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mercifulness and kindness which dwells in the heart of God, and which indeed is God; for the graciousness of God is the gracious God : thus God is always and altogether gracious; he is infinitely and incessantly gracious. Secondly, when it is said, “ he is gracious," it may note only the graciousness of his acts and dispensations; thus, the Lord is gracious, as be sees cause. He puts forth acts of grace, according to the pleasure of his own will, without respect to any thing in man, as also without respecting what man is or doth, according to bis pleasure. And thus we are chiefly to understand it here, then he is gracious. God is gracious in bis nature always, and always alike gracious ; but he is not always alike gracious in his dispensations, or in giving forth acts of grace; he is gracious to man accord. ing to his secret will as he pleasetb, and he is gracious according to his revealed will."
Hence observe, the first cause and spring of all our mercies is the graciousness of God. That is the fountain, yea, that is the ocean wbich feeds and Gills all the channels of mercy, which stream to us, as our happiness in this world, and for our everlasting happiness in the world which is to come. All is of grace fundamentally, or because the Lord is and will be for ever gracious. Thus the Lord spake to Moses, Exod. xxxiii. 19. “I will be gracious to wbom I will be gracious.” My mercy shall flow out, when, and to whom, and where I please. And the proclamation which he made of himself in all his royal titles runs in the same strain, Exod. xxxiv. 6. ^ The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in good. ness and truth, keeping mercy for thonsands, forgiving juiquity." If we consider God in doing us good; in for giving us the evil which we do; in delivering us from the evils which we now suffer; in delivering us from the fear of future sufferings; all is from grace, and from free grace. He doth us good though we are undeserving any good; that is grace : yea, he doth us good thougb we are illdeserving; and that is more grace. He doth all for us through grace, in spirituals, and in temporals : not only the good things of eternal life, but the good things of this present life flow from grace unto his own people. Not only ihe health of their souls, but the health of their bodies, not only deliverance from bell, but deliverance from sickness also, flow from bis free grace in Jesus Cbrist : therefore of all tbeir mercies and salvations, both as to the foundation and lopstone of them, the people of God must cry, as the prophet Zechariah, chap. iv. 7. foretels, “ Grace, grace, unto them ;” that is, grace bath begun them, and grace alone will maintain, continue, and perfect what it hall begun. As there is notbing in us which moves the Lord to begin, so there is nothiogin us which moves the Lord to perfect what he bath begun; and therefore he will perfect what he hath begun, and all this be doth that he may exalt his own name, and perfect the praise of bis free graco towards us. He doth all rejoicingly, “even with his whole heart, and with his whole soul.” Mercy pleaseth him, and he is pleased with occasions of shewing mercy; it is no burden to him to do us good : mercy proceeds from bis nature, and therefore he delightetb in mercy, Micah vii. 18. yea, to be merciful is his nature, and therefore he cannot but delight in it. Graciousness being the very nature of God, implieth that he will do us good liberally and constantly, or that, as the apostle James speaks," he giveth liberally, and upbraideth not :” he doth not upbraid us with our poverty, who receive; nor doth he upbraid us with the riches of the gifts which himself bestoweth ; and because tbey flow from his nature, therefore be doth not in the least cmpty himself, how much soever he fills the creature with bis gifts or goodness, because all floweth from his natural graciousness, as from a fountain.
"And saith, Deliver bim from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.”]—The word deliver significs to redeem or set free one that is in bondage ; for it is not any righteousness wrought in us, nor wrought by us, but Christ's righteousness wrought for us, that is our 'deliverance from the pit of destruction, and it is founded alone upon God's finding or appointing a ransom for us.
“ I have found a ransom."]-Mr. Henry observes that the words are doubled, "I have, I have found a ransom :' wbich shews the complacency that God takes in bis thoughts of love to his people : and the word ransom in the original signifies a covering, an atonement, as it comes from a verb which denotes to cover or hide that which before was open, This sets forth the riches of divine grace in our redemption; for the.covering of sin by tbe righteousness and atonement of Christ elegantly sets forth the pardon of sin, and our deliverance tbereby. If we cover our own sins, we shall have no mercy; but if the Lord once cover our sins, he cannot deny us mercy, that being itself our greatest mercy, and the fruit of his great grace. The mercy-seat, so famous in the Mosaical dispensation, is expressed by this
word, which properly significth a covering. The mercy-scat was itself a 6 covering of pure gold laid over the ark,” in which ark the law was put, Exod. xxv. 17,21. “ Thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark, and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thec," And as the dimensions of the ark were two cubits and a half in length, and a cubit and a half in breadtb, so the same were the dimensions of the mercy-seat, ver. 10, 17, which implied ibat as the mercy-seat fully covcrcd the ark wherein the law was, so Christ should fully cover all our sins, which are transgressions of the law. The righteousness of Christ is as long and as broad as the law, and so our sins being covered with that, shall never appear against us. Therefore also « from above this mercy-seat between the two cherubins, (the Lord said) I will meet thee, and I will commune with thee." There was a gracious manifestation of the presence of God above the miercy-scat, because that typified Jesus Christ, the true propitiatory or ransom, covering and hiding out of the sight of God for cver all our iniquities and transgressions, and hence the same word, which signifies expiation or redemption, signifies also the procuring cause of our redemption, here called, as also in the new testament, a ransom, or atonement.
Ver. 25. " llis flesh sball be fresher tban a child's." -This comparison sets forth the wonderful change that the communications of God's love make; that as a sense of guilt decays the health of the body, so a display of par. doning love restores the health of body and mind.
Ver. 26, 29. “He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him.”]-The word in the original signifies, not only that God will be at peace with him, but that he will be well pleased wilh him, and delight and take pleasure in him ; for the word denotes the most full content and complacency in the object, Psalm cxlix. 4. This shews tbat to enjoy the favour of God is the life and sum, the alpha and omega, of all the mercies that the christian can desire. • “He shall see his face with joy."|--This shews the greatness and certainty of divine grace to the believer under afflictions; that be shall see the face of God with joy. By the face of God we are not to understand bis essence, or bis essential glory ; that is too glorious for man to behold; it is therefore his manifestative and declarative glory or favour which we belold in Christ : this is in scripture called his fuce, because it is his favour, his countenance, or his smiles of mercy to us. These are the intellectual visions of the mind, or the spiritual eye, and what faith beholds, sees, and enjoys, namely, the discoveries of his perfections, holiness, justice, and goodness, in the person of Christ, who is “ the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of bis person';" for the light of the glory of God in his perfections, promises, and blessings, are only to be enjoyed in the face of Jesus Christ. This sets forth the joy that is here promised; for the word denotes not an ordinary or common joy, but a triumphant joy, the joy of jubilee, a shouting or a singing for joy; because the soul then bebolds God as the God of grace, peace, and salvation to him in the person of Christ.
“For he will render unto man his righteousness.”] Not man's righteousness, but his, that is, Christ's, who is the object of it, the author of it, and the finisher of it. This Christ renders unto his people by imputation, by revelation, and by manifestation of an interest therein; and in tbis sense it may be said that Christ renders to man his righteousness, as it was ordained for him, and given to bim.
Eliba, it is likely, paused a while, to see if Job had any thing to say against
his discourse in the foregoing chapter ; but he sitting silent, and, it is likely, intimating his desire that he would go on, lie here proceeds. And, (1.) He bespeaks not only the audience, but the assistance of the company, ver. 2-4. (2.) He chargeth Job with some more indecent expressions, that had dropped from him, ver. 5—9. (3.) He undertakes to convince him that he had spoken amiss, by shewing very fully, (1.) God's incontestible justice, ver. 10, 12, 17, 19, 23. (2.) His sovereign dominiou, ver. 13-15. (3.) His almighty power, ver. 20, 24. (4.) His omniscience, ver. 21, 22, 25. (5.) His severity against sinners, ver. 26–28. (6.) His over-ruling providence, ver. 29, 30. (4.) He teacheth him what he should say, ver. 31, 32. And then, lastly, he leaves the matter to Job's own conscience, and concludes with a sharp reproof of him, for his peevisbness and discontent, ver, 33-37. And all this Job not only bore patiently, but took kindly, because he saw Elihu meant well; and whereas his other friends bad accused him of that from which his own conscience acquitted him, Elihu charged him with that only for which, it is probable his own heart, now upon reflection, began to smite him.
VER. 32. “ That which I see not teach thou me."] This shews that the cbildren of God stand always in need of divine teachings, and that a sense of pardoning mercy
and forgiving grace is the most powerful motive to restrain the christian from sinning against God..
Ver 36. “ My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end, because of his answers for wicked inen." -This shews the authority of Elihu, for the words in the original are, O my father let Job be tried unto victory; and the reason is given, “ because of his answers for wicked men;" not the profane wicked men : Job did not aim to defend the wicked, but by many of his answers he seemed to defend the self-righteous men, as in chap. xxiii. ll, 12. chap. xxxiii. 9. which the Holy Ghost stiles wicked men, bypocrites, and a " generation of vipers ;" for it seems that ihe case of Job was like that of many of the professors of this day, wbo talk and speak much of the righteousness of Christ, as their hope and trust; yet it appears they have a secret dependence upon their own goodness : and this seems to have been Job's case till after he was tried by Elihu ; for we find that then he no more pleads for his innocence or uprightness before God, or thinks hard wby be should be thus tried.
Job being still silent, Elihu, proceeds, and a third time undertakes to
shew him that he had spoken amiss, and ought to recant. Three ill sayings he here chargeth him with, and returns answer to them. (1.) He bad represented religion as an unprofitable thing, which God enjoins for his own sake, not for our's; the contrary to which Elibu makes out, ver. 1–8. (2.) He had complained of God as deal to the cries of the oppressed, against which imputation Elihu bere justifies God, ver. 9-13. (3.) He iad despaired of the return of God's favour to him, because it was so long deferred, but Elihu shews him the true cause of the delay, ver. 14–16.
VER. 8. “ Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art." -The scripture saith, "God is grieved for the sins of men." Surely God will not be grieved for that which is nothing unto him. Himself saith sinners fret him, Ezek. xvi. 43. “ Thou hast fretted me in all these things." A well tempered man will not fret for that which doth not some way or other afflict him. We read Isaiah Ixiii. 10. that “? Israel vexed his Holy Spirit so much, that he was turned to be their enemy, and fought against them.” And had they done nothing against him? yea, it is said, Gen. vi. 6. God