by Charles H. Spurgeon

Job: The Fair Portrait of a Saint
Charles H. Spurgeon
Job 23:11-12

Thus Job speaks of himself, not by way of vaunting, but by way of vindication. Eliphaz the Temanite and his two companions had brought distinct charges against Job's character. Because they saw him in such utter misery, they concluded that his adversity must have been sent as a punishment for his sin, and therefore they judged him to be a hypocrite who, under cover of religion, had exercised oppression and tyranny. Zophar had hinted that wickedness was sweet in Job's mouth and that he hid iniquity under his tongue. Eliphas charged him with hardness of heart to the poor and dared to say, "Thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing." This last from its very impossibility was meant to show the extreme meanness to which he falsely imagined that Job must have descended-how could he strip the naked? He was evidently firing at random. As neither he nor his companions could discover any palpable blot in Job upon which they could distinctly lay their finger, they bespattered him right and left with their groundless accusations. They made up in venom for the want of evidence to back their charges. They felt sure that there must be some great sin in him to have procured such extraordinary afflictions, and therefore by smiting him all over, they hoped to touch the sore place. Let them stand as a warning to us never to judge men by their circumstances and never to conclude that a man must be wicked because he has fallen from riches to poverty.

Job, however, knew his innocence, and he was determined not to give way to them. He said, "Ye are forgers of lies, physicians of no value. O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom." He fought the battle right manfully; not, perhaps, without a little display of temper and self-righteousness, but still with much less of either than any of us would have shown had we been in the same pl ...

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