Job 38:11

And said, Thus far shall you come, but no farther: and here shall your proud waves be stopped?
All Commentaries on Job 38:11 Go To Job 38

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
46. For what do we understand by ‘doors,’ in a moral sense, but virtues, and what by a ‘bar,’ but the strength of charity? These doors, therefore, that is, these virtuous deeds, the raging sea rends asunder, unless charity of mind, secretly placed against them, holds them together. But all the goodness of virtues is easily destroyed by a temptation of the heart rushing upon them, unless it be kept firm by charity rooted within. Whence also when Paul was, in his preaching, opposing certain doors of virtues to the sea of temptation, he immediately added to them, as it were, the strength of a bar, saying, But above all these things having charity, which is the bond of perfectness. [Col. 3, 14] For charity is called the bond of perfectness, because every good deed which is done, is doubtless fastened thereby, so as not to perish. For any work is speedily plucked up by the tempter, if it is found free from the bond of charity. But if a mind is constrained by the love of God and of its neighbour, when the motions of temptations have suggested to it any wicked thoughts, this very love opposes itself to their progress, and breaks the waves of sinful persuasion by the gates of virtues, and the bar of inmost love. Because therefore the Lord restrains the sins which spring up in the heart, by the strength of inspired charity, He checks the onset of the rising sea, by barriers barred against it. Anger, it may be, exasperates within, but, that heavenly peace may not be lost, the aid of the tongue is not lent to the agitation of the mind, so that that which sounds tumultuously in the recesses of the heart does not vent itself in words. Lust is kindled in the secret thoughts, but, that it lose not its heavenly purity, thy mind chastens those limbs, which could help to further the uncleanness conceived within; lest the filthiness of the heart should exhale to the corruption of the body. Avarice excites; but, that it lose not the kingdom of heaven, the mind, contented with its own lot, confines itself within the bounds of parsimony, lest it should break out in wicked deeds, and lest the heat of inward desire should ooze forth into outward acts. Pride puffs up a man; but, that he lose not his true dignity, by considering that he is dust, he brings himself down from the loftiness of his conceived pride; striving, doubtless, that that which he endures in the suggestion of thought, may not burst forth into outward exercise. It is well said, therefore, I set a bar and doors, and said, Hitherto shall thou come, and thou shall not proceed further, and here shalt thou break thy swelling waves, because while each of the Elect is both assaulted by sin, and yet refuses to act upon evil suggestions, the sea is kept, as it were, within bounds. And though it lashes the mind within, with the tumultuous waves of thoughts, yet it passes not over the appointed bounds of holy living. This sea indeed swells itself up, but when it is dashed against the firm deliberation of the heart, it is broken and retires. That blessed Job, then, may not ascribe it to himself that he stands firmly against the storms of his heart, let him hear by the voice of God; Who shut up the sea with doors, when it was breaking forth as if proceeding from the womb? and the rest: as if it were plainly said to him; In vain thou regardest thyself in thy good deeds without, if thou dost not consider Me within, Who calm in thee the waves of temptation. For that thou art able to withstand the waves in act, is of My might, Who break the waves of temptation in the heart.
3 mins

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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