Job 16

* Job reproves his friends. (1-5) He represents his case as

deplorable. (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 same

character. Those who pass censures, must expect to have them

retorted; it is easy, it is endless, but what good does it do?

Angry answers stir up men's passions, but never convince their

judgments, nor set truth in a clear light. What Job says of his

friends is true of all creatures, in comparison with God; one

time or other we shall be made to see and own that miserable

comforters are they all. When under convictions of sin, terrors

of conscience, or the arrests of death, only the blessed Spirit

can comfort effectually; all others, without him, do it

miserably, and to no purpose. Whatever our brethren's sorrows

are, we ought by sympathy to make them our own; they may soon be

6-16 Here is a doleful representation of Job's grievances. What

reason we have to bless God, that we are not making such

complaints! Even good men, when in great troubles, have much ado

not to entertain hard thoughts of God. Eliphaz had represented

Job as unhumbled under his affliction: No, says Job, I know

better things; the dust is now the fittest place for me. In this

he reminds us of Christ, who was a man of sorrows, and

pronounced those blessed that mourn, for they shall be

17-22 Job's condition was very deplorable; but he had the

testimony of his conscience for him, that he never allowed

himself in any gross sin. No one was ever more ready to

acknowledge sins of infirmity. Eliphaz had charged him with

hypocrisy in religion, but he specifies prayer, the great act of

religion, and professes that in this he was pure, though not

from all infirmity. He had a God to go to, who he doubted not

took full notice of all his sorrows. Those who pour out tears

before God, though they cannot plead for themselves, by reason

of their defects, have a Friend to plead for them, even the Son

of man, and on him we must ground all our hopes of acceptance

with God. To die, is to go the way whence we shall not return.

We must all of us, very certainly, and very shortly, go this

journey. 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, and

testify that we are not living in sin or hypocrisy, when we go

the way whence we shall not return, it will be a release from

prison, and an entrance into everlasting happiness.

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