For he bruises, and binds up: he wounds, and his hands make whole.
All Commentaries on Job 5:18 Go To Job 5
Gregory The Dialogist
42. In two ways Almighty God wounds those, whom He is minded to bring back to saving health; for sometimes He smites the flesh, and consumes the hardness of the heart by the fear of Him. Thus He recalls to saving health, by dealing wounds, when He afflicts His own Elect outwardly, that they be quickened with inward life. Whence He also says by Moses, I will kill and I will make alive, I will wound and I will heal [Deut. 32, 39]; for He ‘kills,’ that He may ‘make alive,’ He ‘wounds,’ that He may ‘heal;’ in that He for this reason applies stripes without, in order that He may heal the wounds of sin within. But sometimes, even if strokes without should seem to have ceased, He inflicts wounds within, in that He strikes the hardness of the heart with the desire of Himself; yet in wounding He heals, in that when we are pierced with the dart of His dread, He recalls us to a right sense. For our hearts are not well sound, when they are wounded by no love of God, when they feel not the wofulness of their pilgrimage, when they do not go sorrowing with the least degree of feeling for the infirmity of their neighbour. But they are ‘wounded,’ that they may be ‘healed,’ in that God strikes unfeeling souls with the darts of His love, and straightway makes them full of feeling, through the burning heat of charity, and hence the spouse saith in the Song of Songs, For I am wounded with love. [Cant. 2, 5. LXX] For the diseased soul, laid prone upon the litter of this place of banishment in blind self-security, neither beheld the Lord, nor sought to see Him. But on being struck with the darts of His love, it is wounded in its innermost parts with a feeling of pious affection, burns with the desire of contemplation; and in a marvellous manner she is made alive by wounding, who aforetime lay dead in a state of health: she glows, she pants, and yearns to see Him already, from Whom she turned. By being smitten, then, she is brought back to a state of soundness, who is recalled to a secure state of inward repose by the disturbing of her self-love. But when the wounded soul begins to pant after God, when, setting at nought all the alluring arts of the world, it stretches forth in desire to the land above, all is forthwith turned to its trial, whatsoever aforetime was accounted pleasing and alluring in this world. For they that had a fond affection for him living in sin, cruelly assault him when he lives aright. The soul that is raised up toward God, is subject to rude assaults from the flesh, wherein it formerly lay grovelling in enjoyment, the slave of evil habits; former pleasures recur to the mind, and push hard the resisting soul with a grievous conflict. But because that, while we are afflicted with transitory labour, we are rescued from everlasting pain.