Chapter 42

Solomon says, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof,” Eccl. 7:8. It was so here in the story of Job; at the evening-time it was light. Three things we have met with in this book which, I confess , have troubled me very much; but we find all the three grievances redressed, thoroughly redressed, in this chapter, everything set to-rights. I. It has been a great trouble to us to see such a holy man as Job was so fretful, and peevish, and uneasy to himself, and especially to hear him quarrel with God and speak indecently to him; but, though he thus fall, he is not utterly cast down, for here he recovers his temper, comes to himself and to his right mind again by repentance, is sorry for what he has said amiss, unsays it, and humbles himself before God, Job 42:1-6. II. It has been likewise a great trouble to us to see Job and his friends so much at variance, not only differing in their opinions, but giving one another a great many hard words, and passing severe censures one upon another, though they were all very wise and good men; but here we have this grievance redressed likewise, the differences between them happily adjusted, the quarrel taken up, all the peevish reflections they had cast upon one another forgiven and forgotten, and all joining in sacrifices and prayers, mutually accepted of God, Job 42:7-9. III. It has troubled us to see a man of such eminent piety and usefulness as Job was so grievously afflicted, so pained, so sick, so poor, so reproached, so slighted, and made the very centre of all the calamities of human life; but here we have this grievance redressed too, Job healed of all his ailments, more honoured and beloved than ever, enriched with an estate double to what he had before, surrounded with all the comforts of life, and as great an instance of prosperity as ever he had been of affliction and patience, Job 42:10-17. All this is written for our learning, that we, under these and the like discouragements that we meet with, through patience and comfort of this scripture may have hope.