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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 20–22
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Verses 20–22

Bildad here, in the close of his discourse, sums up what he has to say in a few words, setting before Job life and death, the blessing and the curse, assuring him that as he was so he should fare, and therefore they might conclude that as he fared so he was. 1. On the one hand, if he were a perfect upright man, God would not cast him away, Job 8:20. Though now he seemed forsaken of God, he would yet return to him, and by degrees would turn his mourning into dancing (Ps. 30:11) and comforts should flow in upon him so plentifully that his mouth should be filled with laughing, Job 8:21. So affecting should the happy change be, Ps. 126:2. Those that loved him would rejoice with him; but those that hated him, and had triumphed in his fall, would be ashamed of their insolence, when they should see him restored to his former prosperity. Now it is true that God will not cast away an upright man; he may be cast down for a time, but he shall not be cast away for ever. It is true that, if not in this world, yet in another, the mouth of the righteous shall be filled with rejoicing. Though their sun should set under a cloud, yet it shall rise again clear, never more to be clouded; though they go mourning to the grave, that shall not hinder their entrance into the joy of their Lord. It is true that the enemies of the saints will be clothed with shame when they see them crowned with honour. But it does not therefore follow that, if Job were not perfectly restore to his former prosperity, he would forfeit the character of a perfect man. 2. On the other hand, if he were a wicked man and an evil-doer, God would not help him, but leave him to perish in his present distresses (Job 8:20), and his dwelling-place should come to nought, Job 8:22. And here also it is true that God will not help the evil-doers; they throw themselves out of his protection, and forfeit his favour. He will not take the ungodly by the hand (so it is in the margin), will not have fellowship and communion with them; for what communion can there be between light and darkness? He will not lend them his hand to pull them out of the miseries, the eternal miseries, into which they have plunged themselves; they will then stretch out their hand to him for help, but it will be too late: he will not take them by the hand. Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed. It is true that the dwelling-place of the wicked, sooner or later, will come to nought. Those only who make God their dwelling-place are safe for ever, Ps. 90:1; 91:1. Those who make other things their refuge will be disappointed. Sin brings ruin on persons and families. Yet to argue (as Bildad, I doubt, slyly does) that because Job’s family was sunk, and he himself at present seemed helpless, therefore he certainly was an ungodly wicked man, was neither just nor charitable, as long as there appeared no other evidence of his wic 5e1 kedness and ungodliness. Let us judge nothing before the time, but wait till the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest, and the present difficulties of Providence be solved to universal and everlasting satisfaction, when the mystery of God shall be finished.