On earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.…
The lion is often spoken of as "the king of the forest," or the "king of beasts," and in a similar sense the leviathan is here spoken of as at the head of the animal creation. He is afraid of none of them; he is subdued by none of them; he is the prey of none of them. The whole argument, therefore, closes with this statement, that he is at the head of the animal creation; and it was by this magnificent description of the power of the creatures which God had made, that it was intended to impress the mind of Job with a sense of the majesty and power of the Creator. It had the effect. He was overawed with the conviction of the greatness of God, and he saw how wrong it had been for him to presume to call in question the justice, or sit in judgment on the doings of such a Being. God did not, indeed, go into an examination of the various points which had been the subject of controversy; He did not explain the nature of His moral administration so as to relieve the mind from perplexity; but He evidently meant to leave the impression that He was vast and incomprehensible in His government, infinite in power, and had a right to dispose of His creation as He pleased. No one can doubt that God could, with infinite ease, have so. explained the nature of His administration as to flee the mind from perplexity, and so as to have resolved the difficulties which hung over the various subjects which had come into debate between Job and his friends. Why He did not do this is nowhere stated, and can only be the subject of conjecture. It is possible, however, that the following suggestions may do something to show the reasons why this was not done.
1. We are to remember the early period of the world when these transactions occurred, and when this Book was composed. It was in the infancy of society, and when little light had gleamed on the human mind in regard to questions of morals and religion.
2. In that state of things it is not probable that either Job or his friends would have been able to comprehend the principles in accordance with which the wicked are permitted to flourish, and the righteous are so much afflicted, if they had been stated. Much higher knowledge than they then possessed about the future world was necessary to understand the subject which then agitated their minds. It could not have been done without a very decided reference to the future state, where all these inequalities are to be removed.
3. It has been the general plan of God to communicate knowledge by degrees: to impart it when men have had full demonstration of their own imbecility, and when they feel the need of Divine teaching; and to reserve the great truths of religion for an advanced period of the world. In accordance with this arrangement, God has been pleased to keep in reserve, from age to age, certain great and momentous truths, and such as were particularly adapted to throw light on the subjects of discussion between Job and his friends. They are the truths pertaining to the resurrection of the body; the retributions of the Day of Judgment; the glories of heaven and the woes of hell, where all the inequalities of the present state may receive their final and equal adjustment. These great truths were reserved for the triumph and glory of Christianity; and to have stated them in the time of Job would have been to have anticipated the most important revelations of that system. The truths of which we are now in possession would have relieved much of the anxiety then felt, and solved most of these questions; but the world was not then in the proper state for their revelation.
4. It was a very proper lesson to be taught men, to bow with submission, to a sovereign God, without knowing the reason of His doings. No lesson, perhaps, could be learnt of higher value than this. To a proud, self-confident, philosophic mind, a mind prone to rely on its own resources and trust to its own deductions, it was of the highest importance to inculcate the duty of submission to will and sovereignty. This is a lesson which we often have to learn in life, and which almost all the trying dispensations of providence are fitted to teach us. It is not because God has no reason for what He does; it is not because He intends we shall never know the reason: but it is because it is our duty to bow with submission to His will, and to acquiesce in His right to reign, even when we cannot see the reason of His doings. Could we reason it out, and then submit because we saw the reason, our submission would not be to our Maker's pleasure, but to the deductions of our own minds. Hence, all along, He so deals with man, by concealing the reason of His doings, as to bring him to submission to His authority, and to humble all human pride. To this termination all the reasonings of the Almighty in this Book are conducted; and after the exhibition of His power in the tempest, after His sublime description of His own works, after His appeal to the numerous things which are, in fact, incomprehensible to man, we feel that God is great — that it is presumptuous in man to sit in judgment on His works, and that the mind, no matter what it does, should bow before Him with profound veneration and silence.
Parallel VersesKJV: Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.