Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends; for the hand of God has touched me.
Afflictions like Job's were sufficient, one would have imagined, to have extorted a tear of pity from his most implacable foe. It would surely require none of the warm attachments and tender sensibilities of friendship to awaken compassion in the heart on such an occasion as this. With the common feelings of humanity, one would imagine it impossible to behold the afflictions of Job, and not to weep over them. These so-called friends, however, turned a deaf ear to his entreaties, and under the cloak of friendship continued to wound him by the most ungenerous and inhuman treatment. The world in which we live is full of misery. Distress appears before us in a thousand different forms; and in every shape she supplicates our notice, with an importunity which the humane and generous heart is unable to resist. Of all others, the most affecting scene of calamity which we can behold is, when a fellow creature is at once oppressed with the difficulties of want, and tormented with the pains of bodily affliction. Every man should consider himself as immediately addressed in supplications like this; for every man is, or ought to be, a friend to the wretched. Compassion is a debt which one human creature owes to another; a debt which no distinction of sect or party, no imperfection of character, no degree of ingratitude, unkindness, or cruelty will cancel, Compassion is a plant which flourishes in the human heart, as in its native soil. So great is the satisfaction which results from the sentiments of humanity, that there is scarcely any consideration which more fully vindicates the wisdom and goodness of the Supreme Being, in permitting the numerous ills of human life, than this, that they afford us an opportunity of exercising the most amiable affections, and partaking of the noblest pleasures. The exercise of this disposition is, likewise, necessary to gain the esteem and love of our brethren. And to show compassion to such as are in distress is the way to qualify ourselves for the Divine acceptance at the great day. Let us remember that to be compassionate is not merely to feel and cherish the emotions of pity in our hearts, but to embrace every opportunity of expressing them by our actions.
Parallel VersesKJV: Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
WEB: "Have pity on me, have pity on me, you my friends; for the hand of God has touched me.