JOB CHAPTER 26
Job’s Reply to Bildad.
A SHARP IRONICAL REPROOF. — V. 1. But Job answered and said, v. 2. How hast thou helped him that is without power? How fine, indeed, how excellently well had Bildad shown himself a friend to Job, enfeebled as the latter was with illness! How savest thou the arm that hath no strength? coming to the rescue of him whose physical stamina had been taken from him. V. 3. How hast thou counseled him that hath no wisdom? For the friends had declared Job to be an ignorant fool. Their intention may have been good enough, Job bitterly declares, but they certainly had a strange way of showing their friendly Interest. And how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is, sufficiently and abundantly exhibited proper and thorough knowledge, a real understanding of matters? V. 4. To whom hast thou uttered words? Did Bildad really hope to strike Job with his empty talk? Did he realize that it would not make the slightest impression on him? And whose spirit came from thee? From whom had he gotten his inspiration for the wisdom which he promulgated? Surely not from God; probably from Eliphaz? Much of the cruel and biting criticism practised among men is a mere repetition of statements which have been made by others.
A DESCRIPTION OF GOD’S SURPASSING GLORY. Job now, in order to refute Bildad more thoroughly, shows his understanding of the almighty power of God both in the creation and in the government of the world. V. 5. Dead things are formed from under the waters and the inhabitants thereof, the giant shades or phantoms of the dead whirl and writhe in the underworld, shaking with every manifestation of the divine majesty. V. 6. Hell is naked before Him, the very abode of darkness cannot hide before His omniscient eye, and destruction, the abyss of hell, hath no covering, all its wasting horrors are open before the eyes of God. V. 7. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, the northern half of the vault of heaven being compared to a great canopy. which the Creator spread out, and hangeth the earth upon nothing, it is suspended in space, held there by His almighty power. V. 8. He bindeth up the waters in His thick clouds, shutting them in, bolding them suspended as in immense containers; and the cloud is not rent under them, it does not burst under the enormous pressure of the water, the laws of rain being entirely of God’s appointment. V. 9. He holdeth back the face of His throne, enshrouding the throne of heaven by causing clouds to come between it and the earth, and spreadeth His cloud upon it, to screen the majesty of His power from profane eyes. V. 10. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, literally, “He has rounded off a circular boundary on the face of the waters,” the horizon appearing as a bounding circle, until the day and night come to an end, where the light merges into darkness. V. 11. The pillars of heaven, the great mountains which seem to bear on their summits the great vault of heaven, tremble and are astonished at His reproof, both by reason of earthquakes and by the awe-inspiring peals of His thunderstorms. V. 12. He divideth the sea with His power, frightening up, arousing, its billows in frightful storms, and by His understanding He smiteth through the proud, literally, “Rahab,” a great monster of the deep. As the sea is aroused to the greatest pitch of fury at His command, so it subsides into stillness at His word. V. 13. By His spirit He hath garnished the heavens, His breath scatters the clouds and brightens the face of the sky; His hand hath formed the crooked serpent, pierces or strangles the constellation of the Dragon, which popular belief brought into connection with eclipses. V. 14. Lo, these are parts of His ways, just a few instances, accessible to our understanding, of His almighty power in the government of the world; but how little a portion is heard of Him! What evidences of God’s great majesty we hear in all these natural phenomena are but the faintest whisperings of His real essence. But the thunder of His power, who can understand? It would be impossible for frail mortal beings to comprehend It full revelation of His omnipotence. The divine glory surpasses all human knowledge to an infinite degree; even the works of God’s creation and providence are past finding out.