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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Job 11



Verse 17


‘And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.’

Job 11:17

Nobody ever does, naturally, like the idea of getting older after they have ‘left school.’ There is a sense of oppression and depression about it. The irresistible, inevitable onward march of moments and years without the possibility of one instant’s pause—a march that, even while on the uphill side of life, is leading to the downhill side—casts an autumn-like shadow over many a birthday. But how surely the Bible gives us the bright side of everything! In this case it gives three bright sides of a fact, which, without it, could not help being gloomy.

I. It opens the sure prospect of increasing brightness to those who have begun to walk in the light.—Even if the sun of our life has reached the apparent zenith, and we have known a very noonday of mental and spiritual being, it is no poetic ‘western shadows’ that are to lengthen upon our way, but ‘our age is to be clearer than the noonday.’ How suggestive that word is! The light, though intenser, shall dazzle less; ‘in Thy light shall we see light,’ be able to bear much more of it, see all else by it more clearly, reflect it more clearly. We should have said, ‘At evening time there shall be shadow’; God says, ‘At evening time there shall be light.’

Also, we are not to look for a very dismal afternoon of life with only some final sunset glow; for He says it ‘shineth more and more unto the perfect day’; and ‘more and more’ leaves no dark intervals; we are to expect a continually brightening path. Just think, when you are seven, or ten, or twenty years older, that will only mean seven, or ten, or twenty years’ more experience of His love and faithfulness, more light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; and still the ‘more and more unto the perfect day’ will be opening out before us? We are ‘confident of this very thing!’

II. The second bright side is increasing fruitfulness.—Do not let us confuse between works and fruit. Many a saint in the land of Beulah is not able to do anything at all, and yet is bringing forth fruit unto God beyond the busiest workers. So that even when we come to the days when ‘the strong men shall bow themselves,’ there may be more pleasant fruits for our Master, riper and fuller and sweeter, than ever before. For ‘they shall still bring forth fruit in old age’; and the man that simply ‘trusteth in the Lord’ ‘shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’

Some of the fruits of the Spirit seem to be especially and peculiarly characteristic of sanctified older years. Look at the splendid ripeness of Abraham’s ‘faith’ in his old age; the grandeur of Moses’ ‘meekness’ when he went up the mountain alone to die; the mellowness of St. Paul’s ‘joy’ in his later epistles; and the wonderful ‘gentleness’ of St. John, which makes us almost forget his early character of ‘a son of thunder,’ wanting to call down God’s lightnings of wrath. ‘The same Spirit’ is given to us, that we too may bring forth ‘fruit that may abound,’ and always ‘more fruit.’

III. The third bright side is brightest of all.‘Even to your old age, I am He’; always the same Jehovah-Jesus; with us ‘all the days,’ bearing and carrying us ‘all the days’; reiterating His promise—‘even to hoar hairs will I carry you …; even I will carry and will deliver you,’ just as He carried the lambs in His bosom. For we shall always be His little children, and ‘doubtless’ He will always be our Father. The rush of years cannot touch this!


(1) ‘Fear not the westering shadows,

O Children of the Day!

For brighter still and brighter

Shall be your homeward way.

Resplendent as the morning,

With fuller glow and power,

And clearer than the noonday

Shall be your evening hour.’

(2) ‘Let us set our hearts aright, and stretch our hands toward Him, and put away iniquity, then will our faces be without a cloud, and our feet without slipping, and the misery of the past shall be forgotten, as rivers that flow down towards the sea. Life will reach its meridian; night shall be without alarm, and men shall find in our help and consolation the supply of their lack. Be right with God, and you will be right with man, and helpful to him. The love of God welling up in the heart pours forth in refreshing streams to the world.’


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Job 11:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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