Job 8* Bildad reproves Job. (1-7) Hypocrites will be destroyed.(8-19) Bildad applies God's just dealing to Job. (20-22)1-7 Job spake much to the purpose; but Bildad, like an eager,angry disputant, turns it all off with this, How long wilt thouspeak these things? Men's meaning is not taken aright, and thenthey are rebuked, as if they were evil-doers. Even in disputeson religion, it is too common to treat others with sharpness,and their arguments with contempt. Bildad's discourse shows thathe had not a favourable opinion of Job's character. Job ownedthat God did not pervert judgment; yet it did not thereforefollow that his children were cast-aways, or that they did forsome great transgression. Extraordinary afflictions are notalways the punishment of extraordinary sins, sometimes they arethe trials of extraordinary graces: in judging of another'scase, we ought to take the favorable side. Bildad puts Job inhope, that if he were indeed upright, he should yet see a goodend of his present troubles. This is God's way of enriching thesouls of his people with graces and comforts. The beginning issmall, but the progress is to perfection. Dawning light grows tonoon-day. 8-19 Bildad discourses well of hypocrites and evil-doers, andthe fatal end of all their hopes and joys. He proves this truthof the destruction of the hopes and joys of hypocrites, by anappeal to former times. Bildad refers to the testimony of theancients. Those teach best that utter words out of their heart,that speak from an experience of spiritual and divine things. Arush growing in fenny ground, looking very green, but witheringin dry weather, represents the hypocrite's profession, which ismaintained only in times of prosperity. The spider's web, spunwith great skill, but easily swept away, represents a man'spretensions to religion when without the grace of God in hisheart. A formal professor flatters himself in his own eyes,doubts not of his salvation, is secure, and cheats the worldwith his vain confidences. The flourishing of the tree, plantedin the garden, striking root to the rock, yet after a time cutdown and thrown aside, represents wicked men, when most firmlyestablished, suddenly thrown down and forgotten. This doctrineof the vanity of a hypocrite's confidence, or the prosperity ofa wicked man, is sound; but it was not applicable to the case ofJob, if confined to the present world. 20-22 Bildad here assures Job, that as he was so he shouldfare; therefore they concluded, that as he fared so he was. Godwill not cast away an upright man; he may be cast down for atime, but he shall not be cast away for ever. Sin brings ruin onpersons and families. Yet to argue, that Job was an ungodly,wicked man, was unjust and uncharitable. The mistake in thesereasonings arose from Job's friends not distinguishing betweenthe present state of trial and discipline, and the future stateof final judgment. May we choose the portion, possess theconfidence, bear the cross, and die the death of the righteous;and, in the mean time, be careful neither to wound others byrash judgments, nor to distress ourselves needlessly about theopinions of our fellow-creatures.
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