I read this section of of Matthew Henry in my reading through Job yesterday, and while reading, was saying, "wow" to myself. This tied in so much with what I have been thinking about and posting lately.....about coming under the Lord's hand, looking only Him to deliverance, not complaining of God, most of all looking past second causes, looking to Him, and looking for the good in the trial. What is the Lord teaching me through this? Is it bringing me closer to Him?
"If the cries of the oppressed be not heard, the fault is not in God; he is ready to hear and help them. But the fault is in themselves; they ask and have not, but it is because they ask amiss, James 4:3. They cry out...but it is a complaining cry, a wailing cry, not a penitent praying cry, the cry of nature and passion, not of grace...How then can we expect that they should be answered and relieved?"
"They do not enquire after God, nor seek to acquaint themselves with him, under their affliction. But none saith, Where is God my Maker? Afflictions are sent to direct and quicken us to enquire early after God. But many that groan under great oppressions never mind God, nor take notice of his hand in their troubles; if they did, they would bear their troubles more patiently and be more benefited by them. Of the many that are afflicted and oppressed, few get the good they might get by their affliction. It should drive them to God, but how seldom is this the case! It is lamentable to see so little religion among the poor and miserable part of mankind. Every one complains of his troubles; but none saith, Where is God my Maker? that is, none repent of their sins, none return to him that smites them, none seek the face and favour of God, and that comfort in him which would balance their outward afflictions. They are wholly taken up with the wretchedness of their condition, as if that would excuse them in living without God in the world which should engage them to cleave the more closely to him. God is our Maker, the author of our being, and, under that notion, it concerns us to regard and remember him."
"They do not take notice of the mercies they enjoy in and under their afflictions, nor are thankful for them, and therefore cannot expect that God should deliver them out of their afflictions. He provides for our inward comfort and joy under our outward troubles, and we ought to make use of that, and wait his time for the removal of our troubles: He gives songs in the night, that is, when our condition is ever so dark, and sad, and melancholy, there is that in God, in his providence and promise, which is sufficient, not only to support us, but to fill us with joy and consolation, and enable us in every thing to give thanks, and even to rejoice in tribulation. When we only pore upon the afflictions we are under, and neglect the consolations of God which are treasured up for us, it is just with God to reject our prayers."
"There is a day.....when all the seeming disorders of providence will be set to rights and the dark chapters of it will be expounded. Then thou shalt see the full meaning of these dark events, and the final period of these dismal events; then thou shalt see his face with joy; therefore trust in him, depend upon him, wait for him, and believe that the issue will be good at last."
"...He had said a great deal, had multiplied words, but all without knowledge, all to no purpose, because he did not encourage himself in God and humble himself before him. It is in vain for us either to appeal to God or to acquit ourselves if we do not study to answer the end for which affliction is sent, and in vain to pray for relief if we do not trust in God; for let not that man who distrusts God think that he shall receive any thing from him."
Matthew Henry on Job 35