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Job continueth his discourse yet farther, through the whole of this chapter. He draws a pathetic picture of his former prosperity.
(1) ¶ Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, (2) Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; (3) When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; (4) As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; (5) When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
It should seem very evident from these expressions, for they are all gracious expressions, that the Patriarch was chiefly lamenting, not that he was in distress, but that the presence of the LORD was not with him as heretofore he had enjoyed it. I need not, I hope, remind the Reader, how much in this instance Job was a type of the LORD JESUS. The agonies of JESUS in the garden and on the cross, were all on this account. "O my GOD (was the prophetical language concerning CHRIST, as well as by CHRIST), I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not." Psalms 22:2 . The several expressions here are all of a gracious kind. GOD'S punishment of Job, and his consciousness of it: The candle of the LORD shining upon him; meaning, no doubt, his HOLY SPIRIT: And the secret of GOD upon his tabernacle. Was not this secret of GOD another expression for what another servant of the LORD meant, when he said, The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant? Psalms 25:14 . I do not presume to say so, but yet venture to ask, Is there not, in those several expressions, somewhat that hath reference to the glorious doctrine of the joint work and love of that Holy three, which bear record in heaven? The preservation and keeping of the believer is peculiarly referred unto the favor and mercy of the FATHER. John 17:11 ; 1 Peter 1:5 . The candle shining, is a well known metaphor, for the lifting up the light of the HOLY SPIRIT on the head of GOD'S people. Numbers 6:26 ; Psalms 4:6 . And is it not JESUS meant here, he whose name was Secret, and who is the whole of the covenant to his people? Judges 13:18 ; Isaiah 42:6 .
(6) When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; (7) ¶ When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street! (8) The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up. (9) The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. (10) The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. (11) When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: (12) Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. (13) The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. (14) I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. (15) I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. (16) I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. (17) And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
It is a very interesting account Job here gives of himself, and related in such a beautiful simplicity as cannot be equalled. It should seem, from the several expressions in it, that Job was a magistrate, who sat in the gate, as Moses had in his days, appointed for giving judgment. But I think, if we pass over Job, and behold him as a type of JESUS; then the several expressions rise in beauty, and are abundantly more blessed and delightful. None among the children of fallen Adam can well lay claim to the exalted account here given. No robe of righteousness can be found but that of JESUS. None were ever, in the strict sense of the word, eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, but the LORD JESUS. But if we eye JESUS, as here shadowed forth, how every word then tells. By JESUS did kings reign, and princes decree justice. Proverbs 8:15 . Righteousness was indeed the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. Isaiah 11:5 . For JESUS put on righteousness, as a breast plate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head. Isaiah 59:17 . JESUS was, in every sense of the word, eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. He broke the jaws of the wicked when he triumphed over hell and the powers of darkness, and when he plucked our poor nature, as the spoil, from the teeth of Satan. Then it might be truly said, the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon JESUS, when the trumpet of his gospel was blown. Isaiah 27:13 .
(18) ¶ Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand. (19) My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch. (20) My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand. (21) Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel. (22) After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them. (23) And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. (24) If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down. (25) I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.
Here we find Job, in his own character, speaking of himself, and giving proofs of belonging to the fallen race of men, of like passions with ourselves: many favourable accounts of himself, mingled with much self-confidence and taking complacency, in what he had been and what he had done. Precious JESUS! how refreshing is it to see, that all thy people, after all their attainments, and all the bestowed grace upon them, plainly testify the hole of the pit from whence they are taken. Yes, blessed Redeemer! as the word of thy grace represents, and the experience of thy people confirms, it is thou, and thou only, that art holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. Hail, thou Holy One of Israel, the LORD our righteousness!
READER! in this representation of Job, let you and I look beyond the man of Uz, and behold some of the sweet sketches of Him, who is all that is here said, and infinitely more, to all his people. JESUS is indeed our Lawgiver, our King, our Ruler. Who, when hearing him speak, but must refrain talking, and lay their hands upon their mouth! His government is universal; his power unlimited. To him it belongs to appoint laws in the gate, and to clothe his people with his own robe of righteousness, and his garment of salvation. Yes, blessed JESUS! it is thou that must solve all doubts; clear up all difficulties; and against thy judgment there can be no appeal; and there needeth none. Surely, dear LORD, thou art, and ever hast been, eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. Who is there to comfort thy poor, and thy needy, but thee? Who to be with us in trouble, to console us with thy presence when afflicted, and to pluck thy poor captives from the hand of him that is stronger than we? Yes, yes! thou Almighty Samaritan, the blessing of them that are ready to perish shall come upon thee: for with the oil and wine of thy grace, and HOLY SPIRIT, thou hast visited them; with the robes of thy righteousness, and with the garments of thy salvation, thou hast clothed them in their perishing circumstances; with thy precious body and blood thou hast fed and sustained them; and through all these manifestations of grace and favor, thy love hath been better than wine! Hail, gracious LORD! the helper of the poor, when he crieth, the hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof. Be thou everlastingly praised, and everlastingly beloved: give us grace, LORD, to love thee, who hast so loved us.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 29". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20