Job 11:13

Job 11:13

If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands
towards him.
] In this and the following verses Zophar proceeds to give some advice to Job; which, if taken, would issue in his future happiness, but otherwise it would be ill with him; he advises him to pray to God with an heart prepared for such service; so some render the last clause in the imperative, "stretch out thine hands F23 towards him"; that is, towards God; for, though not expressed, is implied, whose immensity, sovereignty, and omniscience, Zophar had been discoursing of; and, though stretching out the hands is sometimes a gesture of persons in distress and mournful circumstances, thereby signifying their grief and sorrow, and of others in great danger, in order to lay up anything for safety; and of conquered persons resigning themselves up into the hands of the conqueror; and of such who are desirous of being in friendship, alliance, and association with others; yet it is also sometimes used as for the whole of religious worship, ( Psalms 44:20 ) ; so particularly for prayer, ( Psalms 88:9 ) ; and this was what all Job's friends advised him to, to humble himself before God, to pray for the forgiveness of his sins, and for the removal of his afflictions and deliverance from them; see ( Job 5:8 ) ( Job 8:5 Job 8:6 ) ; in order to which it is proper the "heart [should be] prepared"; as it is requisite it should be to every good work by the grace of God so to this: and then may it be said to be prepared for such service, when the spirit of God is given as a spirit of grace and supplication, whereby the heart is impressed with a sense of its wants, and so knows what to pray for; and arguments and fit words are put into the mind and mouth, and it knows how to pray as it should; and is enabled to approach the throne of grace with sincerity, fervency, and in the exercise of faith, being sprinkled from an evil conscience by the blood of Jesus, and resigned to the divine will, in all its petitions it is directed to make: now this is the work of God, to prepare the heart; the preparation of the heart, as well as the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord; he is prayed to for it, and it is affirmed he will do it, ( Proverbs 16:1 ) ( 1 Chronicles 29:18 ) ( Psalms 10:17 ) ; but it is here represented as if it was man's act, which is said not to suggest any power in man to do it of himself; at least this is not the evangelic sense of such phrases; for Zophar might be of a more legal spirit, and not so thoroughly acquainted with the evangelic style; but this might be said, to show the necessity of such a preparation, and to stir up to a concern for it, and to expect and look for it from and by the grace of God.


FOOTNOTES:

F23 "Expande ad eum manus tuas", De Dieu.
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