Book traversal links for Lecture 4 - Job 11-14
We must carefully remember that, although the Book of Job is inspired, it would be a great mistake to concede that the speeches are inspired. Certainly Satan’s words were not inspired, and they are recorded there; and it is part of the profit of the Book that we have the mistakes of the speakers. Every one of the three friends was very much mistaken in what he said, and Job himself also. It is only when we come to Elihu that we get the mind of God as far as a man is inspired, and then we have Jehovah’s own word clearing up all the difficulty.
This is very important, because there is a kind of hazy idea that seeing they are found in the Bible the speeches of different people are also inspired. The Book is inspired to begin with; but we have to judge of the utterances, say of king Saul, or even of David, whether what they said was so or not, for it is not that everything which they said in their daily life was inspired. It might be more or less true; it might be sometimes really and absolutely true; but that is all a question of searching and comparing scripture with scripture. Then it comes direct from God or from a prophet, or from an apostle — the inspired writing — all that is absolutely the word of God. But not so where we have a historic scene — whether it is in Samuel, Kings or Chronicles, or whether it is in the Book of Job, where we have actual conversations given us by the Spirit of God — it would be quite a mistake to imagine that, because God gives us the speeches, therefore the speeches represent His mind.
It is perfectly plain from the solution at the end of the Book that they did not represent His mind. Now take this man Zophar — a great deal that he says is very true, but it does not apply to the purpose. It was all misused. It was based upon the assumption that whatever God allows now is really the judgment of God. But that is not the case. The devil now is the ruler; he is the one that actuates men. The spirit of evil works in the sons of disobedience, and everything is now out of course. Therefore to reason from things as they are now is to be guilty of a very great mistake. In short, it is to put what happens now into the place which the judgment of the Lord will have by and by before the throne. Then there will be the mind of God pronounced upon all our words and all our ways; but the present time is a state of confusion, and men are not at all as they ought to be, and even. God’s children are very far from being as they will be. Everything is now imperfect and short of the mind of God. And still more, all the things that take place on earth are a mass of confusion, and judgment has not yet returned to righteousness. Judgment will never return to righteousness till the Lord sits upon His throne. Now, there is judgment in the hands of people who are themselves as bad criminals very often as the men whom they transport or hang. They might be thoroughly wicked men, and enemies of God in the most frightful manner; still, bad as they may be personally, they are very often honest in carrying out the law of the land fairly.
We all know that there may be sad mistakes in point of judgment; but the day is coming when judgment will return to righteousness. They have not got righteousness to return to — they are simply unrighteous men; and it is remarkable that the apostle Paul brands the judges of the law in his day as being unjust (1 Cor. 6:1). Yet for all that God employed them. There were magistrates; there were judges; and God called them unjust when it was a question of His own people who had a far higher character of righteousness as their standard. They knew Christ; and all these things that these Corinthians were going to law about ought to have been settled among themselves — in the presence of them all. They were therefore exceedingly wrong in going on like the world. The world must go to the law-court. What could they do? They could not settle things themselves. They have not got the authority the court has. They go there, and on the whole they get their questions fairly well settled. But the children of God have quite another tribunal; and the apostle says it is so easy to settle these matters of an outward kind that the very least in the church might be asked to do it. He did not, of course, mean that the least in the church are the proper people to settle it, but it is a stigma upon their going before the world; and, of course, the most proper in the assembly are the people that ought to look into these things; those that have most experience and weight. It is merely the apostle putting shame upon the worldly spirit of the age. Here we are in a world where we are all apt to make mistakes; through ignorance sometimes, and very often through will of one kind or another that blinds us; but the mercy of God watches over all.
So here we find Zophar taking it all into his own hands. Why, if he had been a divine person, he could not have spoken more authoritatively. It was perfectly plain to him that Job was a bad man, and that he was a very vain man who liked to hear himself talk, and that he had no regard for other people, for there he was abusing them. In short, it is a very bad speech this of Zophar, most disrespectful to Job, and proud and haughty on his own part; and the more so as he was the youngest of the three, and consequently the one least capable. “Should not the multitude of words” — that is all he would allow on Job’s part — “be answered, and should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies — “think how far he went — “Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest” — that was all he considered it — “shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.” Now Job had never said either. He had never said that his doctrine was pure. What he said was, that he held to God and to His ways. And what he said about his conduct was that he was not a hypocrite. He acknowledged that he might have sinned in some way unknown to himself that accounted for all this terrible storm of affliction that bore his soul down to the dust. And that was his difficulty; he did not know quite. He believed that he had been walking with a good conscience before God; and they were not able to say anything — they could bring nothing against him. All said alike, and judged him in a most severe and unmerciful manner. So he asked that God would speak. Well, God did speak; and when God spoke it was not to the honour of Zophar, nor of Bildad, nor of Eliphaz even — here very much more quiet and calm of spirit than Zophar. But for all that it was owing to the intercession of Job that the anger of the Lord did not fall upon those three men. It might have been their death had it not been for the intercession of Job.
Zophar says some things that are very excellent — properly applied. He says, “Canst thou by searching find out God?” Well, nobody can; God must reveal Himself. “Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Only if God speaks. “The measure thereof is longer than the earth” — certainly, and that was a very insufficient measure — the earth — “and broader than the sea.” He might have taken in all the universe. “If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?” There is no doubt about His power, no limit to it. “For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also.” All these are insinuations against Job. “Will he not then consider it? For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass’s colt.” Well, no doubt. That is man’s condition now through the fall, that sometimes his acts can only be compared to those of a beast — uncontrollable, like a wild ass — or even to those of a savage beast, that consumes and destroys before it, like a lion or a bear. Man is capable of doing all these things. “If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands towards him.” Now there, was excellent advice. That was just what Job did require — to wait upon God till God gave him the answer, as to how it was that all this had come upon him. But Zophar’s notion was all wrong.
“If iniquity be in thine hand” — that was not what it was; it was not a question of iniquity, but of God dealing with Job’s satisfaction with himself. Job was a truly pious, God-fearing man; but he had a high idea of his own character. That is what no soul ought ever to allow. It is altogether wrong for a person to rest in himself, no matter how unblemished he may be, no matter how he may truly wait upon God day by day. There is no rest in any creature, least of all in ourselves. It was One that was coming. And now there is One that is come, so that we have the understanding of “Him that is true.” But in Job’s day he evidently did not understand all this. “For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be steadfast, and shalt not fear,” and so Zophar pursues down to the end of the chapter in very proper language. But his thought was all wrong, because he supposed there was some great wickedness unseen and unknown. Why then did he suppose it, if it was not seen and known?
We have the most remarkable instance of the opposite of this in the New Testament. One of the twelve was a dishonest man, and was about to betray the Lord Jesus. The Lord, who knew it perfectly, never brought it out in such a way as to act upon the consciences of the eleven. He allowed it to go on to the very last, and it was only when the dishonest one had passed out of their hands, and was himself on the way to death — and death by his own hands, as well as the death of the Lord by the hands of the Jews and Gentiles — that then the Lord no longer allowed it. If the Lord had meant them to judge Judas He would have made it manifest before. But He meant on the contrary that if he had made it manifest before, Scripture would not have been fulfilled. Scripture had declared that that man was the man to betray the Lord, and therefore it must go on to the end — to the betrayal. The Lord would not therefore open out the wickedness of Judas until it was before all the world.
Job answers in the next chapters (12-14) and no doubt he repays them too much in their own coin. “And Job answered and said, No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.” Well they deserved that rebuke. “But I have understanding as well as you.” Now there he was far more considerate than they; because he did not take the place of being so superior. “I have understanding as well as you” — “I am not inferior” — he does not say, “I am superior” — “I am not inferior to you.” “Yea, who knoweth not such things as these?” They were only talking platitudes, moral platitudes, that every person of the slightest acquaintance with God already knew. They were not giving any light upon this very difficult question, how it was that a pious God-fearing man fell under such tremendous sorrow and affliction. They did not contribute one atom to that question. They merely let out all their bad thoughts and feelings, and consequently they were really heaping up wrath, if it had been the day of wrath; but it was the day of mercy, and God humbled them, by their being indebted to Job for His not taking them away by a stroke that would have been perfectly just. “I am as one mocked of his neighbour” — they talked about his mocking — “who calleth upon God, and he answereth him; the just upright man is laughed to scorn. He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.”
Now that phrase exactly gave the position; they were all at ease, these three men; there was nothing the matter with them; they had not, as Job, been taken up by God to allow the devil to do all the evil he could, and finally to allow that pious men should be the persons that would provoke them as they provoked Job. “He that is ready to slip with his feet” — that is what Job felt he was — “is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease” — because if he gives way — the lamp requires to be held steadily — if a man is slipping with his feet, what is the good of a lamp? It waves and waves down into the mud. But they were all at ease sitting in judgment upon him. “The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.” Nothing could more completely upset all their arguments.
There had been that great robber Nimrod — that man who first began to hunt beasts, and then to subdue men to his own purpose without God giving him authority. And yet God allowed it. Nimrod built great cities and became a great man. “The tabernacles,” therefore, as Job says, “of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.” That is the present state of the earth, and any state of the earth since man fell is no adequate testimony of what God thinks of people. It is not bringing out His judgment of men yet. There may bean occasional dealing of God in a particular case, as an exception to His ordinary way of leaving things apparently to their own course. But that is just the reason why there is to be a judgment — because things have not been judged according to God, but they will be.
“But ask now the beasts” — there is a very triumphant thing. “Why,” he says, “the very beasts know more than you, and prove more than all your speeches! Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee; or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea” — who have got practically no voice, and do not know how to talk — “shall declare unto thee.” That is, the whole creation — the lower creation of God upon the earth — is a proof that things are not yet according to God. Do they not prey upon one another; do not the great swallow up the small; and is not man the great executor of death upon beasts and birds and fishes, and everything, for his own gratification? I do not mean merely for food, but to please himself at all costs. In short, it is not merely what the Lord allows, but man makes it for his lusts, for his luxury, for everything except God. “Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of Jehovah hath wrought this?” He cannot deny that the Lord has left it in this way. “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” — and yet He allows them to break forth in this lawless way. “Doth not the ear try words?” — do you think I cannot hear? — “and the mouth taste his meat?” — that I cannot discern my palate? “With the ancient is wisdom.” There again he shows how little he was for condemning where there was wisdom. He allows that with the ancient there is wisdom — “and in length of days understanding” — because there is experience that nothing else can give.
“With him is wisdom,” he says. He turns to God; for, after all, it is only in a little measure a man profits. “With him is wisdom and strength” — whereas as the ancient gets wiser he becomes weaker — “he hath counsel and understanding.” “Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again; he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening. Behold, he witholdeth the waters, and they dry up” — and what a wretched state the world is in when there is no water. But then in another way it comes, and He gives them too much water; “also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.” The waters carry everything before them. “With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.” That is the present state. “He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.” Undoubtedly those counsellors and these judges were persons eminent for their knowledge, and, were supposed to be, for their wisdom. But there is always a limit in this world, and there is often a disappointment where you most rest.
“He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle. He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty. He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged. He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty. He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death. He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them; he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.” There are all kinds of change. There is nothing therefore that shows the settled judgment of God. Everything among men is in a flux — a constant flow and change; and therefore nothing could be more foolish than the groundwork of the three friends in their attack on Job. “He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.” And that is the way where people trust in men.
But now he says (Job 13), “Lo, mine eye hath seen all this” — “you have been boasting of what the ancients had all thought” — “mine ear hath heard and understood it. What ye know, the same do I know also; I am not inferior to you. Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.” That is just what he was doing. But how? He did not know. There was not the New Testament yet. There was not One to stand between God and man, like Christ. So he did not know how to get at Him. If he could only find Him; if he could only be before Him! He knew very well what he would find there — a faithful God. But somehow or other there were difficulties and riddles between God and his soul that he could not understand. He says, “But ye are forgers of lies.” You see all their arguments were founded upon man and upon the world. Everything that a believer stands upon is what is in God, and what God gives and reveals. And there we find it, in all its perfection, in Christ. But they were all resting upon man’s thoughts and man’s experience, and the like. And further he says, “Ye are all physicians of no value.” You have come to heal me; you have heard of my terrible state; you came to heal and cure me in my dreadful sickness and suffering, and what have you done? Why, you have poured poison upon my wounds; you have poured no wine, no oil. No balm have you poured upon the poor sufferer.
“Oh, that ye would altogether hold your peace I and it should be your wisdom.” And it often is a man’s wisdom when he sits quiet and holds his tongue. But directly he begins to speak about what he does not understand — well, what then? That is exactly where they were. “Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips. Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?” That is what they had been doing. They pretended this to be for God. “Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God? Is it good that he should search you out?” Well, that is what He did. “Or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him? He will surely reprove you.” How remarkably that was fulfilled! “He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons” — and that is what they were doing. They were accepting persons falsely — according to appearance. “Your remembrances are like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay. Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak. and let come on me what will.” Now here I am, ready to bear whatever God sends. I feel the awfulness of it, and the terrors of God are on my soul; but here I am; let him do as seemeth good in his sight “Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand? Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”
There was a far deeper faith in Job than in all the other three, or in any of them. He did not mean, ‘though I am lost.’ Oh no, he had no idea of that. “Though he slay me” — he knew that the best thing was not life on the earth; he is learning that; but the best thing is the life to come. There it would be all according to God; but here it is in confusion, and in every kind of moral anomaly. “He also shall be my salvation” — he has no doubt about that — “for an hypocrite shall not come before him.” He was very far from that. I do not say that they were hypocrites; but certainly they talked very badly, for men of piety, to Job. “Who is he that will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost.” That is, it was a relief to him, in the agony that he was passing through, to speak out; and all he wanted was to be put right if he was wrong. He says now, “Only do not two things unto me; then will I not hide myself from thee. Withdraw thine hand far from me” — the outward thing — “and let not thy dread” — the inward — “make me afraid: then call thou, and I will answer” — and so he did — “or let me speak, and answer thou me. How many are mine iniquities and sins? “
Did he say that there was no sin in him? He never said anything of the kind; he never had the presumption to say, “I am clean in thine eyes.” No, no, far from it. Unfortunately he had rather rested in his cleanness in his own eyes, and in the eyes of other people; but he had to learn that it was a very different thing to be clean in God’s eyes. He begins to learn that more and more deeply. “Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy? Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro?” Was that a person pretending to any strength? “And wilt thou pursue the dry stubble? For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth” — it may be that they are coming upon me now. “Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks” — you make me an object of shame before everybody — “and lookest narrowly unto all my paths; thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet.” That might have been thought to be hidden — “the heels of my feet”; but no, everything is marked. “And he, as a rotten thing consumeth, as a garment that is moth-eaten.”
Now we come to a very remarkable chapter (14). Here we find how far were people, in those days even, ignorant as they were, from confounding the resurrection of the unjust with that of the just. This chapter brings in man raised from the grave. I would not say from the dead. Resurrection from the dead means some raised and others left. Resurrection from the grave will be true after all the saints are raised, and there remain only the wicked to be raised. That will be the resurrection from the grave, but not from the dead (for “from the dead” allows that others remain), there will be none left at that time. There are two resurrections. What is called in the common creeds of Christendom the “general resurrection” is a figment; it has no foundation in scripture. It is entirely opposed to the plainest words of God. Now you have in this world the righteous and the wicked all confused together. The tares are growing with the wheat. But that is only till the judgment come; that is only till the Lord come. And when the Lord comes there will be the separation of the righteous called not only from the dead (other dead being left in their graves), but to heaven where He is now. They are going to be like Himself — “the resurrection of the just.” But there remains the great mass of mankind; and that is what Job describes in this chapter. I shall have little more to show, if God will, next Wednesday, about “the resurrection of the just”; but here is the resurrection of the unjust. And therefore you observe how beautifully the language suits. “Man that is born of a woman” — not a word about anyone that is born of God. Those that are born of God will be the righteous. But “man that is born of a woman” (and all are) “is of few days” — it looks at man since the fall — “and full of trouble.”
Now, if you are speaking of those that are born of God, is that all you could say? Surely not! To depart is no doubt gain, but to live is well worth while; particularly when Christ is the object; and such can say in their measure, in spite of all their weaknesses and all their faults, “To me to live is Christ.” Yes, it is full of blessing; but here it is merely man born of woman, never born of God — not yet, till we come to a later chapter — not one of these is supposed to be born of God. “He cometh forth like a flower” — for they are all pretty much the same when they are born, so far like a flower — no doubt, an interesting object, but how soon developed and made perfectly plain. “He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.” You know very well — we all know — that there is great mortality among the children; it is particularly there that we have death so frequent. “And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” It does not mean, “not one person,” but “not one thing.” I merely make that remark in order that it may be understood. “Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.” It its all therefore an uncertainty — a precarious condition as far as man is concerned — but all settled of God.
“Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dieth, and wasteth away.” There is no hope for him for this earthly life; he dies and is done with. A plant on the contrary may be brought down to the worst and nothing appear, and yet it may shoot up again, particularly if there is water to help it. “Yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth, and drieth up; so man lieth down, and riseth not.” There people very often stop, but not so the Spirit of God here by Job. For it is plain here he really does say what Scripture fully warrants — “till the heavens be no more.” A very remarkable expression. It might have been thought to be — and that we could easily understand as a natural thing — “till the earth be no more”; but man lives and dies, and does not rise — not till the earth be no more, but — “till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.”
Surely, what is here said is very striking, that even man without God — man who is only born of woman, and not of God — man is to sleep till the heavens be no more. Now take the last Book of the New Testament. In Revelation 20 you find that, after the last outbreak of the world and the external nations of the world in the millennium, all that are not converted during the millennium will fall victims to Satan, after his release from the abyss, and they will all be rallied by him against Jerusalem on earth. They cannot touch Jerusalem above, the holy city. And not merely that, but “the camp of the saints about” — another striking thing. Why is there a camp of the saints around Jerusalem at that time? Has Satan gathered all the outside nations for one great effort to destroy the righteous that will then be on the earth? All the righteous flow up to Jerusalem, and as it will be entirely beyond the capacity of that Jerusalem to take in the saints from every quarter of the world, they will make a vast encampment round the “beloved city,” and that will be the great mark for Satan. Against that he thinks to hurl his battalions — all the rebels of the millennium on earth. And what happens then? Fire comes down from God and destroys them all. And what then? Satan is cast at last into the lake of fire. There is to be no temptation more; everything is going to be changed now. It is not merely that he is bound — he is cast into the lake of fire. There is no use which God can put him to; he is now to be punished for ever. And that is not all.
Heaven and earth flee away. And as the fire had consumed these wicked nations, they now are raised from the dead, and not only they, but all the wicked since the world began. This is the resurrection of the unjust, and they will all be in one company, and without one righteous person. You may ask what is to become of the righteous. Oh, they are translated, just as we are at the coming of the Lord for us before the millennium. They will be with the Lord. They are not spoken of; there is no need to speak about it. They were never promised to sit upon the throne; we were. They had their comfort all the time of their righteousness. They will enjoy nothing but comfort; and, consequently, as they never suffered with Christ, they are not to be glorified with Him. Nevertheless, they are to be raised, or as I should rather say, they are to be changed, because they do not die. But they will no doubt be changed.
That great principle of change will apply to all that are found alive — all the saints on the earth at that time. And we do find them in the next chapter. “The tabernacle of God is with men.” There they are the men; they are not the tabernacle. The tabernacle of God are the glorified saints — are those that had been already with Him and reigning — all those that were His, and they are particularly, as far as I know, the church. I do not know that one could predicate it properly of any but the church. Still, all the others will be blessed throughout all eternity. But the tabernacle of God is with men, and I presume that these men that are spoken of are the saints that are transported from the earth into the “new earth.” You may ask me, How and why? I say, God does not tell us, and I cannot tell you, beyond that I know it will be; and we are all bound to believe that it will be, because the word of God says so. So that there is the tabernacle of God quite distinct. And now when they are all in this city, fit for all eternity, the tabernacle of God, instead of being up in the air, comes down. It is not that it mingles with the other, but there it is. It deigns to be in the midst; God Himself is there, and all those that are in especial nearness to God will be there; but all the blessed inhabitants of the millennial earth will be there as the men with whom that tabernacle shall then be.
So that nothing can be plainer than how this coalesces with the words of Job. The wicked lie in the grave till the very end of the earth. Not merely the end of the age, but the absolute end, not only of the earth, but, of the heavens; and therefore it is said “till the heavens be no more.” For it might be thought that at the beginning of the millennium the earth sustains a very great change, and so it does. But it is not then; it is “till the heavens be no more,” and that will never be till the absolute end of all the dispensations of God; and then it is that the wicked from the beginning and up to the end of the millennium will be all raised for judgment. And this entirely agrees with the 5th of John. You recollect that very remarkable drawing out of the grand principle of life and judgment by our Lord Jesus. He is the source of life, and He is the executor of judgment. In giving life He had communion with His Father. “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.” But He, and He alone, will judge the dead. And in effect He carries on the judgment of the living also, the “quick” or “alive.” But at this time all His enemies will be dead; all the wicked from the beginning of the world; and they will be sentenced therefore to that which lasts when the world is no more, when there is nothing but the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. They will meet their doom then. And it is lovely, it appears to me, that God should bring those that He loves into their blessing, long before those that are accursed meet their doom, and they will all meet this doom together.
Speaking now of those that are left when the Lord comes for His saints, there will, of course, be great executions of judgment; but then they remain (as a general law) till the end of all — till the thousand years are over, and the heavens and the earth that now are, are completely changed. I would therefore leave this with you as showing how Job had a very good inkling of this blessed truth — much more than the theologians have now- a-days. In general they are all partners in error, no matter who they may be. They may be Established or non-Established; they may be what they call the Free Churches; or they may be Ritualist or Roman Catholics, or anything; but they are all agreed in that great error; they jumble together both the righteous and the unrighteous in what they call one general judgment — a general resurrection — a thing that is entirely without one single scripture to justify it. Nay, more — that is condemned by all the light of the word of God, both Old Testament and New.
Now, I need not say much more; for Job turns from this very solemn scene that is before his mind to call upon the Lord, and says, “Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.” His heart is beginning to get a little courage. “For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin? My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity. And surely the mountain falling, cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place. The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man.” But the Lord does not leave Job until he sees that he was not merely man looking up to God, but a man knowing God’s love that was taking him up and chastising him in order that he might be blessed more than ever he had been before. That is the great object of the Book of Job.