Job 31* Job declares his uprightness. (1-8) His integrity. (9-15) Jobmerciful. (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 ofboasting, but in answer to the charge of hypocrisy. Heunderstood the spiritual nature of God's commandments, asreaching to the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is best tolet our actions speak for us; but in some cases we owe it toourselves and to the cause of God, solemnly to protest ourinnocence of the crimes of which we are falsely accused. Thelusts of the flesh, and the love of the world, are two fatalrocks on which multitudes split; against these Job protests hewas always careful to stand upon his guard. And God takes moreexact notice of us than we do of ourselves; let us thereforewalk circumspectly. He carefully avoided all sinful means ofgetting wealth. He dreaded all forbidden profit as much as allforbidden pleasure. What we have in the world may be used withcomfort, or lost with comfort, if honestly gotten. Withoutstrict honestly and faithfulness in all our dealings, we canhave no good evidence of true godliness. Yet how many professorsare unable to abide this touchstone! 9-15 All the defilements of the life come from a deceivedheart. Lust is a fire in the soul: those that indulge it, aresaid to burn. It consumes all that is good there, and lays theconscience waste. It kindles the fire of God's wrath, which, ifnot quenched by the blood of Christ, will consume even toeternal destruction. It consumes the body; it consumes thesubstance. Burning lusts bring burning judgments. Job had anumerous household, and he managed it well. He considered thathe had a Master in heaven; and as we are undone if God should besevere with us, we ought to be mild and gentle towards all withwhom we have to do. 16-23 Job's conscience gave testimony concerning his just andcharitable behaviour toward the poor. He is most large upon thishead, because in this matter he was particularly accused. He wastender of all, and hurtful to none. Notice the principles bywhich Job was restrained from being uncharitable and unmerciful.He stood in awe of the Lord, as certainly against him, if heshould wrong the poor. Regard to worldly interests may restraina man from actual crimes; but the grace of God alone can makehim hate, dread, and shun sinful thoughts and desires. 24-32 Job protests, 1. That he never set his heart upon thewealth of this world. How few prosperous professors can appealto the Lord, that they have not rejoiced because their gainswere great! Through the determination to be rich, numbers ruintheir souls, or pierce themselves with many sorrows. 2. He neverwas guilty of idolatry. The source of idolatry is in the heart,and it corrupts men, and provokes God to send judgments upon anation. 3. He neither desired nor delighted in the hurt of theworst enemy he had. If others bear malice to us, that will notjustify us in bearing malice to them. 4. He had never beenunkind to strangers. Hospitality is a Christian duty, #1Pe 4:9|. 33-40 Job clears himself from the charge of hypocrisy. We areloth to confess our faults, willing to excuse them, and to laythe blame upon others. But he that thus covers his sins, shallnot prosper, #Pr 28:13|. He speaks of his courage in what isgood, as an evidence of his sincerity in it. When men getestates unjustly, they are justly deprived of comfort from them;it was sown wheat, but shall come up thistles. What men do notcome honestly by, will never do them any good. The words of Jobare ended. They end with a bold assertion, that, with respect toaccusation against his moral and religious character as thecause for his sufferings, he could appeal to God. But, howeverconfident Job was, we shall see he was mistaken, chap. #40:4,5;1Jo 1:8|. Let us all judge ourselves; wherein we are guilty, letus seek forgiveness in that blood which cleanseth from all sin;and may the Lord have mercy upon us, and write his laws in ourhearts!
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