Job 29

* Job's former comforts. (1-6) The honour paid to Job, His

usefulness. (7-17) His prospect of prosperity. (18-25)

1-6 Job proceeds to contrast his former prosperity with his

present misery, through God's withdrawing from him. A gracious

soul delights in God's smiles, not in the smiles of this world.

Four things were then very pleasant to holy Job. 1. The

confidence he had in the Divine protection. 2. The enjoyment he

had of the Divine favour. 3. The communion he had with the

Divine word. 4. The assurance he had of the Divine presence.

God's presence with a man in his house, though it be but a

cottage, makes it a castle and a palace. Then also he had

comfort in his family. Riches and flourishing families, like a

candle, may be soon extinguished. But when the mind is

enlightened by the Holy Spirit, when a man walks in the light of

God's countenance, every outward comfort is doubled, every

trouble is diminished, and he may pass cheerfully by this light

through life and through death. Yet the sensible comfort of this

state is often withdrawn for a season; and commonly this arises

from sinful neglect, and grieving the Holy Spirit: sometimes it

may be a trial of a man's faith and grace. But it is needful to

examine ourselves, to seek for the cause of such a change by

fervent prayer, and to increase our watchfulness.
7-17 All sorts of people paid respect to Job, not only for the

dignity of his rank, but for his personal merit, his prudence,

integrity, and good management. Happy the men who are blessed

with such gifts as these! They have great opportunities of

honouring God and doing good, but have great need to watch

against pride. Happy the people who are blessed with such men!

it is a token for good to them. Here we see what Job valued

himself by, in the day of his prosperity. It was by his

usefulness. He valued himself by the check he gave to the

violence of proud and evil men. Good magistrates must thus be a

restraint to evil-doers, and protect the innocent; in order to

this, they should arm themselves with zeal and resolution. Such

men are public blessings, and resemble Him who rescues poor

sinners from Satan. How many who were ready to perish, now are

blessing Him! But who can show forth His praises? May we trust

in His mercy, and seek to imitate His truth, justice, and love.
18-25 Being thus honoured and useful, Job had hoped to die in

peace and honour, in a good old age. If such an expectation

arise from lively faith in the providence and promise of God, it

is well; but if from conceit of our own wisdom, and dependence

on changeable, earthly things, it is ill grounded, and turns to

sin. Every one that has the spirit of wisdom, has not the spirit

of government; but Job had both. Yet he had the tenderness of a

comforter. This he thought upon with pleasure, when he was

himself a mourner. Our Lord Jesus is a King who hates iniquity,

and upon whom the blessing of a world ready to perish comes. To

Him let us give ear.

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