Job protests his sincerity. (1-6) The hypocrite is without hope. (7-10) The miserable end of the wicked. (11-23)
Verses 1-6 Job's friends now suffered him to speak, and he proceeded in a grave and useful manner. Job had confidence in the goodness both of his cause and of his God; and cheerfully committed his cause to him. But Job had not due reverence when he spake of God as taking away his judgment, and vexing his soul. To resolve that our hearts shall not reproach us, while we hold fast our integrity, baffles the designs of the evil spirit.
Verses 7-10 Job looked upon the condition of a hypocrite and a wicked man, to be most miserable. If they gained through life by their profession, and kept up their presumptuous hope till death, what would that avail when God required their souls? The more comfort we find in our religion, the more closely we shall cleave to it. Those who have no delight in God, are easily drawn away by the pleasures, and easily overcome by the crosses of this life.
Verses 11-23 Job's friends, on the same subject, spoke of the misery of wicked men before death as proportioned to their crimes; Job considered that if it were not so, still the consequences of their death would be dreadful. Job undertook to set this matter in a true light. Death to a godly man, is like a fair gale of wind to convey him to the heavenly country; but, to a wicked man, it is like a storm, that hurries him away to destruction. While he lived, he had the benefit of sparing mercy; but now the day of God's patience is over, and he will pour out upon him his wrath. When God casts down a man, there is no flying from, nor bearing up under his anger. Those who will not now flee to the arms of Divine grace, which are stretched out to receive them, will not be able to flee from the arms of Divine wrath, which will shortly be stretched out to destroy them. And what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and thus lose his own soul?
Though Job's friends were become silent, and dropped the controversy with him, he still continued his discourse in this and the four following chapters; in which he asserts his integrity; illustrates and confirms his former sentiments; gives further proof of his knowledge of things, natural and divine; takes notice of his former state of prosperity, and of his present distresses and afflictions, which came upon him, notwithstanding his piety, humanity, and beneficence, and his freedom from the grosser acts of sin, both with respect to God and men, all which he enlarges upon. In this chapter he gives his word and oath for it, that he would never belie himself, and own that he was an hypocrite, when he was not, but would continue to assert his integrity, and the righteousness of his cause, as long as he lived, Job 27:1-6; for to be an hypocrite, and to attempt to conceal his hypocrisy, would be of no advantage to him, either in life, or in death, Job 27:7-10; and was this his character and case, upon their principles, he could expect no other than to be a miserable man, as wicked men are, who have their blessings turned into curses, or taken away from them, and they removed out of the world in the most awful and terrible manner, and under manifest tokens of the wrath and displeasure of God, Job 27:11-23.