Job 4 Commentary
The Book of Job is written to dispel wrong beliefs. Eliphaz’s beliefs must be dismissed first. He is therefore our first speaker. He is one of the three friends that chapter 2 introduced. They are here to ‘sympathize with him and comfort him’.
Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?
It should be very difficult to find someone as wrong as Eliphaz! He is a very bad evangelist. It should be enough to have a wrong philosophy. Yet Eliphaz has coupled his wrong understanding with claims of heavenly visions. Thus, Eliphaz may easily represent many today with concocted ideas that they claim are based on the word of God.
Of course, there was no vision from the LORD. Maybe Eliphaz got a vision from another source but not from the LORD. From the mouth of the LORD God Himself, we learned that Job is a righteous man. In fact, we are here because the LORD is boasting about Job’s righteousness. How dare Eliphaz accuses Job of wrong-doing!
Man plus righteousness equals good life. This is Eliphaz’s equation of life. So simple and consequently so wrong!
Eliphaz is a master of half-truths. True to his observation, “those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it”. But why hasn’t he also observed an obvious fact of those who plow righteousness and sow holiness who end up in Job’s shoes? Or why hasn’t he also quoted another fact involving the wicked who have it easy this side of existence? If only he bothered to read Psalm 73: “For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”
Eliphaz’s description of his vision: isn’t this the kind we often associate with occultism. Secret, disquieting, fear, trembling, and a form or shape: the Holy Spirit doesn’t go by such combinations. The message delivered to Eliphaz appears truth, but again, it is only half the truth. If Eliphaz didn’t know of any mortal that the LORD could trust, standing in front of him was Job who had earned the trust of Heaven.
Choosing to shine a torch on one portion of scripture and ignoring the rest can be an Eliphaz problem for any saint. Eliphaz has more words but that is covered in the next chapter.
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