Behold, he takes away, who can hinder him? who will say to him, What do you?
Job was a sufferer. Of his property he was deprived; of his children he was bereaved; in his own person he was sorely afflicted. It would not have been strange had Job given way to murmuring and repining. Unsupported and uncomforted from above, what else can be expected from man when in deep distress, but the expression of uneasiness and fretful discontent? Some, indeed, attempt to bear up under adversity by hard-hearted callousness, and others by a prideful aversion to complain. Job felt what he endured, and he acknowledged what he endured, but his feeling and acknowledgment indicated calm submission.
I. THE DOCTRINE TAUGHT — THE AGENCY OF GOD. His agency in providence. Not to be classed with chance or accident. It would be a mistake to represent God as exercising no providential superintendence, no control, no management, no rule. Some hold that God's agency is general, not particular, not concerned with details. But great and little are not to God what they are to us. What it was no degradation to God to create, it can be no degradation to God to superintend. A particular agency on His part is the only intelligible notion of God's agency in providence. The manner in which God's agency, in the various dispensations of providence, is regarded respectively by the believer and by the unbeliever, constitutes one of the most marked distinctions between the characters of these two classes of person.
II. THE LESSONS WHICH THIS DOCTRINE TEACHES.
1. Privation and loss are the doing of Him who neither does nor can do us any wrong. God is never arbitrary, never capricious, never unjust. He is essentially righteous. In no sense can He do that which is unrighteous. He cannot do it from ignorance, or from design.
2. Privation and loss are the doing of Him, all whose doings in reference to us are in accordance with what He Himself is — wise and gracious. Not only is He wise, but all-wise; actually, absolutely, yea, necessarily all-wise. His understanding is infinite. He is gracious. His nature is love. What a proof of this did He afford in devising a plan by which sinners might be rescued from the penal consequences of sin.
3. Privation and loss are the doing of Him who is able, and as willing as He is able, to educe, in our experience, good from evil. Out of the strait in which we are involved there may be no seeming way of escape. But is it irremediable by Him whose arm is full of might, who is equal to our support and deliverance, whatever be our condition? This subject calls for thankfulness; it should produce resignation; it should lead us to prepare for changes.
(A. Jack, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?
WEB: Behold, he snatches away. Who can hinder him? Who will ask him, 'What are you doing?'