Job’s Fifth Speech: A Response to Eliphaz
Then Job spoke again:
Job reproaches his pitiless friends:
2 “I have heard all this before.
What miserable comforters you are!
Job enriches our language.
Here is a quotation which has become a part of our everyday speech: Job’s comforters. (This exact phrase is not found, but here we get the general meaning — someone who tries to make you feel better but makes you feel worse instead!)
3 Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air?
What makes you keep on talking?
4 I could say the same things if you were in my place.
I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.
5 But if it were me, I would encourage you.
I would try to take away your grief.
“The chief reason for being suspicious of the theology of Job’s friends is that it is so obviously lacking in mercy.”
6 Instead, I suffer if I defend myself,
and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak.
7 “O God, you have ground me down
and devastated my family.
8 As if to prove I have sinned, you’ve reduced me to skin and bones.
My gaunt flesh testifies against me.
9 God hates me and angrily tears me apart.
He snaps his teeth at me
and pierces me with his eyes.
“Eliphaz accused Job of attacking God, but Job claimed the reverse was true; God assailed him.”
10 People jeer and laugh at me.
They slap my cheek in contempt.
A mob gathers against me.
11 God has handed me over to sinners.
He has tossed me into the hands of the wicked.
12 “I was living quietly until he shattered me.
He took me by the neck and broke me in pieces.
Then he set me up as his target,
13 and now his archers surround me.
His arrows pierce me without mercy.
The ground is wet with my blood.
14 Again and again he smashes against me,
charging at me like a warrior.
Job wonders why his righteous life has deserved his dark trial:
15 I wear burlap to show my grief.
My pride lies in the dust.
16 My eyes are red with weeping;
dark shadows circle my eyes.
17 Yet I have done no wrong,
and my prayer is pure.
18 “O earth, do not conceal my blood.
Let it cry out on my behalf.
19 Even now my witness is in heaven.
My advocate is there on high.
20 My friends scorn me,
but I pour out my tears to God.
21 I need someone to mediate between God and me,
as a person mediates between friends.
Job anticipated the need that would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is both our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) and our advocate (1 John 2:1) in heaven before God the Father. He knew by faith that such a person existed and could be trusted. The reality of this truth is even more available to us in light of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His exaltation to the right hand of God the Father in heaven.
Our Heavenly Father is never absent from our pain and by His design, He shares in our grief. D. A. Carson said, “Christianity is uniquely comforting because only the Christian God plunged into the suffering we experience.” Jesus knows. Jesus understands.
22 For soon I must go down that road
from which I will never return.
Job saw it dimly. Paul wrote it clearly in 1 Timothy 2:5-6 — “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” We can rejoice exceedingly! HERE is Ghost Ship and “Mediator.”
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.