For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he has gained, when God takes away his soul?
I. THE CHARACTER OF THE HYPOCRITE. By a hypocrite we understand not a self-deceiver, but a deceiver of others. To himself his real character is known, as it is also to God, the Judge of all; but it is hid from his fellow men, who are deceived by his plausible profession and fair speeches. The word implies that, like an ancient stage player, he acts under a mask, and personates a character which does not properly belong to him. The mask he wears is a form of godliness, and the part he acts is that of a religious man. His religion is only a counterfeit.
1. The hypocrite is a person whose outward conduct, upon the whole, is irreproachable in the sight of men.
2. His true character is far from coming up to the requirements of the Gospel. He is one whose heart is not right with God. His heart is unchanged, unrenewed, unsanctified, destitute of faith and humility, and without the love and fear of God.
3. The hypocrite does all his works to be seen of men. It is not God that he seeks to please. Self is the idol which he worships, and to which his incense is burned.
4. The hypocrite is partial and formal in his obedience. His obedience has respect only to some of the Commandments. The principle by which he is actuated is earthly and grovelling, leading him to seek only to have glory of men. Such a man has no portion in the life to come; he has no treasure in heaven.
II. THE NATURE OF HIS HOPE. Job takes for granted that the hypocrite may gain by his profession. He may, in many respects, succeed in obtaining the object of his wishes or the reward he covets. But what is his hope when God taketh away his soul? Consider —
1. The foundation on which his hope rests.
2. The author of his hope. Not God, but Satan.
3. The effects it produces.Then let us examine ourselves by this test. There are some who do not go so far even as the hypocrite. Even he pays some deference to religion. What character do we bear? Let us beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Avoid hypocrisy and cultivate sincerity. Be Christians, not merely in name, but in reality. Build your hope on Christ alone, counting Him to be your greatest gain.
Parallel VersesKJV: For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?