A Vexed Soul Comforted
Job 27:2
As God lives, who has taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who has vexed my soul;

The word "who" was put into this verse by the translators, but it is not wanted; it is better as I have read it to you, "The Almighty hath vexed my soul." The marginal reading is perhaps a more exact translation of the original: "The Almighty hath embittered my soul." From this we learn that a good man may have his soul vexed; he may not be able to preserve the serenity of his mind. There is a needs be, sometimes, that we should be "in heaviness through manifold temptations." Even to rivers there are rapids and cataracts, and so, methinks, in the most smoothly flowing life, there surely must be breaks of distraction and of distress. At any rate, it was so with Job. It is also clear, from our text, that a good man may trace the vexation of his soul distinctly to God. It was not merely that Job's former troubles had come from God, for he had borne up under them; when all he had was gone, he had still blessed the name of the Lord with holy serenity. But God had permitted these three eminent and distinguished men, mighty in speech, to come about him, to rub salt into his wounds, and so to increase his agony. Advancing a step further, we notice that, in all this, Job did not rebel against God, or speak a word against Him. He swore by that very God who had vexed his soul. See how it stands here: "As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment, and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul." He stood fast to it that this God was the true God, he called Him good, he believed Him to be almighty; it never occurred to Job to bring a railing accusation against God, or to start aside from his allegiance to Him. Now go another step, and notice that this embittering of Job's soul was intended for his good. The patriarch was to have his wealth doubled, and he therefore needed double grace that he might be able to bear the burden. When that end was accomplished, all the bitterness was turned into sweetness.

I. First, I shall speak upon A PERSONAL FACT. Many a person has to say, "The Almighty hath embittered my soul."

1. This happened to you, perhaps, through a series of very remarkable troubles.

2. It may be, however, that you have not had a succession of troubles, but you have had one trial constantly gnawing at your heart.

3. I hope that it has become saddened through a sense of sin.

4. It may be that this is not exactly your case, but you are restless and weary.

5. Beside all this, there is an undefined dread upon you. "The Almighty hath embittered my soul."

II. From this personal fact of which I have spoken I want to draw AN INSTRUCTIVE ARGUMENT, which has two edges.

1. If the Almighty — note that word "Almighty" — has vexed your soul as much as He has, how much more is He able to vex it! Now turn the argument the other way.

2. If it be the Almighty who has troubled us, surely He can also comfort us. He that is strong to sink is also strong to save.

III. Here is A HEALTHFUL INQUIRY for everyone whose soul has been vexed by God.

1. The inquiry is, first, is not God just in vexing my soul? Listen. Some of you have long vexed Him; you have grieved His Holy Spirit for years. Well, if you vex God's people, you must not be surprised if He vexes you.

2. Another point of inquiry is this: What can be God's design in vexing your soul? Surely He has a kind design in it all. God is never anything but good. Rest assured that He takes no delight in your miseries. You forgot Him when everything went merry as a marriage peal. It may be, too, that He is sending this trial to let you know that He thinks of you.

3. May it not be also for another reason — that He may wean you entirely from the world? He is making you loathe it. I think I hear someone say, "As the Almighty hath vexed my soul, what had I better do?" Do? Go home, and shut to your door, and have an hour alone with yourself and God. That hour alone with God may be the crisis of your whole life; do try it! "And when I am alone with God, what had I better do?" Well, first, tell Him all your grief. Then tell Him all your sin. Hide nothing from Him; lay it all, naked and bare, before Him. Then ask Him to blot it all out, once for all, for Jesus Christ's sake.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;

WEB: "As God lives, who has taken away my right, the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter.

Points in Job's Parable
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