Job 5* Eliphaz urges that the sin of sinners in their ruin. (1-5) Godis to be regarded in affliction. (6-16) The happy end of God'scorrection. (17-27)1-5 Eliphaz here calls upon Job to answer his arguments. Wereany of the saints or servants of God visited with such Divinejudgments as Job, or did they ever behave like him under theirsufferings? The term, "saints," holy, or more strictly,consecrated ones, seems in all ages to have been applied to thepeople of God, through the Sacrifice slain in the covenant oftheir reconciliation. Eliphaz doubts not that the sin of sinnersdirectly tends to their ruin. They kill themselves by some lustor other; therefore, no doubt, Job has done some foolish thing,by which he has brought himself into this condition. Theallusion was plain to Job's former prosperity; but there was noevidence of Job's wickedness, and the application to him wasunfair and severe. 6-16 Eliphaz reminds Job, that no affliction comes by chance,nor is to be placed to second causes. The difference betweenprosperity and adversity is not so exactly observed, as thatbetween day and night, summer and winter; but it is according tothe will and counsel of God. We must not attribute ourafflictions to fortune, for they are from God; nor our sins tofate, for they are from ourselves. Man is born in sin, andtherefore born to trouble. There is nothing in this world we areborn to, and can truly call our own, but sin and trouble. Actualtransgressions are sparks that fly out of the furnace oforiginal corruption. Such is the frailty of our bodies, and thevanity of all our enjoyments, that our troubles arise thence asthe sparks fly upward; so many are they, and so fast does onefollow another. Eliphaz reproves Job for not seeking God,instead of quarrelling with him. Is any afflicted? let him pray.It is heart's ease, a salve for every sore. Eliphaz speaks ofrain, which we are apt to look upon as a little thing; but if weconsider how it is produced, and what is produced by it, weshall see it to be a great work of power and goodness. Too oftenthe great Author of all our comforts, and the manner in whichthey are conveyed to us, are not noticed, because they arereceived as things of course. In the ways of Providence, theexperiences of some are encouragements to others, to hope thebest in the worst of times; for it is the glory of God to sendhelp to the helpless, and hope to the hopeless. And daringsinners are confounded, and forced to acknowledge the justice ofGod's proceedings. 17-27 Eliphaz gives to Job a word of caution and exhortation:Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Call it achastening, which comes from the Father's love, and is for thechild's good; and notice it as a messenger from Heaven. Eliphazalso encourages Job to submit to his condition. A good man ishappy though he be afflicted, for he has not lost his enjoymentof God, nor his title to heaven; nay, he is happy because he isafflicted. Correction mortifies his corruptions, weans his heartfrom the world, draws him nearer to God, brings him to hisBible, brings him to his knees. Though God wounds, yet hesupports his people under afflictions, and in due time deliversthem. Making a wound is sometimes part of a cure. Eliphaz givesJob precious promises of what God would do for him, if hehumbled himself. Whatever troubles good men may be in, theyshall do them no real harm. Being kept from sin, they are keptfrom the evil of trouble. And if the servants of Christ are notdelivered from outward troubles, they are delivered by them, andwhile overcome by one trouble, they conquer all. Whatever ismaliciously said against them shall not hurt them. They shallhave wisdom and grace to manage their concerns. The greatestblessing, both in our employments and in our enjoyments, is tobe kept from sin. They shall finish their course with joy andhonour. That man lives long enough who has done his work, and isfit for another world. It is a mercy to die seasonably, as thecorn is cut and housed when fully ripe; not till then, but thennot suffered to stand any longer. Our times are in God's hands;it is well they are so. Believers are not to expect greatwealth, long life, or to be free from trials. But all will beordered for the best. And remark from Job's history, thatsteadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highestattainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith whenall things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemyto send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from ourprayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannottrace him, this is the patience of the saints. Blessed Saviour!how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher offaith, in such moments!
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