Job 33

* Elihu offers to reason with Job. (1-7) Elihu blames Job for

reflecting upon God. (8-13) God calls men to repentance. (14-18)

God sends afflictions for good. (19-28) Elihu entreats Job's

attention. (29-33)

1-7 Job had desired a judge to decide his appeal. Elihu was one

according to his wish, a man like himself. If we would rightly

convince men, it must be by reason, not by terror; by fair

argument, not by a heavy hand.
8-13 Elihu charges Job with reflecting upon the justice and

goodness of God. When we hear any thing said to God's dishonour,

we ought to bear our testimony against it. Job had represented

God as severe in marking what he did amiss. Elihu urges that he

had spoken wrong, and that he ought to humble himself before

God, and by repentance to unsay it. God is not accountable to

us. It is unreasonable for weak, sinful creatures, to strive

with a God of infinite wisdom, power, and goodness. He acts with

perfect justice, wisdom, and goodness, where we cannot perceive

it.
14-18 God speaks to us by conscience, by providences, and by

ministers; of all these Elihu discourses. There was not then,

that we know of, any Divine revelation in writing, though now it

is our principal guide. When God designs men's good, by the

convictions and dictates of their own consciences, he opens the

heart, as Lydia's, and opens the ears, so that conviction finds

or forces its way in. The end and design of these admonitions

are to keep men from sin, particularly the sin of pride. While

sinners are pursuing evil purposes, and indulging their pride,

their souls are hastening to destruction. That which turns men

from sin, saves them from hell. What a mercy it is to be under

the restraints of an awakened conscience!
19-28 Job complained of his diseases, and judged by them that

God was angry with him; his friends did so too: but Elihu shows

that God often afflicts the body for good to the soul. This

thought will be of great use for our getting good from sickness,

in and by which God speaks to men. Pain is the fruit of sin;

yet, by the grace of God, the pain of the body is often made a

means of good to the soul. When afflictions have done their

work, they shall be removed. A ransom or propitiation is found.

Jesus Christ is the Messenger and the Ransom, so Elihu calls

him, as Job had called him his Redeemer, for he is both the

Purchaser and the Price, the Priest and the sacrifice. So high

was the value of souls, that nothing less would redeem them; and

so great the hurt done by sin, that nothing less would atone for

it, than the blood of the Son of God, who gave his life a ransom

for many. A blessed change follows. Recovery from sickness is a

mercy indeed, when it proceeds from the remission of sin. All

that truly repent of their sins, shall find mercy with God. The

works of darkness are unfruitful works; all the gains of sin

will come far short of the damage. We must, with a broken and

contrite heart, confess our sins to God, #1Jo 1:9|. We must

confess the fact of sin; and not try to justify or excuse

ourselves. We must confess the fault of sin; I have perverted

that which was right. We must confess the folly of sin; So

foolish have I been and ignorant. Is there not good reason why

we should make such a confession?
29-33 Elihu shows that God's great and gracious design toward

the children of men, is, to save them from being for ever

miserable, and to bring them to be for ever happy. By whatever

means we are kept back from the we shall bless the Lord for them

at least, and should bless him for them though they be painful

and distressing. Those that perish for ever are without excuse,

for they would not be healed.

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