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The Rev. Brian Elfick: “Is God for me or against me?” (Job 19:1-29)

May 22, 2010

Here is another audio sermon on the Book of Job by the Rev. Brian Elfick of St. Andrew the Great in the United Kingdom.  This sermon, titled Is God for me or against me?, is based on Job 19:1-29, and as Rev. Elfick notes early on, whether suffering brings us closer to holiness or whether it destroys us, one thing is certain about its effect: it never leaves us unchanged.  In Job’s case we will see it has not left him bitter, it has left him better.

Matthew Henry said this well, in his commentary on this chapter:

How doleful are Job’s complaints! What is the fire of hell but the wrath of God! Seared consciences will feel it hereafter, but do not fear it now: enlightened consciences fear it now, but shall not feel it hereafter. It is a very common mistake to think that those whom God afflicts he treats as his enemies. Every creature is that to us which God makes it to be; yet this does not excuse Job’s relations and friends. How uncertain is the friendship of men! but if God be our Friend, he will not fail us in time of need. What little reason we have to indulge the body, which, after all our care, is consumed by diseases it has in itself. Job recommends himself to the compassion of his friends, and justly blames their harshness. It is very distressing to one who loves God, to be bereaved at once of outward comfort and of inward consolation; yet if this, and more, come upon a believer, it does not weaken the proof of his being a child of God and heir of glory.

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