Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eliphaz Speaks to Job - Job 4

Job 4:2 "If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?"

Eliphaz was sort of respectful but as good as said that he was going to talk anyway. He makes several points in the next two chapters and I believe stretches the truth some. He is basically talking from 'much learning' and does not understand the test Job is going through.

(A note of caution when quoting and studying the Bible. There are often conversations in the Bible or someone telling a story i.e. the conversation Jesus had with Satan when he was being enticed to test God. Another is when the Philistine was telling David of Saul's death, he lied that Saul was killed by himself when actually Saul fell on his sword. The danger is in picking out a single verse and using it without considering the context.)

Let's look at the points Eliphaz made:

-Job must have sinned:
v7 "Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?"

He tells Job that he has been a shining light but surely he must have done something to bring all this trouble on him.

-God's judgment and his own experience:
v8 "Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. v9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed."

Remember the first chapter. God said Job was a perfect and upright man. It was Satan who said Job would fail if his blessings were taken away. Contrary to some present day teachings, hard times are not always a sign of sinful living, nor is wealth a sign of righteous living.

-Now Eliphaz says he was given a secret vision:
v13 "In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men."
He lays it on thick. v 14 "Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. v15 "Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:"

Now I get a little skeptical when people start talking like that. There are many spirits in the world and all of them are not of God. A cold chill will also make goose bumps and a breeze will move hair on your arm.

I John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
I Timothy 4:4 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that int he latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; v2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; heaving their conscience seared with a hot iron;"

-It seems here that Eliphaz is saying that Job has placed himself above God in some way.
v17 "Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?"

I have seen nothing in Job that would indicate that he felt he was better than God. Eliphaz seems to be attacking Job's mind, to put in swirling thoughts to torment him. Is Eliphaz part of the test? Is Satan using him to no good? I cannot be sure but if a friend came to me when I was in such trouble, I would not want a long discourse. I would enjoy a drink of cool water more.

Eliphaz continues in the next chapter.

Psalm 40:14-15 "Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha."

Eliphaz talks to Job.
Link to previous post.

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