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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Job 39

 

 

Verse 1

CREATURE AND CREATOR

‘Thou … God.’

Job 39:1; Job 39:17

I. Still the unveiling of the Divine glory proceeds, but now in its application to the things of life.—The feeding of lions and young lions; the fact that the cry of a young raven is prayer in His ears, which He answers with food; the mystery of the begetting and birth of lower animals, with the sorrows of travail, and the finding of strength; the freedom and wildness and splendid untameableness of the wild ass; the uncontrolled strength of the wild ox: in all these things God reveals Himself as interested; and, morever, as active.

II. And still the unveiling goes forward, and the differing manifestations of foolishness and power and wisdom, as they are evident among birds and beasts, are dealt with.—The ostrich rejoicing in the power of her pinions, and in her folly abandoning her eggs and her young, is described; and her very foolishness is accounted for by the act of God. He deprived her of wisdom. There is nothing, then, that happens in these lower realms of life apart from His volition. The war-horse with his might, who is yet tameable, so that he will serve man, and come to rejoice amid strange and awful battle scenes and sounds, is yet not of man’s creation. All his essential strength is Divinely bestowed. The hawk with wisdom directing it to the south land, and the eagle placing her nest on high, far from the possibility of intrusion, yet in such place of observation as enables her to feed her young, these also are God-guided. Even though in the great dispensation of His government God has committed to man dominion, it is dominion over facts and forces which he has not originated, nor does he sustain.

Illustration

‘Notable especially to us is the close relation between this portion and certain sayings of our Lord in which the same argument brings the same conclusion. “Two passages of God’s speaking,” says Mr. Ruskin, “one in the Old and one in the New Testament, possess, it seems to me, a different character from any of the rest, having been uttered, the one to effect the last necessary change in the mind of a man whose piety was in other respects perfect; and the other as the first statement to all men of the principles of Christianity by Christ Himself—I mean the thirty-eighth to the forty-first chapters of the Book of Job and the Sermon on the Mount. Now the first of these passages is from beginning to end nothing else than a direction of the mind which was to be perfected, to humble observance of the works of God in nature. And the other consists only in the inculcation of three things: First, right conduct; second, looking for eternal life; third, trusting God through watchfulness of His dealings with His creation.”’


Verse 17

CREATURE AND CREATOR

‘Thou … God.’

Job 39:1; Job 39:17

I. Still the unveiling of the Divine glory proceeds, but now in its application to the things of life.—The feeding of lions and young lions; the fact that the cry of a young raven is prayer in His ears, which He answers with food; the mystery of the begetting and birth of lower animals, with the sorrows of travail, and the finding of strength; the freedom and wildness and splendid untameableness of the wild ass; the uncontrolled strength of the wild ox: in all these things God reveals Himself as interested; and, morever, as active.

II. And still the unveiling goes forward, and the differing manifestations of foolishness and power and wisdom, as they are evident among birds and beasts, are dealt with.—The ostrich rejoicing in the power of her pinions, and in her folly abandoning her eggs and her young, is described; and her very foolishness is accounted for by the act of God. He deprived her of wisdom. There is nothing, then, that happens in these lower realms of life apart from His volition. The war-horse with his might, who is yet tameable, so that he will serve man, and come to rejoice amid strange and awful battle scenes and sounds, is yet not of man’s creation. All his essential strength is Divinely bestowed. The hawk with wisdom directing it to the south land, and the eagle placing her nest on high, far from the possibility of intrusion, yet in such place of observation as enables her to feed her young, these also are God-guided. Even though in the great dispensation of His government God has committed to man dominion, it is dominion over facts and forces which he has not originated, nor does he sustain.

Illustration

‘Notable especially to us is the close relation between this portion and certain sayings of our Lord in which the same argument brings the same conclusion. “Two passages of God’s speaking,” says Mr. Ruskin, “one in the Old and one in the New Testament, possess, it seems to me, a different character from any of the rest, having been uttered, the one to effect the last necessary change in the mind of a man whose piety was in other respects perfect; and the other as the first statement to all men of the principles of Christianity by Christ Himself—I mean the thirty-eighth to the forty-first chapters of the Book of Job and the Sermon on the Mount. Now the first of these passages is from beginning to end nothing else than a direction of the mind which was to be perfected, to humble observance of the works of God in nature. And the other consists only in the inculcation of three things: First, right conduct; second, looking for eternal life; third, trusting God through watchfulness of His dealings with His creation.”’

 


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Job 39:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/job-39.html. 1876.

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