Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD…
In language of the most stately and beautiful kind there is set before us the mystery of Providence. This passage is but one step in the development of a sublime moral lesson, but it has nevertheless a certain completeness of its own.
I. THE CHARACTER OF TEMPTATION.
1. God is not the author of it. In temptation there are three parts.
(1) The external conditions which tend to bring it about. God may be the author of these conditions.
(2) The state of heart which makes temptation tempting to us. God is not the author of this.
(3) There is the special thought in the mind, the suggestion to do the deed, which is the focusing of the pre-existing and undeveloped feelings of the heart. Satan is the author of this.
2. But God permits us to be tempted. He allows natural laws to work about us, and historical events to shape themselves, and persons and things to come into contact with us, in such ways that temptation arises. Whatever is, is by His permission.
3. God permits temptation for our good. In our lesson we see that it was permitted in Job's case in order to bring out clearly the stability of his faith in God. God is not careless or thoughtless in His permission of our trial.
4. Our friends sometimes unwittingly make temptation harder to us. Job's wife spoke to him in sympathy. "Renounce God and die" is not a fling of sarcasm, but a weak and honest attempt to give comfort.
5. Temptation is never necessarily successful. It was not so in Job's case.
II. BEARING TEMPTATION. Job's example gives some practical lessons.
1. See the solitude of the tempted soul. The barriers of the soul cannot be passed. There alone we each must confront temptation and have our fight with it.
2. Job rightly says to his wife that to renounce God would be foolish. If Job had renounced God he would have been irrational, because he would have given up the only source of help possible.
3. Job shows us that faith is the only reasonable attitude of man towards God.
(D. J. Burrell, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.