The Voice of Job

O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, that thou wouldst keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.

— Job 14: 13-15

I protest, therefore, against all teaching which gives the impression that the exceeding goodness of God towards man is not the natural and necessary outcome of his being. As if the idea of God admitted of his being less than he is, less than perfect, less than Jesus Christ! Less than Love absolute, less than entire unselfishness! As if the God revealed to us in the new Testament were not his own perfect necessity of loving-kindness, but one who has made himself better than, by his own nature, by his own love, by the laws which he willed the laws of his existence, he needed to be!

If it be answered that we have fallen, and God is thereby freed from any obligation, that is but a lie. No amount of wrong-doing in a child can ever free a parent from the divine necessity of doing all he can to deliver his child; the bond between them cannot be broken. It is the vulgar, worldly idea that freedom consists in being bound to nothing. Not such is God’s idea of liberty! The more children he creates, with the more claims upon him, the freer is he as creator and giver of life, which is the essence of his Godhead: to make scope for his essence is to be free. Our Lord teaches us that the truth, known by obedience to him, will make us free: our freedom lies in living the truth of our relations to God and man. God could not be satisfied with himself without doing all that a God and Father could do for the creatures he had made—that is, without doing just what he had done, what he is going to and will do, to deliver his sons and daughters, and bring them home with rejoicing.