Res est ingeniosa dolor, Grief is an ingenious thing; yet it maketh a man foolish (the excess of it), as it did Job here; yea, it maketh a wise man mad, as Solomon saith of oppression, #Ec 7:7, and we see it exemplified in Job, especially if the words be thus read, as they may, Because he (that is, God) shut not up the doors, &c.
Job ch. 3, Ver. 7. Lo, let that night be solitary.
And so consequently sorrowful; for aloneness is comfortless, et optimum solatium sodalitium.
There is a desirable solitariness, such as was that of Isaac, #Ge 24:63, of Jacob, #Ge 32:24, of Christ, #Mr 1:35, of Peter, #Ac 10:9, to talk with God and with themselves.
But usually to sit solitary is a misery, #La 1:1 (for Satan is readiest to assault when none is by to assist), neither is there a greater tie to constancy than the society of saints. This the heathen persecutors perceived, and therefore banished and confined the Christian confessors to isles and mines; where they could not come together for mutual edification and comfort.
There is a woe to him that is alone, and good reason showed for it by Solomon, #Ec 4:9-12. Let no man sty up himself, or affect solitariness; but make conscience of fellowship in the gospel, as the Philippians did from the first day of their conversion to Christ, #Php 1:5, accounting, that communion of saints is a point of practice, as well as an article of belief.
Job 1:13 When his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine.
Wherewith, if their hearts were overcharged (and what more easy? the devil foiled our first parents by inordinate appetite, and finding it then so successful a weapon, he maketh use of it still), that day might come upon them unawares, #Lu 21:34: And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
Job 1, Ver. 11. But put forth thy hand.
Make Job feel the weight of it, as good people usually do more than others; yet not ad exitium, to destruction but ad exercitium, to their training, their crosses are not penal, but probational, and medicinal.
But it is with good people as with Jonathan’s signal arrows; two fell short, and but one beyond the mark, &c. God hath his servants of all sorts and sizes
Job 1: Ver. 5. And it was so, that when the days of their feasting were gone about.
Such was his holy care of them, and jealousy over them, that he would defer the work no longer; as knowing that sin will rankle in the conscience, and harden the heart, like poison in the body, it must be quickly cast up, ere it get to the vitals.
Job’s children are spoken of before his wealth, because better valued.