Job 5 (NLT)
Eliphaz’s Response Continues
“Cry for help, but will anyone answer you?
Which of the angels will help you?
2 Surely resentment destroys the fool,
and jealousy kills the simple.
3 I have seen that fools may be successful for the moment,
but then comes sudden disaster.
Eliphaz preaches a God who can be figured out. For Eliphaz, there are no unknowns behind the scenes; there is no drama or purpose in the heavens that motivate what God does and what He allows to be done. Eliphaz says he has seen it and he knows. However, we know this heavenly drama from the first two chapters, and we see how shallow and unknowing the counsel of Eliphaz was. Job didn’t know what we know, but he could feel that the counsel of Eliphaz was wrong in his situation.
4 Their children are abandoned far from help;
they are crushed in court with no one to defend them.
5 The hungry devour their harvest,
even when it is guarded by brambles.
The thirsty pant after their wealth.
6 But evil does not spring from the soil,
and trouble does not sprout from the earth.
7 People are born for trouble
as readily as sparks fly up from a fire.
As the Sparks Fly Upward
The little babe I held upon my knee
Had not yet banished from his sleeping eyes
The dreams of some lost world from which he came,
Nor missed some angel-choirèd paradise.
Strange little soul that claimed me not his own
By glance or smile, but with no seeing gaze
Looked to me who, all timid, dared to call
This wonder mine, and held it in amaze.
I prayed, ‘When comes the light of consciousness
Of things that be to hold him so he seek
To know what place life now had set him in,
And at whose mercy left, so young and weak,
‘Let it be mine, the face he first shall see
Bent on him, full of welcome and of joy,
So that his smile, on thus beholding love,
The pain of coming tears shall half destroy.
‘Or if some day he looks to learn, and I
Am not beside, oh! let it be the sun
Or some fair thing shall greet his seeing eyes,
So he shall find life good and well begun.’
Beside the fire I held him close, and sang
Some sweet child ditty, bidding him to sleep,
And broke the log to make it flame and glow;
Then in his eyes I saw a wonder creep.
Now peeped the soul from out his startled gaze.
‘Look first on me,’ I cried, ‘my little child!’
But from my kiss he held his face away,
And as the sparks flew up he saw and smiled.
— Dora Sigerson Shorter, Irish poet (1866-1918)
8 “If I were you, I would go to God
and present my case to him.
3) Here is the third false assumption Eliphaz bases his argument on: that Job, because he was suffering, must have done something wrong in God’s eyes. Job must repent.
9 He does great things too marvelous to understand.
He performs countless miracles.
10 He gives rain for the earth
and water for the fields.
11 He gives prosperity to the poor
and protects those who suffer.
12 He frustrates the plans of schemers
so the work of their hands will not succeed.
13 He traps the wise in their own cleverness
so their cunning schemes are thwarted.
14 They find it is dark in the daytime,
and they grope at noon as if it were night.
15 He rescues the poor from the cutting words of the strong,
and rescues them from the clutches of the powerful.
16 And so at last the poor have hope,
and the snapping jaws of the wicked are shut.
17 “But consider the joy of those corrected by God!
Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin.
Eliphaz reminds Job that God will graciously restore those who repent of their sins and turn to him. This, of course, is absolutely true.
Psalm 91:9-10 (NLT)
If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
18 For though he wounds, he also bandages.
He strikes, but his hands also heal.
19 From six disasters he will rescue you;
even in the seventh, he will keep you from evil.
20 He will save you from death in time of famine,
from the power of the sword in time of war.
21 You will be safe from slander
and have no fear when destruction comes.
22 You will laugh at destruction and famine;
wild animals will not terrify you.
23 You will be at peace with the stones of the field,
and its wild animals will be at peace with you.
24 You will know that your home is safe.
When you survey your possessions, nothing will be missing.
25 You will have many children;
your descendants will be as plentiful as grass!
Ouch! Eliphaz, this seems cruel, given that Job has just lost most of his possessions and all of his ten children.
26 You will go to the grave at a ripe old age,
like a sheaf of grain harvested at the proper time!
Spurgeon preached a sermon on the words “You shall come to the grave at a full age, as a sheaf of grain ripens in its season.” These were his points of development regarding the death of a Christian:
~Death is inevitable (You shall come)
~Death is acceptable (You shall come)
~Death is timely (at a full age)
~Death is honorable (as a sheaf of grain ripens in its season)
27 “We have studied life and found all this to be true.
Listen to my counsel, and apply it to yourself.”
Again, the implication is clear. Eliphaz believed that the justice of God, at this present time, worked against Job because Job was in sin and refused to see it. If Job would only see this and repent! — perhaps the justice of God would once again work on his behalf. Yes, Eliphaz had the answer to Job’s crisis, or at least in his arrogance he thought he did.
For all his misunderstandings, Eliphaz knew that God disciplines us when we do wrong for the sake of bringing us back to the right, and that God kindly restores us. And we know, because of Christ and his gift to us on the cross, that God does this through LOVE that is marvelous and wonderful. HERE is “I Stand Amazed” sung by Celtic Worship.
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.