To him that is afflicted pity should be shown from his friend; even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
All Commentaries on Job 6:14 Go To Job 6
Gregory The Dialogist
“What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient?” It is necessary to bear in mind that the “strength” of the righteous is of one sort and the strength of the reprobate of another. For the strength of the righteous is to subdue the flesh, to thwart our own wills, to annihilate the gratification the present life offers, to be in love with the roughness of this world for the sake of eternal rewards, to consider as nothing the allurements of prosperity, to overcome in our hearts the dread of adversity. But the strength of the reprobate is to set their affection unceasingly on transitory things. To endure insensibly the strokes of our Creator (not even by adversity to be brought to cease loving temporal things); to attain vain glory even with a wasted life; to search out ever more wickedness; to attack the life of the good (not only with words and by behavior but even with weapons); to put their trust in themselves; to perpetrate iniquity daily without any diminution of desire.… “Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?” … Let the holy one, then, who amid the scourges eschewed the reprobate’s hardness, exclaim, “Neither is my strength the strength of stones, nor is my flesh made of brass.” It is as though Job openly confessed in plain words, “Under discipline’s lash I keep clear of acting like the reprobate. For neither have I become like stones so hardened that under the lash’s impulse I remained silent when I should have confessed, nor again have I like brass echoed the voice of confession, while not understanding the meaning of what I was saying. Yet under the scourge, the reprobate manifest a strength that is actually weakness and the elect a weakness that is actually strength. Blessed Job, while declaring that he is not strong due to the disease, makes it plain that he is strong in his state of saving health. So let him inform us as to the source from whom he received this same strength, lest Job ascribe to himself the powers that he possesses … “Those who withhold kindness from a friend forsake the fear of the Almighty.” Who else is here denoted by the name of a friend except every neighbor who is united to us in a faithful attachment proportionate to the good service received from us in this present time? Is this not he who effectually aids us in attaining hereafter the eternal country? For charity possesses two key principles: the love of God and the love of our neighbor. It is through the love of God that the love of our neighbor is born, and by the love of our neighbor the love of God is fostered. For one who does not care to love God truly knows nothing about how to love his neighbor. In turn, we advance more perfectly in the love of God if in the bosom of this love we first be suckled with the milk of charity toward our neighbor. For the love of God begets the love of our neighbor. The Lord, when proceeding to speak in the voice of the law the words “you shall love your neighbor” prefaced it by saying, “You shall love the Lord your God.” The Lord desires to first plant the root of his love in our breast so that afterwards the love of our brothers should blossom in the branches. Again, the love of God grows strong through the love of our neighbor. John testifies to this truth when he says, “For he that does not love his brother, whom he has seen, how can he love God, whom he has not seen?” This love of God, though it is born in fear, is transformed by growing into affection.