Job 29* Job's former comforts. (1-6) The honour paid to Job, Hisusefulness. (7-17) His prospect of prosperity. (18-25)1-6 Job proceeds to contrast his former prosperity with hispresent misery, through God's withdrawing from him. A gracioussoul delights in God's smiles, not in the smiles of this world.Four things were then very pleasant to holy Job. 1. Theconfidence he had in the Divine protection. 2. The enjoyment hehad of the Divine favour. 3. The communion he had with theDivine word. 4. The assurance he had of the Divine presence.God's presence with a man in his house, though it be but acottage, makes it a castle and a palace. Then also he hadcomfort in his family. Riches and flourishing families, like acandle, may be soon extinguished. But when the mind isenlightened by the Holy Spirit, when a man walks in the light ofGod's countenance, every outward comfort is doubled, everytrouble is diminished, and he may pass cheerfully by this lightthrough life and through death. Yet the sensible comfort of thisstate is often withdrawn for a season; and commonly this arisesfrom sinful neglect, and grieving the Holy Spirit: sometimes itmay be a trial of a man's faith and grace. But it is needful toexamine ourselves, to seek for the cause of such a change byfervent prayer, and to increase our watchfulness. 7-17 All sorts of people paid respect to Job, not only for thedignity of his rank, but for his personal merit, his prudence,integrity, and good management. Happy the men who are blessedwith such gifts as these! They have great opportunities ofhonouring God and doing good, but have great need to watchagainst pride. Happy the people who are blessed with such men!it is a token for good to them. Here we see what Job valuedhimself by, in the day of his prosperity. It was by hisusefulness. He valued himself by the check he gave to theviolence of proud and evil men. Good magistrates must thus be arestraint to evil-doers, and protect the innocent; in order tothis, they should arm themselves with zeal and resolution. Suchmen are public blessings, and resemble Him who rescues poorsinners from Satan. How many who were ready to perish, now areblessing Him! But who can show forth His praises? May we trustin His mercy, and seek to imitate His truth, justice, and love. 18-25 Being thus honoured and useful, Job had hoped to die inpeace and honour, in a good old age. If such an expectationarise from lively faith in the providence and promise of God, itis well; but if from conceit of our own wisdom, and dependenceon changeable, earthly things, it is ill grounded, and turns tosin. Every one that has the spirit of wisdom, has not the spiritof government; but Job had both. Yet he had the tenderness of acomforter. This he thought upon with pleasure, when he washimself a mourner. Our Lord Jesus is a King who hates iniquity,and upon whom the blessing of a world ready to perish comes. ToHim let us give ear.
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