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Bible Commentaries

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

Job 26

 

 

Verses 1-14

JOB'S REPLY TO BILDAD

Job, more alive to Bildad's want of sympathy than to the excellence of his sentiments in regard to the Divine perfections, speaks somewhat petulantly,—certainly with irony and sarcasm. Job not yet humbled. He hears of God "by the hearing of the ear," but as yet his eye does not see him (ch. Job ). Mere verbal representations, even of the truth, not sufficient to humble and pacify the soul. God must reveal Himself.

Uncertain whether the larger portion of this chapter, viz., from Job to the end, does not properly belong to the preceding one as part of Bildad's speech. Viewed as belonging to Job, its object would be to show that Job could as easily, and more comprehensively, descant on the Divine perfections as Bildad himself. The sentiments contained in the portion not affected by the question as to the speaker.

I. Job's ironical and indignant reflection on Bildad's speech (Job ).

1. Its want of sympathy and succour. Job —"How hast thou helped him that is without power! How savest thou the arm that hath no strength!" Means himself,—either seriously, as really without power and strength; or ironically, being so in the esteem of Bildad and his friends. Bildad's speech contained nothing calculated to support Job in his deep prostration. Its object rather to convict him of pride and self-righteousness, and to overwhelm him with a view of the Divine perfections. Job needed sympathy and support, and found none. So with his great antitype (Mat 26:40). Observe—

(1) Our duty to succour by our words those who are in trouble and distress, and to support those who are weak and ready to fall. Words sometimes more effectual than deeds in helping those who are "without strength." Job's own practice in his better days (ch. Job ). All the more painfully sensible of the want of it in his friends.

(2) Ministers and preachers to be careful in their ministrations and addresses to come up to their profession. One great part of a minister's duty to support the weak, comfort the feeble-minded, and strengthen the tempted (Act ; 1Th 2:7; 1Th 5:14; Heb 12:12). Peter required, when converted after his fall, to strengthen his brethren (Luk 22:32). The duty best discharged by those who have realized their own weakness and need of support. According to Luther, temptation one of the three things that make a preacher. Christ Himself able to succour them that are tempted, having been tempted Himself.

2. Its want of suitable counsel. Job —"How hath thou counselled him that hath no wisdom!" Still refers to himself. Addressed by Bildad as if ignorant of the Divine perfections. Bildad's speech as void of counsel as of sympathy. Counsel never more needed than when in spiritual darkness and affliction. One of the blessings of true friendship. "Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel" (Pro 27:9). One of the offices of Jesus, as the Saviour of men and Head of His Church, to give counsel. Therefore possessed of "the spirit of counsel and might" (Isa 11:2). One of His titles, "The Counsellor" (Isa 9:6). One of the believer's privileges to enjoy such counsel (Psa 16:7). Observe—

(1) The part of ministers, preachers, and Christians in general, to counsel erring, perplexed, and troubled souls. (i.) Men out of Christ constantly in need of right and loving counsel. Christ counsels such to buy of Him gold tried in the fire, &c. (Rev ). Preachers and believers to do the same. (ii.) Anxious souls in need of sound counsel. The question to be wisely answered: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (iii.) Believers themselves often in circumstances requiring judicious spiritual counsel.—

(2) Ministers and others to seek to be well qualified to give true spiritual counsel both to perplexed believers and to anxious inquirers. The tongue of the spiritually-learned needed "to speak a word in season to him that is weary" (Isa ).

3. Its defectiveness in regard to the matter in hand. "How hast thou plentifully declared the tiling as it is" ("the real truth," or "sound wisdom," as ch. Job ; Pro 8:14). Bildad had declared the truth, but not the whole truth, nor yet, in Job's view at least, the seasonable truth. Job did not require to be instructed by Bildad about the Divine perfections. It was one thing for these to be set forth by Bildad, and another for them to be exhibited by God Himself, as was afterwards done. Observe—

(1) Not only is truth to be spoken in addressing men on Divine things, but the whole truth, and especially seasonable truth.

(2) Words and high-sounding descriptions, however true, not suited to carry conviction to the hearts of hearers. General declamations about the Divine perfections not such as to meet the case cither of the careless or the concerned.

(3) Preachers to be careful to give just representations of Divine things, and such as are adapted to meet the case of the hearers. The pulpit not the place to indulge one's taste for elegant composition, learned research, metaphysical subtleties, or poetic description. Pompous common-places and flights of rhetoric only famish the hearers, and render the preacher himself ridiculous. A Nero fiddled while Rome was burning. Paul an example to preachers: would rather speak five words in the Church that he might teach others also, "than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" (1Co ).

4. Its conceit. Job .—"To whom hast thou uttered words? (verses or set phrases)." Bildad's speech ridiculed by Job as rather mere words or set phrases; light-sounding diction, rather than plain homely truth suited to the occasion. Probably more of the traditional poetry of the country, which he pompously repeats to a man crushed under a weight of sorrow. Had treated Job as an ignorant and godless man. Had set himself forth as his teacher in regard to the Divine character and works. Had spoken as immensely Job's superior both in piety and knowledge. Conceit one of the most repulsive and contemptible things in a preacher. Modesty in regard to himself, and due respect for his hearears, to be exhibited by every teacher of Divine truth. Paul's example: "I speak as unto wise men; judge ye what I say." "I am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye are filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another; nevertheless I have written to you in some sort, as putting you in mind" (1Co 10:15; Rom 15:14-15). Peter's "I put you in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance" (2Pe 1:12; 2Pe 2:1).

5. Its want of originality and divine unction. "Whose spirit (breath, or inspiration) came from thee." Job ridicules Bildad's speech as either an echo of those of his brothers, or a string of trite maxims of the sages; at the most, the effusion of his own spirit, not that of the spirit of God. Says nothing against the sentiments themselves. However uttered by Bildad, they are recorded by the Spirit of God for our instruction. Observe—

(1) Preachers to beware of giving other men's productions as their own. If other men's sermons are read or repeated, it should be acknowledged.

(2) Preachers not to be mere imitators or retailers of other men's sentiments.

(3) A preacher to speak from his own heart, if he would reach the hearts of his hearers.

(4) Preachers to give to their hearers not merely the effusion of their own spirit, but what they have received from the Spirit of God. Five plain words uttered from the heart by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit worth more than five thousand of the most polished sentences, whether borrowed from others or the product of our own talent and study. The preacher who would win souls or edify believers, while not neglecting study and preparation, to be mainly concerned to receive his messages from God in answer to prayer, and to have the Spirit of God in the delivery of them. Two things to be sought by every preacher—a Divine unction in his discourses, and a Divine energy with them.

Stray hints for preachers:—

He who desires, according to Paul, to be apt to teach, must first himself be taught of God.—Erasmus.

Those are the best preachers to the common people who teach with the simplicity of a child.—Luther.

Let your discourses be neither absolutely without ornament, nor indecently clothed with it.—Augustine.

It requires all our learning to make things plain.—Archbishop Usher.

Preachers are to feed the people, not with gay tulips and useless daffodils, but with the bread of life, and medicinal plants springing from the margin of the fountain of salvation.—Jeremy Taylor.

Very fine, sir—very fine; but people can't live upon flowers.—Robert Hall.

I had rather be fully understood by ten, than be admired by ten thousand.—Dr. John Edwards.

Aim at pricking the heart, not at stroking the skin.—Jerome.

Here lies the secret [of the actor's greater power in moving an audience than the preacher's]: you deliver your truths as if they were fictions; we deliver our fictions as if they were truths.—Garrick.

The prayer of an old writer: "Lord, let me never be guilty, by painting the windows, of hindering the Light of thy glorious Gospel from shining powerfully into men's hearts."

Leigh Richmond's dying message to his son: "Tell him, his father learnt his most valuable lessons for the ministry, and his most useful experience, in the poor man's cottage."

"I'll preach as though I ne'er shall preach again,

And as a dying man to dying men."

Richard Baxter.

II. Descants more largely on the Divine perfections and works both in creation and providence (Job ).

1. His sovereignty over the dead and the invisible world. Job —"Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof" (or, ‘the dead groan from beneath the waters, and the inhabitants thereof'). Bildad had represented God as exercising sovereign dominion in his high places (Job 25:2). Here Job (if not Bildad himself) apparently shows that sovereignty extending to the lower world or place of the dead. The "dead," or shades of the departed, perhaps more especially the wicked dead, and in particular the giants or mighty ones before the flood (Gen 6:4). These represented as groaning or trembling from beneath, under the mighty hand of God upon them. The "waters" probably the "deep" or abyss (Luk 8:31; Rom 10:7), supposed by Jewish rabbis to be lower than the earth; the place of the dead (Rom 10:7), and the prepared abode of the fallen angels from which they recoil with horror (Luk 8:31). Perhaps the "fountains of the great deep," broken up at the time of the Deluge (Gen 8:11), and the "water under the earth" (Exo 20:4). Possibly what shall afterwards constitute the "lake that burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev 20:10; Rev 20:14-15; Rev 21:8).

The language of the text according to the Old Testament view of the state of the dead in general. According to it the spirits of the departed still in conscious existence. That existence, however, one rather of pain and privation than of enjoyment. The place of the disembodied spirits represented as one of darkness (chap. Job ); Psa 88:12), and of pain (ch. Job 14:22). Hence the great shrinking from death on the part of Old Testament saints (Psa 30:8-9; Psa 88:9-12; Isa 38:10-12; Isa 38:17-18). Yet Enoch and Elijah both taken to be with God. Abraham and Moses in a state of blessedness (Luk 9:30-31; Luk 16:23). Lazarus comforted in the world of spirits, while Dives was tormented (Luk 16:25). The doctrine of the state of the dead only gradually developed. Its full exhibition reserved for the advent of the Messiah (2Ti 1:10). Possibly a change made in the state of departed saints after his resurrection (Mat 27:52-53). Perhaps, in more senses than one, Christ, after overcoming "the sharpness of death, opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers."—

(1) A separate state of conscious existence after death not only the doctrine of the Bible, but the general sense of mankind. Consistent with reason. Mind not necessarily dependent on matter or any material organization.

(2) The state of the departed ungodly one of pain and trembling—"wailing and gnashing of teeth." The consciousness of God's power exercised in the invisible world only an increase to their suffering.

2. God's perfect cognizance of the invisible world. (Job )—"Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering." "Hell" (Hebrew, "Sheol;" Greek, "Hades") used in Scripture to denote—

(1) The grave, or receptacle for the dead body.

(2) The invisible world, or place of departed spirits in general, without respect to character or experience. The latter supposed by the Jews to be a vast cavern far in the interior of the earth. Probably the prison mentioned by Peter as enclosing the spirits of the disobedient Antediluvians (1Pe ). May include both prison and paradise. The place into which the disembodied spirit of the Saviour went, in order to satisfy the law of death as other men. Yet his spirit on the same day in Paradise (Luk 23:43). The clause in the so-called Apostles' Creed, "he descended into hell," not found in the early Roman or Oriental creeds. First used as a part of the Creed by the Church of Aquileia, not quite 400 years after Christ. See Pearson on the Creed, Art. v. "Destruction" (Hebrew, "Abaddon," the name given to the Angel of the Bottomless Pit (Rev 9:11), like "hell," the place of the dead or of departed spirits, its inhabitants being "lost" to human view; perhaps more especially the place of lost men and angels. "Hell" and "destruction," as synonymous terms denoting the invisible world or place of the dead, found together also in Pro 15:11; Pro 27:20; perhaps another hint as to the period of the composition of the book. "Hell" and "death" mentioned together in Rev 1:18; Rev 20:13-14. Their keys in the hand of Jesus as Lord of the invisible world (Rev 1:18.)—

(1) Believers need have no fear in entering the invisible world. Christ their Saviour and Elder Brother has been there before them, and now holds the keys.

(2) The grave with its countless dust, as well as the invisible world with its innumerable inhabitants, all open to the view of the Almighty. The dust of His saints precious in his sight and cannot be lost (Psa ).

(3) The most secret depths of earth and sea, with their countless objects and inhabitants, open to the same omniscient eye. Not an animalcule or infusiorium, thousands of which are contained in a single drop of water, but is the object of His inspection and care.

(4) "Hell and destruction are before the Lord; how much more the hearts of the children of men." There is no darkness or shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves" (Pro ; Job 34:22).

3. His power and wisdom in the works of Creation and Providence (Job ).

(1) In giving the earth and heavenly bodies their present situation, and suspending them in empty space. Job —"He stretcheth (or stretched) out [as a canopy] the north (or northern celestial hemisphere, the only part visible to Job and his friends, and here put for the heavens in general) over the empty place, and hangeth (or hung) the earth upon nothing." The former clause according to appearance, and the old opinion that the heavens formed an immense arch, or vault, stretching over the earth. The latter philosophically true, and a remarkable anticipation of the Newtonian theory of gravitation. The earth and planets suspended in empty space, and preserved in their orbit by the operation of two opposite forces, one (the centripetal) which attracts them to the sun, or centre of the system, the other (the centrifugal) which, in consequence of the rotatory motion given them, keeps them moving on in a circle or ellipse round the sun, instead of being drawn absolutely to it. The spherical form of the earth thus also indicated. "Earth self-balanced on her centre hung."

(2) In forming the clouds and preserving the watery particles collected in them. Job —"He bindeth up the waters (or watery vapours) in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them." Probably an allusion to the second day's work of creation—the formation of the firmament, or atmosphere, for the separation of the waters beneath from those above, and collecting the latter in clouds, and preserving them in their place. An obvious manifestation of Divine wisdom, power, and goodness. The provision made for the earth's fertility. Reservoirs of water kept far above the earth in clouds by the operation of natural laws. These clouds so constituted that, notwithstanding the quantity of water contained in them, they do not burst and discharge their contents in one vast destructive deluge. Their contents made on the contrary to fall in such gentle and temporary showers as to meet the earth's requirements. Such discharge made to result from a change in the temperature, or the influence of electricity. The clouds on one special occasion "rent under" their contents, when the "windows of heaven were opened" to deluge a disobedient world. A partial "rending" in extraordinarily heavy and deluging rains.

(3) In so collecting dense clouds as to darken the sky with them. Job —"He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it." The sky, or heaven, viewed as God's throne (Mat 5:34; Isa 66:1). Concealed by Him from time to time by a curtain of dark clouds. These clouds of His own formation, from the watery particles exhaled by the sun's heat from the earth and sea, and directed by currents of air into one locality. Clouds serve various and important purposes:—(i.) In irrigating the ground. (ii.) In moderating the heat. (iii.) In beautifying the sky. The beauty of the sky, especially at sunset, thus made to vie with that of the earth. Observe—God himself invisible, though His agency is everywhere seen and felt. His throne still there, though He spread a cloud over it. God to be trusted and to be believed in when we cannot see Him.

(4) In appointing the alternation of light and darkness, and the vicissitude of day and night. Job —"He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end" (or, "He hath drawn a circular boundary upon the waters with exact proportion of light and darkness;" or, "even to the limit of light with darkness," i.e., where the light ceases and darkness begins;—Margin, "until the end of light with darkness"). Apparent allusion to the first day's work at the creation—the dividing the light from the darkness, and appointing the alternation of day and night (Gen 1:3-5). The "bound" here mentioned probably the horizon. The earth popularly supposed-to be a plane bounded by the "waters" of the ocean on which the vault of heaven appears to rest and to form a circular boundary,—the place where light ends, and darkness commences. The sun supposed to move from the eastern to the western boundary, where it disappears till the following morning. The description in the text, like others in the Bible, given popularly, according to appearance. The earth's diurnal rotation on its axis not then generally known. No object of the Bible to teach the facts that progressive science was in due time to discover. The language of the Bible popular, not scientific or philosophical. The horizon an apparent boundary between light and darkness. That boundary a part of God's work in creation and providence. Science only informs us how.

The alternation of light and darkness, day and night, one of the most conspicuous and beneficial arrangements of the Divine Creator. Among its benefits are—(i.) An agreeable variety instead of the uniform sameness even of constant day. "The sweet approach of even and morn," the joyous thrill of sunrise, and the gorgeous beauty of sunset, due to this alternation. (ii.) Suitable seasons afforded for the varied requirements of men and other animals. Night and darkness suitable to man for rest, as daytime and light are for labour. The darkness of night necessary for predaceous animals obtaining their food. (iii.) Evening valuable as tranquillizing the mind, inviting to sober meditation and reflection, and affording opportunity for domestic and social enjoyment. Eventide the season chosen by Isaac for meditation in the fields (Gen ).

"Eve following eve,

Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of home

Is sweetest! Moments for their own sake hail'd!"

(iv.) The earth kept cool and moistened with dew through the same wise and beneficent provision. (v.) Plants and animals mutually benefited by the interchange of light and darkness. "In the various processes of combustion, and by the respiration of animals, a large amount of the oxygen of the atmosphere, or its vital part, is withdrawn, and, united with carbon, is returned as carbonic acid—an ingredient deleterious to animal life. But this deteriorating process is counteracted, at least to a certain extent, by the vegetable tribes. The same luminous influence which serves to generate chromule (the green matter in plants), likewise aids the plant in decomposing the carbonic acid which has been absorbed; appropriating the carbon to the construction of the ligneous tissue, and returning the pure oxygen to the atmosphere, it fits it again for the purposes of respiration. Animals may therefore be viewed as preparing food for plants by the air which they vitiate; while plants, on the other hand, by their action under the influence of light, appropriate to themselves nourishment, and restore the air to its normal state"—Professor Fleming's Temperature of the Seasons.

(6) The starry sky, with its entrancing beauty and elevating lessons, thus alone made visible. To the alternation of light and darkness—day and night—we owe the poet's magnificent description of Evening:—

"Now came still evening on, and twilight gray

Had in her sober livery all things clad.

Silence was pleased. Now glow'd the firmament

With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led

The starry host, rode brightest, ‘till the moon,

Rising in clouded majesty, at length

Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,

And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw."

God to be adored as the author of this beneficent interchange of light and darkness. "Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice." "The day is thine; the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun." "Thou makest darkness, and it is night, wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth" (Psa ; Psa 74:16; Psa 104:20).—

(5) In exciting storms and disturbances in the earth and air. Job —"The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at his reproof." The visible heavens viewed as a magnificent edifice supported on columns. These imaginary pillars personified, and poetically represented as in some tremendous commotion of the earth or elements standing aghast at the apparent reproof of their Creator. That reproof supposed to be directed either against themselves or mankind. So the sea said to be dried up at His rebuke (Psa 106:9; Nah 1:4). The raging wind and waves literally rebuked by the Saviour, and hushed into a calm (Mat 8:26). Storms and earthquakes among the most striking incidents in nature. Especially awful and sublime in hot climates and mountainous regions. Naturally strike the mind as indicatious or suggestions of Divine displeasure. Strictly due to the Divine will, and, though effected through the agency of natural laws, a part of His providential government. Serve various and important purposes—(i.) Morally: as—(a) Reminding us of the existence, attributes, and agency of a Divine Ruler and Judge. Few persons fail, during a tremendous thunderstorm, to think of a Supreme Being. (b) Tending to produce elevating and reverential thoughts of God. One of the sublimest descriptions of a thunderstorm, with its effects both physically and morally, found in Psa 29:3-10. (c) Suggesting the instability of earthly things and the danger to which human life is exposed, with the importance of securing the favour of God and the assurance of a better world. (d) Tending to elevate the mind and strengthen the character by bringing it in contact with the sublime and terrible in Nature.—(ii.) Physically: as—(a) Purifying the atmosphere. (b) Tending to the greater irrigation of the earth. (c) Aiding in the processes of vegetation.—

(6) In His power over (the ocean in exciting and stilling its waves. Job —"He divideth (or cleaveth) the sea with his power; and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud" (or "stilleth its pride"—Hebrew, "Rahab"). The sea, so uncontrollable by man, entirely subject to the will and power of God. Already literally divided, so as to form a pathway in the midst of its waters (Exo 14:21-22; Isa 51:10-15). Ordinarily divided and cleft by storms and tempests. By the same Divine power, its towering billows and yawning chasms made to disappear, and the storm changed into a calm (Psa 65:7; Psa 107:29). Done by Christ (Mat 8:26). Observe—Power more conspicuous in exciting the storm at sea; understanding, in quelling it. The latter frequently in answer to prayer (Psa 107:28-29; Mat 8:25-26). Prayer in such circumstances the voice of nature (Jon 1:5-6).—

(7) In making the sky bright and serene by day and studding it with stars by night. Job —"By his spirit (or ‘breath,' his power or command; or perhaps the Third Person in the Godhead, also engaged in creation, Gen 1:2) he hath garnished the heavens (or, ‘the heavens are brightness or beauty,' i.e. bright and beautiful); and his hand hath formed (possibly ‘wounded,' or ‘slain') the crooked (gliding or darting) serpent" (perhaps the Zodiac, with its twelve signs or constellations, anciently represented as a serpent with its tail in its mouth; or, more probably, a northern constellation, called Draco, or the Dragon, the description being taken from the living serpent). Apparent allusion to the fourth day's work in creation (Gen 1:14-16). The bright clear heaven lighted up with sunshine, a beautiful object, especially as succeeding a storm or the darkness of night. Still more beautiful is the nocturnal sky, spangled with stars. Affords an impressive exhibition of Divine power (Isa 40:26). The stars countless in number. In themselves, probably so many suns and centres of systems like our own. Those forming any of the constellations millions of miles apart from each other. A nebula or white fleecy speck in the belt of Orion, resolved by the telescope into a mass of stars at incalculable distances from us and from each other. Stars early grouped, for convenience, into imaginary figures of men, animals, &c.

Some terms and ideas in the preceding verse also brought together in Isa ; Isa 27:1; Psa 89:10. Rahab here rendered "proud," or "pride;" used also as a proper name for Egypt, while Pharaoh is symbolized by the dragon or leviathan—the crocodile of the Nile.—Operations in the natural world analogous to those in the social and moral. The natural world itself a mirror of the spiritual. The towering billows of the ocean a picture of the swelling pride of God's enemies, as exemplified in Egypt and her hosts at the time of the exodus (Psa 20:7). Monsters of the land and sea symbolical of cruel and injurious men, as well as of Satan and his infernal legions. The power that quells the one employed in subduing the other. A reference in the text supposed by some to the exodus, and also to Gen 3:15.

III. Reflection on the greatness of the Almighty's works. Job —"Lo, these are parts (outlines or extremities) of his ways; but how little a portion (or, ‘what a mere whisper') is heard of him (or of what is ‘in Him'—His being and perfections); but the thunder (or full manifestation) of his power who can understand?" The stupendous works and operations of His hands which are visible to us only a small part—the mere outline or extremities—of the whole. What we see and hear of in relation to God and His works, as compared with the fulness of His power, only a mere whisper in comparison with the mighty thunder. Observe—

1. Much more to be known of God and His works than is possible for us to know in our present state. Yet all His visible ordinary operations would be regarded as miracles, if not seen daily.

2. A sound and deep theology grounded on this verse. Man's knowledge confined to parts only of God's ways. The extremities or forthgoings of His administration on earth only visible. The springs, principles, and anterior steps above and out of man's sight.—Dr. Chalmers. The humbling acknowledgment of those who have penetrated farthest into the mysteries of nature. "The phenomena of matter and force lie within our intellectual range.… But behind and above, and around all, the real mystery of the universe remains unsolved."—Professor Tyndall, Lecture to Working Men at the Dundee British Association Meeting, Sept., 1867. "Alike in the external and the internal worlds, the man of science sees himself in the midst of perpetual changes, of which he can discover neither the beginning nor the end. In all directions his investigations eventually bring him face to face with an insoluble enigma; and he ever more clearly perceives it to be an insoluble enigma.—Herbert Spencer's First Principles. "All our science is but an investigation of the mode in which the Creator acts; its highest laws are but expressions of the mode in which he manifests His agency to us. And when the physiologist is inclined to dwell unduly upon his capacity for penetrating the secrets of nature, it may be salutary for him to reflect that, even should he succeed in placing his department of study on a level with those physical sciences in which the most complete knowledge of causation (using that term in the sense of ‘unconditional sequence') has been acquired, and in which the highest generalizations have been attained, he is still as far as ever from being able to comprehend that power which is the efficient cause alike of the simplest and most minute, and of the most complicated and most majestic, in the universe,"—W. B. Carpenter, General and Comparative Physiology.

3. A glorious increase of knowledge awaiting the believer in another world. There we shall know even as we are known (1Co ). From this ever-enlarging enlightenment the proud unbeliever, however scientific and philosophical now unhappily, cuts himself off. To him the future will be a world of darkness, not of light.

4. Exertions of Divine power yet to be displayed even in connection with this earth far beyond what has been already witnessed. What the Bible declares, observation confirms, sound reason assents to, and what every genuine Christian cordially believes, of a resurrection of the dead, is only an example of such power (Mat ; Eph 1:19-20). Resurrection a miracle; but even such a miracle only something of "the thunder of His power." Why thought incredible with a Being who is Almighty (Act 26:8)?

5. The lower exertions of God's power in the universe beyond man's comprehension; how much the higher? In the presence of Divine declarations, the part of sound philosophy, as well of true piety, is to believe and adore.

 


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Bibliography Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Job 26:4". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/job-26.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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