Job 4* Eliphaz reproves Job. (1-6) And maintains that God's judgmentsare for the wicked. (7-11) The vision of Eliphaz. (12-21)1-6 Satan undertook to prove Job a hypocrite by afflicting him;and his friends concluded him to be one because he was soafflicted, and showed impatience. This we must keep in mind ifwe would understand what passed. Eliphaz speaks of Job, and hisafflicted condition, with tenderness; but charges him withweakness and faint-heartedness. Men make few allowances forthose who have taught others. Even pious friends will count thatonly a touch which we feel as a wound. Learn from hence to drawoff the mind of a sufferer from brooding over the affliction, tolook at the God of mercies in the affliction. And how can thisbe done so well as by looking to Christ Jesus, in whoseunequalled sorrows every child of God soonest learns to forgethis own? 7-11 Eliphaz argues, 1. That good men were never thus ruined.But there is one event both to the righteous and to the wicked,#Ec 9:2|, both in life and death; the great and certaindifference is after death. Our worst mistakes are occasioned bydrawing wrong views from undeniable truths. 2. That wicked menwere often thus ruined: for the proof of this, Eliphaz voucheshis own observation. We may see the same every day. 12-21 Eliphaz relates a vision. When we are communing with ourown hearts, and are still, #Ps 4:4|, then is a time for the HolySpirit to commune with us. This vision put him into very greatfear. Ever since man sinned, it has been terrible to him toreceive communications from Heaven, conscious that he can expectno good tidings thence. Sinful man! shall he pretend to be morejust, more pure, than God, who being his Maker, is his Lord andOwner? How dreadful, then, the pride and presumption of man! Howgreat the patience of God! Look upon man in his life. The veryfoundation of that cottage of clay in which man dwells, is inthe dust, and it will sink with its own weight. We stand butupon the dust. Some have a higher heap of dust to stand uponthan others but still it is the earth that stays us up, and willshortly swallow us up. Man is soon crushed; or if some lingeringdistemper, which consumes like a moth, be sent to destroy him,he cannot resist it. Shall such a creature pretend to blame theappointments of God? Look upon man in his death. Life is short,and in a little time men are cut off. Beauty, strength,learning, not only cannot secure them from death, but thesethings die with them; nor shall their pomp, their wealth, orpower, continue after them. Shall a weak, sinful, dyingcreature, pretend to be more just than God, and more pure thanhis Maker? No: instead of quarrelling with his afflictions, lethim wonder that he is out of hell. Can a man be cleansed withouthis Maker? Will God justify sinful mortals, and clear them fromguilt? or will he do so without their having an interest in therighteousness and gracious help of their promised Redeemer, whenangels, once ministering spirits before his throne, receive thejust recompence of their sins? Notwithstanding the seemingimpunity of men for a short time, though living without God inthe world, their doom is as certain as that of the fallenangels, and is continually overtaking them. Yet careless sinnersnote it so little, that they expect not the change, nor are wiseto consider their latter end.
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