Job 5:16

Conclusion of Eliphaz's address. His language suddenly changes into a gentler strain. It is like the clearing of a dark sky, revealing once more the deep blue; or the bend of a stream which has been flowing through a stern gorge, now broadening out into a sunlit lake.

I. THE GREATNESS AND BENEFICENCE OF GOD. (Vers. 8-16.) Let men turn to him for comfort and for strength. It is a bright gem of description.

1. God is the Supreme. (Ver. 8.) Let men look no lower than to the Highest. With him is the final appeal. He is Judge of all the earth. Clouds and darkness are round about him; but justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne.

2. He is the great Worker. His scale and sphere of operation is vast, immeasurable, unsearchable (ver. 9). His mode of operation is wonderful, past finding out. "His way is in the sea, his path in the great waters, his footsteps who has known?" The grandeur and marvel of his deeds are seen:

(1) In nature. (Ver. 10.) One phenomenon is mentioned only as typical, in all important respects, of all the other tokens of his power in nature. It is the blessed gift of rain. For nothing in an Oriental clime speaks more powerfully to the senses and the feelings than this inestimable boon. Many other Scriptures witness this. First He gives the early and the latter rain;" "comes down like rain upon the mown grass," and "as showers that water the earth." 'Tis he who causes the refreshing showers to fall upon the fields of both the just and the unjust. The French peasants say, as they watch the rain failing on their vineyards, "Voici le vin qui descend du ciel!" "Here comes down the wine from heaven!" But what good things do not come down from heaven in the rain from the ever-blessing God?

(2) In human life. In this broad field, common experience gains many a lesson of the same kind. Not one of the traits in this exquisite description of which the intelligent observer cannot say, "This is true to life!" He is seen to be the Exalter of the lowly and the sorrowful (ver. 11). Who has not had brought home to him in many an instance the sense of this truth in the course of life? What tales of obscure and lowly worth rising into eminence; of deserted widows and orphans finding springs of help and succour marvellously opened to them in the hour of need can we not all tell? And we take delight in these narratives because they convince us that the constitution of life is not the mere mindless machinery which godless thinkers would make it out to be. We see that selfish craft and cunning are in the end disappointed and baffled (ver. 12). Lies and cheats do not prosper long. The proverbs of the world bear their witness; common experience stamps them with the mark of truth. And this, too, is no accident, but the result of the righteous operation of God. We see that men overreach themselves and fall by their own snares (ver. 13). "Vaulting ambition doth o'erleap itself, and falls on t'other side." And the sight gives us a deep pleasure, whatever pity we may feel for the victim of his conceit and folly, because here again we receive a communication of the will of God. We see self-confident men plunged into perplexity, infatuated, unable to steer their path aright, though the light is lull and clear about them (ver. 14). There is a judicial blindness to be observed in certain cases; so that those who, in the pursuit of passion or interest, have extinguished conscience, become at last unable to see even their own interest, and make suicidal mistakes. Here, too, is the finger of a higher Power.

3. The object of Divine operation. (Vers. 15, 16.) In both nature and human life it is one - to lessen suffering, to protect innocence, to deliver from violence and persecution.

II. THE BLESSING OF DIVINE CHASTISEMENT. (Vers. 17-27.) From the general evidences of the beneficence of God, we come down to one special and peculiar form of it, He is good to us in our pains as well as in our pleasures. His power is exercised to purify and chasten as well as to destroy. The recognition of this truth is one of the leading features of Scripture revelation. How different from the gloomy creed of the most enlightened heathen concerning suffering sent from heaven! He felt the wrath of his gods, but he never knew their blows as signs of a secret and remedial love. Where there is no belief in supreme righteousness, suffering must always be without relief. The blessedness here described is both internal and external.

1. Internal. The man is blessed

(1) who recognizes his sufferings as corrections. Then their worst bitterness passes; despondency is cheered; hope dawns in the heart. He is blessed

(2) who rejects not the warnings which they bring. He willingly takes the medicine, and submits to the direction of the heavenly Physician. But they aggravate their sufferings and inflame their ills who know they are being corrected, yet refuse to take the Divine hint for amendment; who are like the stubborn horse or ass chafing at the bit, resisting the guidance of the rein. He is blessed

(3) who yields himself up implicitly to the Divine treatment, suffers his evils to be expelled, his follies to be plucked up by the roots. He is blessed

(4) because he is thus brought into the deeper knowledge and fellowship of God. To know God as the Almighty Benefactor is one step in religion; to know him as the Almighty Chastiser is another and a higher. And this is never reached except through suffering, the deeper consciousness of sin, struggles with self, a higher purity, and a deeper peace.

2. External. The man at peace with himself and with God seems to bear a charmed life (ver. 19).

(1) Be defended from outward evils. (Vers. 20-22.) He passes through seas of trouble, and rides upon the crest of each advancing wave; passes through fire, and it hurts him not. The greatest outward calamities are mentioned, only to show how he rises superior to them all. "Famine." The histories of Elijah, of the widow of Zarephath, of the temptation of Jesus Christ, all illustrate the grand truth that man's strength is derived, not from bread alone, but directly from the Word and will of God. The truth is a general one. It is that expressed by St. Paul that, though the outward man perish, the inward man may be renewed day by day. "The power of the sword," "devastation," "famine," "wild beasts," form the catalogue of the ills most common and most dreaded in ancient times. None of these can harm the man who is reconciled to God. The truth again is general, and admits of a twofold application. In the first place, history is full of the providential escapes of good men, in which every discerning mind will see the hand of God. But there are exceptions. No law of nature is set aside. The sword of the foe, the tooth of the lion, is not blunted, nor is the body hardened against hunger. Good men, like others, perish from these causes. But here the truth applies in another way. The souls of the martyrs flee to the altar of heaven (Revelation 6:9). or are borne from the scene of suffering to that of rest, as Lazarus to the besom of Abraham. In either case they are unharmed and happy in God. But another evil, more keenly felt in more civilized times, is the "scourge of the tongue." Slander -

"Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All comers of the world - kings, queens, and states,
Maids, matrons - nay, the secrets of the grave
This viperous slander enters." From this fearful scourge the blessed man is hidden, protected. Good men are often attacked, but cannot be destroyed, by slander. They do not feel it as do the consciously guilty. They, in the beautiful words of the psalm, are kept "secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues." The slanderer does service to the upright man in the end by forcing him into a position of self-defence, or of silent dignity, which brings the true qualities of his character into a clearer light.

(2) He is favoured with outward good. (Vers. 23-27.) The stones that afflict the fields with barrenness, the devouring beasts, seem to be in secret pact with him and refuse to do him harm. This is poetry wrapping up truth. We are reminded of the beautiful ode of the Roman poet (Horace, 1:22), where, dwelling on the theme that innocence is its own protection, its own arms, he tells as of the weft that fled from him all unarmed in the Sabine wood. The whole picture is that of the quiet pastoral life which we love to associate with innocence and the protection of Heaven. There is comfort in his tent; when he visits his pastures, no head of cattle is missing (for this is perhaps the true meaning of the latter clause of ver. 24). Children and children's children spring up around him; till he comes to his end crowned with silver hair, like the ripe sheaf carried home to the garner. With this description compare the noble ninety-first psalm. Eliphaz emphatically declares (ver. 27) this to have been his experience. It was a picture drawn from life. We cannot doubt that it was realized in numberless instances in those early conditions of life; nay, it is so still. It hardly comes within the scope of such poetry to recognize the actual or seeming exceptions. And if we do not see the universal truth of the description of the good man's career, we must recollect that life is a far more complicated and many-sided affair with us. It is far more difficult to trace the connection of cause anti effect in the various courses of men. And we have this immense advantage over this early teacher - that we have a clearer view, a firmer belief of the extension of man's career into eternity. All that appears exceptional and opposed to the laws of life laid down by Eliphaz, we doubt not, will be compensated and redressed in a future state. - J.

So the poor hath hope.
By God's different treatment of men, according to their different characters, the afflicted receive comfort, and the unrighteous are silenced and restrained. "So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth." The words recommend —

I. A CAREFUL IMITATION OF THE DIVINE GOODNESS, BY SHOWING A COMPASSIONATE REGARD TO THOSE WHO ARE REALLY DESTITUTE AND AFFLICTED. The amiable perfection of the great Original, the excellence and beauty of unlimited goodness, if duly regarded, must prove a sufficient persuasive to study this resemblance; the rational and delightful resemblance of that Divine bounty which is good to all, and whose tender mercies are over all His works. An example so perfect may justly warm our hearts to attempt the nearest imitation which human frailty can accomplish; to be merciful as our Father, our Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, our kindest Friend, our constant Benefactor.

II. THE RESTRAINT AND CORRECTION OF THE DISORDERLY AND THE WICKED. "And iniquity stoppeth her mouth." How affecting it is to consider that so many thousand wretched creatures are now actually employed in multiplying distempers, now swallowing those deadly potions, that, by slower degrees indeed, but with the certainty of a bullet, must soon fatally end their days. How infectious, how shameless is this horrible vice! These things ought not so to be. What then is to be done to stop, to remedy this growing evil? Inattention cannot do it. Despair cannot do it. Public communities and private persons, everyone in his respective station must exert his zealous, honest endeavours in this important cause; the cause of religion and humanity, the cause of our country, and the cause of God. Once resolve upon the good work — and resolve to pursue it — with God's blessing, it is half accomplished.

(Lord Bishop of Worcester, 1750.)

Evil-doer, Helpless, Hope, Hopeth, Iniquity, Injustice, Mouth, Perverseness, Poor, Shut, Shuts, Stopped, Stoppeth, Unrighteousness
1. Eliphaz shows that the end of the wicked is misery;
6. that man is born to trouble;
8. that God is to be regarded in affliction;
17. the happy end of God's correction.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Job 5:16

     5168   muteness
     5449   poverty, remedies
     6130   corruption
     9612   hope, in God

Job 5:15-16

     5457   power, human

December 3 Morning
I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause.--JOB 5:8. Is anything too hard for the Lord?--Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.--Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.--Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you. Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, and
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

The Peaceable Fruits of Sorrows Rightly Borne
'Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 18. For He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hands make whole. 19. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. 20. In famine He shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. 21. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. 22. At destruction and famine
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Death of the Christian
This morning, we shall consider the death of Christians in general; not of the aged Christian merely, for we shall show you that while this text does seem to bear upon the aged Christian, in reality it speaks with a loud voice to every man who is a believer. "Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season." There are four things we shall mark in the text. First, we shall consider that death is inevitable, because it says, "Thou shalt come." Secondly, that
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

"There is Therefore Now no Condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who Walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit. "
Rom. viii. 1.--"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." There are three things which concur to make man miserable,--sin, condemnation, and affliction. Every one may observe that "man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward," that his days here are few and evil. He possesses "months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed" for him. Job v. 6, 7, vii. 3. He "is of few days and full of trouble," Job xiv.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Christian Struggling under Great and Heavy Affliction.
1. Here it is advised--that afflictions should only be expected.--2. That the righteous hand of God should be acknowledged in them when they come.--3. That they should be borne with patience.--4. That the divine conduct in them should be cordially approved.--5. That thankfulness should be maintained in the midst of trials.--6. That the design of afflictions should be diligently inquired into, and all proper assistance taken in discovering it.--7. That, when it is discovered, it should humbly be complied
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

Letter xxxii (A. D. 1132) to Thurstan, Archbishop of York
To Thurstan, Archbishop of York Bernard praises his charity and beneficence towards the Religious. To the very dear father and Reverend Lord Thurstan, by the Grace of God Archbishop of York, Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, wishes the fullest health. The general good report of men, as I have experienced, has said nothing in your favour which the splendour of your good works does not justify. Your actions, in fact, show that your high reputation, which fame had previously spread everywhere, was neither
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Whether we Ought to Pray to God Alone?
Objection 1: It would seem that we ought to pray to God alone. Prayer is an act of religion, as stated above [3016](A[3]). But God alone is to be worshiped by religion. Therefore we should pray to God alone. Objection 2: Further, it is useless to pray to one who is ignorant of the prayer. But it belongs to God alone to know one's prayer, both because frequently prayer is uttered by an interior act which God alone knows, rather than by words, according to the saying of the Apostle (1 Cor. 14:15),
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether we Ought to Call Upon the Saints to Pray for Us?
Objection 1: It would seem that we ought not to call upon the saints to pray for us. For no man asks anyone's friends to pray for him, except in so far as he believes he will more easily find favor with them. But God is infinitely more merciful than any saint, and consequently His will is more easily inclined to give us a gracious hearing, than the will of a saint. Therefore it would seem unnecessary to make the saints mediators between us and God, that they may intercede for us. Objection 2: Further,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Lawful to Imprison a Man?
Objection 1: It would seem unlawful to imprison a man. An act which deals with undue matter is evil in its genus, as stated above ([2910]FS, Q[18], A[2]). Now man, having a free-will, is undue matter for imprisonment which is inconsistent with free-will. Therefore it is unlawful to imprison a man. Objection 2: Further, human justice should be ruled by Divine justice. Now according to Ecclus. 15:14, "God left man in the hand of his own counsel." Therefore it seems that a man ought not to be coerced
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Beatitudes are Suitably Enumerated?
Objection 1: It would seem that the beatitudes are unsuitably enumerated. For the beatitudes are assigned to the gifts, as stated above (A[1], ad 1). Now some of the gifts, viz. wisdom and understanding, belong to the contemplative life: yet no beatitude is assigned to the act of contemplation, for all are assigned to matters connected with the active life. Therefore the beatitudes are insufficiently enumerated. Objection 2: Further, not only do the executive gifts belong to the active life, but
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Envy is a Kind of Sorrow?
Objection 1: It would seem that envy is not a kind of sorrow. For the object of envy is a good, for Gregory says (Moral. v, 46) of the envious man that "self-inflicted pain wounds the pining spirit, which is racked by the prosperity of another." Therefore envy is not a kind of sorrow. Objection 2: Further, likeness is a cause, not of sorrow but rather of pleasure. But likeness is a cause of envy: for the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 10): "Men are envious of such as are like them in genus, in knowledge,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Envy is a Mortal Sin?
Objection 1: It would seem that envy is not a mortal sin. For since envy is a kind of sorrow, it is a passion of the sensitive appetite. Now there is no mortal sin in the sensuality, but only in the reason, as Augustine declares (De Trin. xii, 12) [*Cf. [2644]FS, Q[74], A[4]]. Therefore envy is not a mortal sin. Objection 2: Further, there cannot be mortal sin in infants. But envy can be in them, for Augustine says (Confess. i): "I myself have seen and known even a baby envious, it could not speak,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether all Anger is a Mortal Sin?
Objection 1: It would seem that all anger is a mortal sin. For it is written (Job 5:2): "Anger killeth the foolish man [*Vulg.: 'Anger indeed killeth the foolish']," and he speaks of the spiritual killing, whence mortal sin takes its name. Therefore all anger is a mortal sin. Objection 2: Further, nothing save mortal sin is deserving of eternal condemnation. Now anger deserves eternal condemnation; for our Lord said (Mat. 5:22): "Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment":
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Particular Punishments of Our First Parents are Suitably Appointed in Scripture?
Objection 1: It would seem that the particular punishments of our first parents are unsuitably appointed in Scripture. For that which would have occurred even without sin should not be described as a punishment for sin. Now seemingly there would have been "pain in child-bearing," even had there been no sin: for the disposition of the female sex is such that offspring cannot be born without pain to the bearer. Likewise the "subjection of woman to man" results from the perfection of the male, and the
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Sin Has a Cause?
Objection 1: It would seem that sin has no cause. For sin has the nature of evil, as stated above ([1760]Q[71], A[6]). But evil has no cause, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore sin has no cause. Objection 2: Further, a cause is that from which something follows of necessity. Now that which is of necessity, seems to be no sin, for every sin is voluntary. Therefore sin has no cause. Objection 3: Further, if sin has a cause, this cause is either good or evil. It is not a good, because good
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Afflictions and Death under Providence. Job 5:6-8.
Afflictions and death under Providence. Job 5:6-8. Not from the dust affliction grows, Nor troubles rise by chance; Yet we are born to cares and woes; A sad inheritance! As sparks break out from burning coals, And still are upwards borne So grief is rooted in our souls, And man grows lip to mourn. Yet with my God I leave my cause, And trust his promised grace; He rules me by his well-known laws Of love and righteousness. Not all the pains that e'er I bore Shall spoil my future peace, For death
Isaac Watts—The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts

'All Things are Yours'
'They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.'--JUDGES v. 20. 'For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.'--Job v. 23. These two poetical fragments present the same truth on opposite sides. The first of them comes from Deborah's triumphant chant. The singer identifies God with the cause of Israel, and declares that heaven itself fought against those who fought against God's people. There may be
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

2 Sam. 23:4-5. Without Clouds.
[13] "He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springeth out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although He make it not to grow."--2 Sam. 23:4-5. THE text which heads this page is taken from a chapter which ought to be very interesting to every Christian.
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

Question Lxxxiii of Prayer
I. Is Prayer an Act of the Appetitive Powers? Cardinal Cajetan, On Prayer based on Friendship II. Is it Fitting to Pray? Cardinal Cajetan, On Prayer as a True Cause S. Augustine, On the Sermon on the Mount, II. iii. 14 " On the Gift of Perseverance, vii. 15 III. Is Prayer an Act of the Virtue of Religion? Cardinal Cajetan, On the Humility of Prayer S. Augustine, On Psalm cii. 10 " Of the Gift of Perseverance, xvi. 39 IV. Ought We to Pray to God Alone? S. Augustine, Sermon, cxxvii. 2 V.
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

Covenanting According to the Purposes of God.
Since every revealed purpose of God, implying that obedience to his law will be given, is a demand of that obedience, the announcement of his Covenant, as in his sovereignty decreed, claims, not less effectively than an explicit law, the fulfilment of its duties. A representation of a system of things pre-determined in order that the obligations of the Covenant might be discharged; various exhibitions of the Covenant as ordained; and a description of the children of the Covenant as predestinated
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Directions to Awakened Sinners.
Acts ix. 6. Acts ix. 6. And he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do. THESE are the words of Saul, who also is called Paul, (Acts xiii. 9,) when he was stricken to the ground as he was going to Damascus; and any one who had looked upon him in his present circumstances and knew nothing more of him than that view, in comparison with his past life, could have given, would have imagined him one of the most miserable creatures that ever lived upon earth, and would have expected
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

The Figurative Language of Scripture.
1. When the psalmist says: "The Lord God is a sun and shield" (Psa. 84:11), he means that God is to all his creatures the source of life and blessedness, and their almighty protector; but this meaning he conveys under the figure of a sun and a shield. When, again, the apostle James says that Moses is read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day (Acts 15:21), he signifies the writings of Moses under the figure of his name. In these examples the figure lies in particular words. But it may be embodied
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

A Believer's Privilege at Death
'For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' Phil 1:1I. Hope is a Christian's anchor, which he casts within the veil. Rejoicing in hope.' Rom 12:12. A Christian's hope is not in this life, but he hash hope in his death.' Prov 14:42. The best of a saint's comfort begins when his life ends; but the wicked have all their heaven here. Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.' Luke 6:64. You may make your acquittance, and write Received in full payment.' Son, remember that
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Mothers, Daughters, and Wives in Israel
In order accurately to understand the position of woman in Israel, it is only necessary carefully to peruse the New Testament. The picture of social life there presented gives a full view of the place which she held in private and in public life. Here we do not find that separation, so common among Orientals at all times, but a woman mingles freely with others both at home and abroad. So far from suffering under social inferiority, she takes influential and often leading part in all movements, specially
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

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