Job 5 Commentary
Call if you will, but who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn?
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. First Timothy 2 verse 5 would be the saint’s answer to Eliphaz’s question above. We shall wait to hear Job’s answer in the next chapter. For now, we can hear more from Eliphaz.
Trouble is caused. Don’t blame fate when trouble hits. In essence, Job must have caused his own suffering. Eliphaz goes on to suggest that probably Job’s suffering is a form of punishment for his sin. He shouldn’t resist it. The LORD is correcting Job by this punishment.
Eliphaz’s correctly advises Job not to despise the discipline of the Almighty. But the advice feels bad because it is premised on the wrong assumption that Job is sinful. Eliphaz’s speech continues to be a mixture of truths and half-truths.
When stood alone and isolated from the context, some of Eliphaz’s statements are great truths in tandem with the rest of the scripture. Read them within the context of the story and you will see just how insensitive Eliphaz is. For example, he has given us a list of calamities from which the LORD shields the righteous. One should think Eliphaz is displaying the generosity of the LORD. No. Look at the list again. He is simply telling Job the things he has missed because of his sinfulness.
From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you. Yet Job has had ‘seven’ calamities and no single rescue. Job must have sinned greatly to completely exhaust the generosity of the LORD. The natural disasters haven’t been kind to him. The sinner’s tent has been torn down. Even his children are gone.
Eliphaz is here to comfort Job and sympathize with him but his words can only increase pain. His friend has just lost his entire family yet Eliphaz can still philosophize how the LORD shields the righteous from this kind of loss. It can be annoying when a counselor quotes your negative past like they are talking about general principles they have studied and concluded on.
Even the good advice to appeal to the LORD sounds dull. It is a cheap filler to want to make Eliphaz’s excessive attack on Job appear religious and generally good. Job had already prayed about it. His prayer is unmatched in its sincerity and faith. The LORD didn’t boast about Job’s faithfulness in vain. We want to remind ourselves of the LORD’s view of Job as we look at Eliphaz’s wild allegations.
A similar lens may be required by the saint to correctly look at the sinning world. What has the LORD said about them?
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