This whole chapter, like the former, contains the Lord’s solemn but tender expostulation with Job. In a very beautiful manner, He sent His servant to observe His creation for lessons of instruction. By showing him how merciful He is in providing for all the needs of the many kinds of creatures which He has formed; He endeavored thereby to convince him that it is impossible that God could overlook His higher form of creation – that is, man himself! And thus Job was made to see that when he had charged the Lord with inattention and unkindness, the charge was entirely unjust and ill-founded. All of these beautiful references to the works of nature should teach us a right view of the riches of the wisdom of Him Who made and sustains all things. There is mystery in every part of the universe which He has created. His thoughts are deeper, and His ways profounder, than our finite minds can fathom. In nature and in Scripture alike, we have to deal with the incomprehensibility of His ways.
A representation was made, in verses 1-4, of God’s superintending Providence over the wild goats and the deer in their giving birth. They all do well, even without the aid of man; and hereby the Lord showed how secure His people may find themselves, when they cast themselves upon His grace and love! And under God’s gracious teaching, this portion of Scripture may give comfort to every daughter of Eve when she is fulfilling the months of pregnancy, and passing through the hour of childbirth. The Apostle told the Church (1 Tim. 2:14-15) that although the woman is to bring forth children in sorrow, yet she shall be saved in child-bearing – that is, in the child-bearing of the Lord Jesus, the promised Seed of the Woman (Gen. 3:16) – if her faith in Him makes her strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Jehovah next called Job’s attention to the wild donkey (verses 5-8). He is without an owner, and without a house or home; yet he is provided for, and not allowed to suffer need. And can a soul that has been redeemed by Jesus – having both a house and a home in Him – be less provided for?
From the view of such creatures being cared for, God taught Job the unreasonableness of his repining; and He next sent him to learn another lesson from the unmanageableness of the larger beasts of the field. And thereby, He plainly showed the folly of man in being agitated and impatient with Divine government. The unicorn, mentioned in verses 9-12, was a strong, stately, and proud animal – far different from the fantastical creature that is often depicted in mythical tales. The unicorn was able to serve for profitable labor, but he was not willing; and God challenged Job to force this creature to work for him in his fields. It is a great mercy if God gives a person both strength and a heart for service; that servant’s heart is something we should pray for, which the beasts of the field cannot do. The description of the warhorse, given in verses 19-25, helps to explain the character of presumptuous sinners. Every one of them foolishly turns to his own course, just as the horse rushes into battle. Surely, in sending Job to this noble beast for lessons, the Lord graciously meant to show how dull and senseless man must be; for his understanding does not lead him to such pursuits as may be for the glory of his Creator. Does the unthinking horse rush carelessly to battle; and will a human being be no better than a beast that thus perishes, by rushing madly in battle against the messengers of the Gospel?
The Lord also sent Job to birds for instruction. However imprudent the ostrich and the peacock are, yet their Maker’s care for them never remits. The ostrich carelessly leaves her eggs in the sand, exposed to many dangers; and yet her species is preserved. And herein the Lord graciously taught Job that His mercy and Providence make up for all the deficiencies of His various creatures. But is there not a higher lesson intended here? Are not sinners like an unthinking ostrich, who never give a thought to their greatest concerns – leaving them buried like the eggs of this bird in the sand, and living regardless of all consequences? Alas! How many persons know the folly of this bird, and are yet foolish in a matter of infinitely higher importance; for they neglect the one thing needful – namely, the care of their immortal souls!
This chapter closes with a description of the eagle. In many parts of the Word of God, instruction is conveyed to the people of God from this bird. But perhaps the most beautiful and most striking is that wherein the Lord Himself condescends to represent His kindness and care over His people, under the similitude of the eagle! “Ye have seen,” God said, “what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagle’s wings” (Ex. 19:4). As the eagle takes care of her young ones, and carries them upon her wings; so also, the Lord alone leads His people, and none other with Him! (Deut. 32:11-12)
Lord, we thank You for showing us how You care for the birds of the air, and how You even provide for the thoughtless ostrich; for herein You show us how You will never be less attentive to Your own children who call upon You, since they are the gift of Your love to Your dear Son! Bring us under the quickening influence and Divine teaching of Your blessed Spirit, we pray. Amen.
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