Then Job answered the LORD, and said,…
It Consists of -
I. THE HUMBLE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD'S POWER. (Ver. 2.) God can do everything; and no "beginning," no germinating or budding thought, is hidden from him; he sees it alike in its origin, development, and end. Both the fearful forms of force in the animal life of nature, and the striking destinies of individual men, are constant proofs of the presence of him who governs the world in power and in justice.
II. AS ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HIS OWN IGNORANCE AND WEAKNESS. (Ver. 3.) Justly did God rebuke him in the question, "Who darkeneth counsel without understanding?" He has been passing judgment on matters he did not understand, drawing conclusions from imperfect premisses, dealing with things that are and must remain to us mysterious, as if they could be explained by the rules of a limited experience. [t is this haste, this childish impatience of suspense, which drives some into discontent and murmuring, others into unbelief and atheism. A haste to speak before our thought is ripe, a haste to judge before the materials of judgment are at hand, - these lead in human intercourse and in Divine relations to false positions, which must be sooner or later abandoned. But we see in Job -
III. THE EXPRESSION AND THE ACT OF PENITENT. (Vers. 4-6.) Quoting (ver. 4) the summons of Jehovah at the beginning of his discourses (Job 38:3 and Job 40:7), he gives the answer alone befitting and required. He had before heard of God, i.e. had had an indirect and imperfect acquaintance with God. There is a knowledge of God at second hand which is insufficient to bring us to the sense of our true relations to him (comp. Psalm 48:9). We hear about God from the sources of early instruction, parents, teachers, pulpits, and books, and yet may thus not be brought into personal communication with God. In contrast to this is the personal vision of God. Not with the eyes of the body, but with the deeper view of the mind - the intellectual intuition, the contemplation of the Invisible through his creative manifestations (Romans 1:19, 20). This immediate view of God produces at once a new view of sell. To see that God is infinite is to see that we are finite; to behold his perfection is to be sensible of our own imperfection; to acknowledge him to be in the right is to confess that our thoughts are wrong; to be amazed and enraptured with his glory is to loathe our own meanness. Yet these thoughts may exist in the mind, and yet be without result except that of conscious misery. But their tendency and their purpose are to produce repentance, as we see in the example of Job. And here we mark the traits of a true repentance. It is to" recall" the idle word, the impious thought; and it is to reverse the attitude of the mind from that of presumption and pride to that of submission and humility. So in dust and ashes, with pride abased, overcome by the Divine majesty, would Job offer those sacrifices which God does not despise (Psalm 51.). In returning to God he returns to his true spirit and attitude of patience. Out of this, by the provocation of his friends, he had allowed himself to be mused. But now hearing the rod, and who hath appointed it, kissing the hand that hath smitten, he waits in silence until the blessing of the Most High anew exalts the sincere penitent. - J.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Job answered the LORD, and said,