The Accusations of Men Job 3-37, cont’d.
Job 3-14 Accusations Round 1 (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar), cont’d.
Job 4-5 Eliphaz’s 1st Accusation: God is punishing you for sin…repent (he appeals to personal experience for authority…that is based on a vision he had)
Job 4:1-6-Eliphaz is the first of Job’s friends to speak. He says that Job has helped many others during their difficult times. But now, when hard times come on him, he is impatient with God and forgets his own advice.
Job 4:7-5:27-Eliphaz makes a case from his own personal experience…”According to what I have seen…” (4:8). He says that it has been his experience that people get what they deserve. He is suggesting that Job must have sinned and this is God's judgment. But, that he should not despair because God is in control and will rescue him in the midst of his suffering. He tries to add credibility and authority to his argument by saying that it has a supernatural origin…”a word was brought to me stealthily” (4:12)…”a spirit passed by my face…a form was before my eyes…I heard a voice” (4:15,16). He concludes by saying that he has "investigated it, and thus it is" (5:27). In other words, end of story. He has given an explanation for what Job is going through based on solid experiential evidence, and the case is closed. Job should accept it.
Job 6-7 Job’s Response: Show me where I have sinned. I have done nothing to deserve this much sorrow and pain.
Job 6:1-30-Job says that he wishes it was that easy. That what was happening to him could actually be the consequences of what he has done wrong and what Eliphaz had said would be proven to be true. But it is not true because he is not getting what he deserves. The troubles and the trials that he is suffering far outweigh anything that he has ever done wrong. This is not justice. Job says that you would think that when someone is suffering his friend would speak of kindness to him (not judge him for sin, v. 14)…lest the words of the friend add to his pain and lead him even closer towards denying God. He challenges Eliphaz to specifically show him where he has sinned...don't just speak of some general principle (:24).
Prayer: Lord, I often minister to people who are struggling. Please give me the ability to communicate in grace the truth of their situation to them. Don’t let me just tell them their fault, their sin. That might only lead them to become despondent and to lose hope. But help my words to be clothed in grace. Give me words to speak that will bring light and healing to them.