Job 5

Job 5 has Eliphaz continuing on his feedback for Job.  He appeals to the reality of the situation.  “Call now; is there anyone who will answer you”?  Let’s face it, things have been pretty quiet.  Eliphaz did not directly accuse Job but he does suggest that Job do all he can to not be like a foolish man who would be killed by his actions.  He gives a pretty clear list of what happens to the foolish man, and it isn’t pretty.  Some of it was a reference to Job and his sons, not directly, but in a backhanded way.

Then here it comes – the advice of what Eliphaz would do if he were in Job’s shoes.  “As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number”.  It is always so easy to tell someone else what we’d do if faced with the same situation.  Eliphaz tells us that God is a great God, great in both His power over creation and in His moral justice.  He is worthy of our pursuit.

And Eliphaz goes on to imply that what Job was experiencing was the justice of God because Job was in sin and refusing to admit it.  If Job would just see his reality and repent of his sin, all this would stop and God would return to being his best friend.  All this is God’s chastening for sin in his life.  In Eliphaz’s mind, Job should not despise God’s work in his life even if it is punishment for sin, but instead humble himself, forsake his sin, and learn from it.  “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty”.

Eliphaz is quite confident of his position.  “Behold, this we have searched out; it is true. Hear, and know it for your good”.  It’s obvious Job.  Unfortunately it was wrong.  But Eliphaz wanted to persuade Job, so he claimed to have investigated this carefully and portrayed the friends as knowing what they were talking about.  It is not that what Eliphaz knew that is wrong; it is what he did not know of God’s hidden purpose in this test of Job by Satan.  Job didn’t know what we know, but he could feel that the counsel of Eliphaz was wrong in his situation.  Job knew God, and that trumps everything else!

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