Job 36* Elihu speaks of man's conduct. (1-8) Why those who cry outunder afflictions are not regarded. (9-13) Elihu reproves Job'simpatience. (14-26)14-26 As in prosperity we are ready to think our mountain willnever be brought low; so when in adversity, we are ready tothink our valley will never be filled up. But to conclude thatto-morrow must be as this day, is as absurd as to think that theweather, when either fair or foul, will be always so. When Joblooked up to God, he had no reason to speak despairingly. Thereis a day of judgment, when all that seems amiss will be found tobe right, and all that seems dark and difficult will be clearedup and set straight. And if there is Divine wrath in ourtroubles, it is because we quarrel with God, are fretful, anddistrust Divine Providence. This was Job's case. Elihu wasdirected by God to humble Job, for as to some things he had bothopened his mouth in vain, and had multiplied words withoutknowledge. Let us be admonished, in our afflictions, not so muchto set forth the greatness of our suffering, as the greatness ofthe mercy of God. 5-14 Elihu here shows that God acts as righteous Governor. Heis always ready to defend those that are injured. If our eye isever toward God in duty, his eye will be ever upon us in mercy,and, when we are at the lowest, will not overlook us. Godintends, when he afflicts us, to discover past sins to us, andto bring them to our remembrance. Also, to dispose our hearts tobe taught: affliction makes people willing to learn, through thegrace of God working with and by it. And further, to deter usfrom sinning for the future. It is a command, to have no more todo with sin. If we faithfully serve God, we have the promise ofthe life that now is, and the comforts of it, as far as is forGod's glory and our good: and who would desire them any further?We have the possession of inward pleasures, the great peacewhich those have that love God's law. If the affliction fail inits work, let men expect the furnace to be heated till they areconsumed. Those that die without knowledge, die without grace,and are undone for ever. See the nature of hypocrisy; it lies inthe heart: that is for the world and the flesh, while perhapsthe outside seems to be for God and religion. Whether sinnersdie in youth, or live long to heap up wrath, their case isdreadful. The souls of the wicked live after death, but it is ineverlasting misery. 15-23 Elihu shows that Job caused the continuance of his owntrouble. He cautions him not to persist in frowardness. Evengood men need to be kept to their duty by the fear of God'swrath; the wisest and best have enough in them to deserve hisstroke. Let not Job continue his unjust quarrel with God and hisprovidence. And let us never dare to think favourably of sin,never indulge it, nor allow ourselves in it. Elihu thinks Jobneeded this caution, he having chosen rather to gratify hispride and humour by contending with God, than to mortify them bysubmitting, and accepting the punishment. It is absurd for us tothink to teach Him who is himself the Fountain of light, truth,knowledge, and instruction. He teaches by the Bible, and that isthe best book; teaches by his Son, and he is the best Master. Heis just in all proceedings. 24-33 Elihu endeavours to fill Job with high thought of God,and so to persuade him into cheerful submission to hisprovidence. Man may see God's works, and is capable ofdiscerning his hand in them, which the beasts are not, thereforethey ought to give him the glory. But while the worker ofiniquity ought to tremble, the true believer should rejoice.Children should hear with pleasure their Father's voice, evenwhen he speaks in terror to his enemies. There is no light butthere may be a cloud to intercept it. The light of the favour ofGod, the light of his countenance, the most blessed light ofall, even that light has many a cloud. The clouds of our sinscause the Lord to his face, and hinder the light of hisloving-kindness from shining on our souls.
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