdeplorable. (6-16) Job maintains his innocency. (17-22)1-5 Eliphaz had represented Job's discourses as unprofitable,and nothing to the purpose; Job here gives his the samecharacter. Those who pass censures, must expect to have themretorted; it is easy, it is endless, but what good does it do?Angry answers stir up men's passions, but never convince theirjudgments, nor set truth in a clear light. What Job says of hisfriends is true of all creatures, in comparison with God; onetime or other we shall be made to see and own that miserablecomforters are they all. When under convictions of sin, terrorsof conscience, or the arrests of death, only the blessed Spiritcan comfort effectually; all others, without him, do itmiserably, and to no purpose. Whatever our brethren's sorrowsare, we ought by sympathy to make them our own; they may soon beso. 6-16 Here is a doleful representation of Job's grievances. Whatreason we have to bless God, that we are not making suchcomplaints! Even good men, when in great troubles, have much adonot to entertain hard thoughts of God. Eliphaz had representedJob as unhumbled under his affliction: No, says Job, I knowbetter things; the dust is now the fittest place for me. In thishe reminds us of Christ, who was a man of sorrows, andpronounced those blessed that mourn, for they shall becomforted. 17-22 Job's condition was very deplorable; but he had thetestimony of his conscience for him, that he never allowedhimself in any gross sin. No one was ever more ready toacknowledge sins of infirmity. Eliphaz had charged him withhypocrisy in religion, but he specifies prayer, the great act ofreligion, and professes that in this he was pure, though notfrom all infirmity. He had a God to go to, who he doubted nottook full notice of all his sorrows. Those who pour out tearsbefore God, though they cannot plead for themselves, by reasonof their defects, have a Friend to plead for them, even the Sonof man, and on him we must ground all our hopes of acceptancewith God. To die, is to go the way whence we shall not return.We must all of us, very certainly, and very shortly, go thisjourney. Should not then the Saviour be precious to our souls?And ought we not to be ready to obey and to suffer for his sake?If our consciences are sprinkled with his atoning blood, andtestify that we are not living in sin or hypocrisy, when we gothe way whence we shall not return, it will be a release fromprison, and an entrance into everlasting happiness.
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