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

The argument implied in the poem seems to be this: that Job, seeing God so far before him in power, and his works so far beyond his understanding that they filled him with wonder and admiration, ought to have reasoned that he who could work so grandly must certainly use wisdom in things that touched him nearer, though they came no nearer his understanding. In this world, power is no proof of righteousness; but was it likely that he who could create should be unrighteous? Did not all he made delight the beholding man?  Did such things foreshadow injustice towards the creature he had made in his image? If Job could not search his understanding in these things, why should he conclude his own case wrapt in the gloom of injustice? Might he not trust him to do him justice? God’s ways with him might well be beyond his comprehension!  The true child, the righteous man, will trust absolutely, against all appearances, the God who has created in him the love of righteousness.

God does not tell Job why he had afflicted him: he rouses his child-heart to trust. All the rest of Job’s life on earth, I imagine, his slowly vanishing perplexities would yield him ever fresh meditations concerning God and his ways, new opportunities of trusting him. Everything which we cannot understand is a closed book of larger knowledge, whose clasps the blessed perplexity urges us to open. That God knows is enough for me; I shall know, if I can know.