Job 31

* Job declares his uprightness. (1-8) His integrity. (9-15) Job

merciful. (16-23) Job not guilty of covetousness or idolatry.

(24-32) Job not guilty of hypocrisy and violence. (33-40)

1-8 Job did not speak the things here recorded by way of

boasting, but in answer to the charge of hypocrisy. He

understood the spiritual nature of God's commandments, as

reaching to the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is best to

let our actions speak for us; but in some cases we owe it to

ourselves and to the cause of God, solemnly to protest our

innocence of the crimes of which we are falsely accused. The

lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world, are two fatal

rocks on which multitudes split; against these Job protests he

was always careful to stand upon his guard. And God takes more

exact notice of us than we do of ourselves; let us therefore

walk circumspectly. He carefully avoided all sinful means of

getting wealth. He dreaded all forbidden profit as much as all

forbidden pleasure. What we have in the world may be used with

comfort, or lost with comfort, if honestly gotten. Without

strict honestly and faithfulness in all our dealings, we can

have no good evidence of true godliness. Yet how many professors

are unable to abide this touchstone!
9-15 All the defilements of the life come from a deceived

heart. Lust is a fire in the soul: those that indulge it, are

said to burn. It consumes all that is good there, and lays the

conscience waste. It kindles the fire of God's wrath, which, if

not quenched by the blood of Christ, will consume even to

eternal destruction. It consumes the body; it consumes the

substance. Burning lusts bring burning judgments. Job had a

numerous household, and he managed it well. He considered that

he had a Master in heaven; and as we are undone if God should be

severe with us, we ought to be mild and gentle towards all with

whom we have to do.
16-23 Job's conscience gave testimony concerning his just and

charitable behaviour toward the poor. He is most large upon this

head, because in this matter he was particularly accused. He was

tender of all, and hurtful to none. Notice the principles by

which Job was restrained from being uncharitable and unmerciful.

He stood in awe of the Lord, as certainly against him, if he

should wrong the poor. Regard to worldly interests may restrain

a man from actual crimes; but the grace of God alone can make

him hate, dread, and shun sinful thoughts and desires.
24-32 Job protests, 1. That he never set his heart upon the

wealth of this world. How few prosperous professors can appeal

to the Lord, that they have not rejoiced because their gains

were great! Through the determination to be rich, numbers ruin

their souls, or pierce themselves with many sorrows. 2. He never

was guilty of idolatry. The source of idolatry is in the heart,

and it corrupts men, and provokes God to send judgments upon a

nation. 3. He neither desired nor delighted in the hurt of the

worst enemy he had. If others bear malice to us, that will not

justify us in bearing malice to them. 4. He had never been

unkind to strangers. Hospitality is a Christian duty, #1Pe 4:9|.
33-40 Job clears himself from the charge of hypocrisy. We are

loth to confess our faults, willing to excuse them, and to lay

the blame upon others. But he that thus covers his sins, shall

not prosper, #Pr 28:13|. He speaks of his courage in what is

good, as an evidence of his sincerity in it. When men get

estates unjustly, they are justly deprived of comfort from them;

it was sown wheat, but shall come up thistles. What men do not

come honestly by, will never do them any good. The words of Job

are ended. They end with a bold assertion, that, with respect to

accusation against his moral and religious character as the

cause for his sufferings, he could appeal to God. But, however

confident Job was, we shall see he was mistaken, chap. #40:4,5;

1Jo 1:8|. Let us all judge ourselves; wherein we are guilty, let

us seek forgiveness in that blood which cleanseth from all sin;

and may the Lord have mercy upon us, and write his laws in our

hearts!

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