Job 29:14


1. It covers. If a man has but a good character, we can pardon much else in him. He may be weak, foolish, unfortunate. He may have failed in the world, and have come down to poverty. Yet he is not in rags. A royal robe covers him, and, in the eyes of those who can appreciate true worth, this is the one thing seen about him.

2. It protects. The garment is to keep off the chill winds and damping mists and scorching sun. Righteousness is more than a stout garment. It is a piece of armour - a breastplate, protecting the heart (Ephesians 6:14). When once a man is assured of the integrity of his cause he can look the whole world in the face; he can dare to go through fire and water; he is strong and safe where one with an evil conscience may well tremble and cower.

3. It adorns. This righteousness is not only decent and comforting, like a thick, warm, homespun garment; it is more beautiful than a king's clothing of purple and silk and gold embroidery. There is no beauty so fair as that of goodness.

4. It cannot be hidden. It is not a secret confined to the heart. It must be there first, it must spring from the heart. But it is not hidden within. Character is visible, like a garment worn in the street.

II. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH THUS CLOTHES MUST BE REAL. It is only the perversity of an erroneous theology that could ever make it necessary to utter so obvious a sentence as this. There is a way of referring to the imputed righteousness of Christ as though this dispensed with the necessity of our being ourselves righteous. Surely such a doctrine would be immoral. In what respects could this so-called robe of righteousness be distinguished from the hypocrite's cloak? If Christ's righteousness were only to hide our unrighteousness without curing it, not only would a great deception be practised, but no real good would be done. The result would be an unmitigated evil. For what is our curse and our ruin? Is it not our sin? If so, nothing can benefit us that does not destroy that sin. Therefore an attempt to cover it up and leave it unaltered will do us no good, but will injure us by drugging our conscience and giving us a false assurance. In Eastern cities an open drain runs down the middle of the street, and is not so offensive as one might think, because it is always being oxidized and purified by the fresh air. We cover over our drains, but make ventilating holes in our streets, through which gases of concentrated foulness, unmixed with pure air, are continually rising among the passers-by. Have we gained much?

III. ONLY CHRIST CAN CLOTHE US WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS. Self-righteousness is a delusion. We cannot make ourselves righteous, nor can any law put us right with God. St. Paul demonstrated this in the opening chapters of his Epistle to the Romans. But he also showed that God had given us righteousness in Christ (Romans 3:21, 22). Now, this comes first of all in forgiveness. We are then put in a right relation with God, before we have overcome all the sin that dwells within us. Christ is the promise of our future righteousness. In this way his righteousness means much to us. God cannot be taken in by any fiction. He can only regard us just as we are. But he can treat us for Christ's sake better than we deserve. So through Christ we are placed in right relations with God, and those right relations are the channels through which real righteousness comes into us. - W.F.A.

I put on righteousness.
When others do us open wrong, it is not vanity, but charity, to do ourselves open right. And whatsoever appearance of folly or vain boasting there is in so doing, they are chargeable with all that compel us thereunto, and not we. It was neither pride nor passion in Job, but such a compulsion as this, that made him so often proclaim his own righteousness. It seemeth Job was a good man, as well as a great; and being good, he was by so much the better, by how much he was the greater. The grieved spirit of Job uttered these words for his own justification; but the blessed Spirit of God hath since written them for our instruction; to teach us, from Job's example, how to use that measure of greatness and power which He hath given us, be it more, or be it less, to His glory and the common good. We have to learn the principal duties which concern those that live in any degree of efficiency or authority. Those duties are four.

I. A CARE, AND LOVE, AND ZEAL OF JUSTICE. This is the chief business of the magistrate. "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me." The metaphor of clothing is much used in the Scriptures in this notion as it is applied to the soul, and things appertaining to the soul. We clothe ourselves either for necessity, to cover our nakedness; for security or defence against enemies; or for state and solemnity, for distinction of offices and degrees. Job's words intimate the great love he had unto justice, and the great delight he took therein. And it is the master duty of the magistrate to do justice, and to delight in it. He must make it his chief business, and yet count it his lightsome recreation. Magistrates may learn from the examples of Job, of Solomon, and of Jesus Christ Himself. Justice is a thing in itself most excellent; from it there redoundeth much glory to God; to ourselves so much comfort, and to others so much benefit.

II. COMPASSION TO THE POOR AND DISTRESSED. Men's necessities are many, and of great variety; but most of them spring from one of these two defects, ignorance, or want of skill; and impotence, or want of power: here signified by blindness and lameness. A magistrate can be "eyes to the blind," by giving sound and honest counsel to the simple. He can be "feet to the lame," by giving countenance and assistance in just and honest causes; and "father to the poor," by giving convenient safety and protection to those in distress. The preeminence of magistrates consisteth in their ability to do good and help the distressed, more than others. As they receive power from God, so they receive honours and service and tributes from their people for the maintenance of that power. God hath imprinted in the natural conscience of every man notions of fear, and honour, and reverence, and obedience, and subjection, and contribution, and other duties to be performed towards kings, magistrates, and other superiors. Mercy and justice must go together, and help to temper the one the other. The magistrate must be a father to the poor, to protect him from injuries, and to relieve his necessities, but not to maintain him in idleness. He must make provision to set him on work; and give him sharp correction should he grow idle, dissolute, or stubborn.

III. PAINS AND PATIENCE IN EXAMINATION OF CAUSES. "The cause which I knew not, I searched out." In the administration of justice the magistrate must make no difference between rich and poor, far or near, friend or foe. The special duty imposed on magistrates is diligence, and patience, and care to hear, and examine, and inquire into the truth of things, and into the equity of men's causes. Truth often lieth, as it were, in the bottom of a pit, and has to be found and brought to light. Innocency itself is often laden with false accusations.

IV. STOUTNESS AND COURAGE IN EXECUTION OF JUSTICE. "I brake the jaws of the wicked." Job alludes to savage beasts, beasts of prey; types of the greedy and violent ones of the world. For breaking the jaws of the wicked there is required a stout heart and an undaunted courage. This is necessary for the magistrate's work and for the maintenance of his dignity. Inferences —

1. Of direction; for the choice and appointment of magistrates according to the above four properties.

2. Of reproof; for a just rebuke of such magistrates as fail in any of these four duties.

3. Of exhortation; to those who are, or shall be magistrates, to carry themselves therein according to these four rules.

(Bishop Sanderson.)

Job's reflections on the flourishing estate he had once enjoyed did at the same time afflict and encourage him.

I. WHAT A PUBLIC BLESSING A GOOD MAGISTRATE IS: a blessing as extensive as the community to which he belongs; a blessing which includes all other blessings whatsoever that relate to this life. The benefits of a just and good government to those who are so happy as to be under it, like health to vigorous bodies, or fruitful seasons in temperate climes, are such common and familiar blessings that they are seldom either valued or relished as they ought to be.

II. THE OUTWARD MARKS OF DISTINCTION AND SPLENDOUR WHICH ARE ALLOTTED TO THE MAGISTRATE. Of these the robe and diadem, mentioned by Job, are illustrations. It was intended thus —

1. To excite the magistrate to a due degree of vigilance and concern for the public good. The magistrate was made great, to inspire him with resolutions of living suitably to his high profession and calling.

2. To secure the magistrate's person, in which the public tranquillity and safety are always involved.

3. To ensure that the magistrate is had in due estimation and reverence by all those who are subject to him. It is in the civil government, as in the offices of religion; which, were they stript of all the external decencies of worship, would not make a due impression on the minds of those who assist at them. The solemnities that encompass the magistrate, add dignity to all his actions, and weight to all his words and opinions.

4. To aid the magistrate to reverence himself. He who esteems and reverences himself will not fail to take the truest methods towards procuring esteem and reverence from others.

III. THE DUTIES OF THE MAGISTRATE. The chief honour of the magistrate consists in maintaining the dignity of his character by suitable actions, and in discharging the high trust that is reposed in him, with integrity, wisdom, and courage. Reputation is the great engine by which those who are possessed of power must make that power serviceable to the ends and uses of government. The rods and axes of princes and their deputies may awe many into obedience; but the fame of their goodness, and justice, and other virtues will work on more; will make men not only obedient, but willing to obey. An established character spreads the influence of such as move in a high sphere, on all around and beneath them. The actions of men in high stations are all conspicuous, and liable to be scanned and sifted. They cannot hide themselves from the eyes of the world as private men can. Great places are never well filled but by great minds; and it is as natural to a great mind to seek honour by a due discharge of a high trust, as it is to little men to make less advantages of it. A good magistrate must be endued with a public spirit, and be free from all narrow and selfish views. He must impartially distribute justice, without respect of persons, interests, or opinions. Courtesy and condescension is another happy quality of a magistrate. Bounty also, and a generous contempt of that in which too many men place their happiness, must come in to heighten his character. Of all good qualities, that which recommends and adorns the magistrate most, is his care of religion; which, as it is the most valuable thing in the world, so it gives the truest value to them, who promote the esteem and practice of it, by their example, authority, influence, and encouragement.

(F. Atterbury, D. D.)

Clothed, Clotheth, Clothing, Decisions, Diadem, Full, Head-dress, Itself, Judgment, Justice, Mantle, Righteousness, Robe, Turban
1. Job bemoans his former prosperity

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Job 29:14

     5145   clothing
     5158   head-covering

Job 29:11-16

     8428   example

Job 29:11-17

     5448   poverty, attitudes to

Job 29:12-17

     5809   compassion, human

Comfort for the Desponding
At once to the subject. A complaint; its cause and cure; and then close up with an exhortation to stir up your pure minds, if you are in such a position. I. First, there is a COMPLAINT. How many a Christian looks on the past with pleasure, on the future with dread, and on the present with sorrow! There are many who look back upon the days that they have passed in the fear of the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever had, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Job's Regret and Our Own
I. Let us begin by saying, that regrets such as those expressed in the text are and ought to be very BITTER. If it be the loss of spiritual things that we regret, then may we say from the bottom of our hearts, "Oh that I were as in months past." It is a great thing for a man to be near to God; it is a very choice privilege to be admitted into the inner circle of communion, and to become God's familiar friend. Great as the privilege is, so great is the loss of it. No darkness is so dark as that which
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

The Case of Spiritual Decay and Languor in Religion
1. Declension in religion, and relapses into sin, with their sorrowful consequences, are in the general too probable.--2. The ease of declension and langour in religion described, negatively.--3. And positively.--4. As discovering itself by a failure in the duties of the closet.--5. By a neglect of social worship.--6. By want of love to our fellow Christians.--7. By an undue attachment to sensual pleasures or secular cares.--8. By prejudices against some important principles in religion.--9,10. A
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

The Case of the Christian under the Hiding of God's Face.
1. The phrase scriptural.--2. It signifies the withdrawing the tokens of the divine favor.--3 chiefly as to spiritual considerations.--4. This may become the case of any Christian.--5. and will be found a very sorrowful one.--6. The following directions, therefore, are given to those who suppose it to be their own: To inquire whether it be indeed a case of spiritual distress, or whether a disconsolate frame may not proceed from indisposition of body,--7. or difficulties as to worldly circumstances.--8,
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

The Blessedness of Giving
"Blessed is he that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble." "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase, so shalt thy barns be filled with plenty." "There is that scattereth and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it lendeth to poverty." "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself." "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that
Various—The Wonders of Prayer

Oh that I were as in Months Past! Job 29:02:00

John Newton—Olney Hymns

Field Hymns.
Hymns of the hortatory and persuasive tone are sufficiently numerous to make an "embarrassment of riches" in a compiler's hands. Not a few songs of invitation and awakening are either quoted or mentioned in the chapter on "Old Revival Hymns," and many appear among those in the last chapter, (on the Hymns of Wales;) but the working songs of Christian hymnology deserve a special space as such. "COME HITHER ALL YE WEARY SOULS," Sung to "Federal St.," is one of the older soul-winning calls from
Theron Brown—The Story of the Hymns and Tunes

How a Desolate Man Ought to Commit Himself into the Hands of God
O Lord, Holy Father, be Thou blessed now and evermore; because as Thou wilt so it is done, and what Thou doest is good. Let Thy servant rejoice in Thee, not in himself, nor in any other; because Thou alone art the true joy, Thou art my hope and my crown, Thou art my joy and my honour, O Lord. What hath Thy servant, which he received not from Thee, even without merit of his own? Thine are all things which Thou hast given, and which Thou hast made. I am poor and in misery even from my youth up,(1)
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Fifth Commandment
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.' Exod 20: 12. Having done with the first table, I am next to speak of the duties of the second table. The commandments may be likened to Jacob's ladder: the first table respects God, and is the top of the ladder that reaches to heaven; the second respects superiors and inferiors, and is the foot of the ladder that rests on the earth. By the first table, we walk religiously towards God; by
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The Properties of Sanctifying Grace
By a property (proprium, {GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA WITH PSILI AND OXIA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER DELTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}) we understand a quality which, though not part of the essence of a thing, necessarily flows from that essence by some sort of causation and is consequently found in all individuals of the same species.(1155) A property, as such, is opposed to an accident (accidens, {GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER UPSILON}{GREEK
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

May one Lose the Blessing?
The question trembles from many a lip--If I get the blessing, may I lose it? Most certainly. But, glory be to God! He has made ample provision for failure. There is no reason why we should fail; God has made ample provision against failure; we must not expect to fail; but in case we do fail, provision has been made. The most prolific cause of loss is disobedience--disobedience either to one of God's written commands, or to the inward promptings of His Holy Spirit. "The Holy Ghost whom God hath
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

No Sorrow Like Messiah's Sorrow
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow! A lthough the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the law of Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophecies (Luke 24:44) , bear an harmonious testimony to MESSIAH ; it is not necessary to suppose that every single passage has an immediate and direct relation to Him. A method of exposition has frequently obtained [frequently been in vogue], of a fanciful and allegorical cast [contrivance], under the pretext
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

The book of Job is one of the great masterpieces of the world's literature, if not indeed the greatest. The author was a man of superb literary genius, and of rich, daring, and original mind. The problem with which he deals is one of inexhaustible interest, and his treatment of it is everywhere characterized by a psychological insight, an intellectual courage, and a fertility and brilliance of resource which are nothing less than astonishing. Opinion has been divided as to how the book should be
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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