Job 7

* Job's troubles. (1-6) Job expostulates with God. (7-16) He

begs release. (17-21)

1-6 Job here excuses what he could not justify, his desire of

death. Observe man's present place: he is upon earth. He is yet

on earth, not in hell. Is there not a time appointed for his

abode here? yes, certainly, and the appointment is made by Him

who made us and sent us here. During that, man's life is a

warfare, and as day-labourers, who have the work of the day to

do in its day, and must make up their account at night. Job had

as much reason, he thought, to wish for death, as a poor servant

that is tired with his work, has to wish for the shadows of the

evening, when he shall go to rest. The sleep of the labouring

man is sweet; nor can any rich man take so much satisfaction in

his wealth, as the hireling in his day's wages. The comparison

is plain; hear his complaint: His days were useless, and had

long been so; but when we are not able to work for God, if we

sit still quietly for him, we shall be accepted. His nights were

restless. Whatever is grievous, it is good to see it appointed

for us, and as designed for some holy end. When we have

comfortable nights, we must see them also appointed to us, and

be thankful for them. His body was noisome. See what vile bodies

we have. His life was hastening apace. While we are living,

every day, like the shuttle, leaves a thread behind: many weave

the spider's web, which will fail, ch. #8:14|. But if, while we

live, we live unto the Lord, in works of faith and labours of

love, we shall have the benefit, for every man shall reap as he

sowed, and wear as he wove.
7-16 Plain truths as to the shortness and vanity of man's life,

and the certainty of death, do us good, when we think and speak

of them with application to ourselves. Dying is done but once,

and therefore it had need be well done. An error here is past

retrieve. Other clouds arise, but the same cloud never returns:

so a new generation of men is raised up, but the former

generation vanishes away. Glorified saints shall return no more

to the cares and sorrows of their houses; nor condemned sinners

to the gaieties and pleasures of their houses. It concerns us to

secure a better place when we die. From these reasons Job might

have drawn a better conclusion than this, I will complain. When

we have but a few breaths to draw, we should spend them in the

holy, gracious breathings of faith and prayer; not in the

noisome, noxious breathings of sin and corruption. We have much

reason to pray, that He who keeps Israel, and neither slumbers

nor sleeps, may keep us when we slumber and sleep. Job covets to

rest in his grave. Doubtless, this was his infirmity; for though

a good man would choose death rather than sin, yet he should be

content to live as long as God pleases, because life is our

opportunity of glorifying him, and preparing for heaven.
17-21 Job reasons with God concerning his dealings with man.

But in the midst of this discourse, Job seems to have lifted up

his thoughts to God with some faith and hope. Observe the

concern he is in about his sins. The best men have to complain

of sin; and the better they are, the more they will complain of

it. God is the Preserver of our lives, and the Saviour of the

souls of all that believe; but probably Job meant the Observer

of men, whose eyes are upon the ways and hearts of all men. We

can hide nothing from Him; let us plead guilty before his throne

of grace, that we may not be condemned at his judgment-seat. Job

maintained, against his friends, that he was not a hypocrite,

not a wicked man, yet he owns to his God, that he had sinned.

The best must so acknowledge, before the Lord. He seriously

inquires how he might be at peace with God, and earnestly begs

forgiveness of his sins. He means more than the removing of his

outward trouble, and is earnest for the return of God's favour.

Wherever the Lord removes the guilt of sin, he breaks the power

of sin. To strengthen his prayer for pardon, Job pleads the

prospect he had of dying quickly. If my sins be not pardoned

while I live, I am lost and undone for ever. How wretched is

sinful man without a knowledge of the Saviour!

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