Eliphaz Accuses: Job Does Not Fear God
15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
“Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,
and fill his belly with the east wind?
Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which he can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God
and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
your own lips testify against you.
“Are you the first man who was born?
Or were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you listened in the council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
older than your father.
Are the comforts of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?
Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
that you turn your spirit against God
and bring such words out of your mouth?
What is man, that he can be pure?
Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?
Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones,
and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
a man who drinks injustice like water!
“I will show you; hear me,
and what I have seen I will declare
(what wise men have told,
without hiding it from their fathers,
to whom alone the land was given,
and no stranger passed among them).
The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
Dreadful sounds are in his ears;
in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,
and he is marked for the sword.
He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
distress and anguish terrify him;
they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
Because he has stretched out his hand against God
and defies the Almighty,
running stubbornly against him
with a thickly bossed shield;
because he has covered his face with his fat
and gathered fat upon his waist
and has lived in desolate cities,
in houses that none should inhabit,
which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions spread over the earth;
he will not depart from darkness;
the flame will dry up his shoots,
and by the breath of his mouth he will depart.
Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself,
for emptiness will be his payment.
It will be paid in full before his time,
and his branch will not be green.
He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,
and cast off his blossom like the olive tree.
For the company of the godless is barren,
and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
They conceive trouble and give birth to evil,
and their womb prepares deceit.”
Job 15 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The first round of these ‘friends’ advising Job ended and now the second round hits and is more direct and harsh. Eliphaz opens his mouth and comes out firing with rude, intense and destructive words. He says nothing new. Same argument, different conversation. His terminology and thoughts drip arrogance.
The overarching theme is Job is lost in his own wisdom and reliance on God. In essence Eliphaz has discredited everything Job said. He doesn’t believe he is innocent. Doesn’t believe Job has a relationship with God. He doesn’t believe Job prays but instead continues to hammer Job is guilty.
I got to looking at the various translations of verse 4. Each with it’s own wording I landed on the New King James Version for us to consider something said.
“Yes, you cast off fear, and restrain prayer before God.”Job 15:4 NKJV
Eliphaz was wrong in his opinion of Job’s prayer life. He truly had no idea of his conversations that were private between himself and God. As the first chapter of Job reveals he offered sacrifices and prayers for his children, ‘continually’. It also reveals that when the bizarre wager was made between Satan and God about Job – God said, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning from evil.”
He was a man of prayer, an upright individual whom God was pleased with. Eliphaz had no idea of this, of course but vomited his own ideologies and opinions that were completely wrong instead. His mind made up, he was unteachable.
But the thought to consider today is why people do refrain from prayer. Why are people not engaging with the God of the universe with their everyday need and situations that burden them? Charles Spurgeon has some great thoughts for consideration:
- Some restrain prayer before God because they do not pray often or regularly.
- Some restrain prayer before God because they do not prepare their hearts properly to pray. They don’t consider who they are praying to, the way their prayer should be made, that they are sinners, what they should ask of God and thankful for what He has done in the past.
- Some restrain prayer before God because they pray in such a formal, strict manner they never really pour out their heart before God.
- Some restrain prayer before God because they pray with little faith and much unbelief.
I’ve heard it said that God isn’t interested in our prayers about the little things. I think this is ridiculous. I pray about every single thing that comes my way. From praying daily over my finances to those moments in conversations where suddenly I realize I need wisdom, I intercede with God for help on a continuous basis about the practicalities of life. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t think those prayers mattered.
I’ve also heard it said that we should pray for situations and then let them go – not to bring them up again as doing so proves to be a lack of faith. Once again I would beg to differ and argue the point of the parable Jesus told of the neighbor who kept knocking on the door until his friend got out of bed and gave him what he needed.
All this to say, what are your prayers like? What truly is your prayer life? Are you consistently bringing your needs, your situations, your burdens before Him? Have you carved out a time to meet with your God to help you walk firmly in the day you face, the unexpected obstacles that may come your way? Do Spurgeon’s words of restrained prayer smack of your own commitment to it?
Job 15 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Eliphaz brings a load of sarcasm to this chapter. He claims that his understanding of Scripture and his wisdom is completely reliable. He knows that Job is wicked because he’s seen wicked people and their lives are hopeless and filled with suffering.
If you had your way, no one would fear God; no one would pray to him. 5 Your wickedness is evident by what you say; you are trying to hide behind clever words. 6 There is no need for me to condemn you; you are condemned by every word you speak.Job 15:4-6 GNB
The arrogance of Eliphaz is unbelievable! Not only does he hammer away at his religious doctrine, he offers no solution or hope for Job. According to him, Job is doomed to the judgment of God. The provision and protection that was experienced previously was only a mask that God eventually broke through. Again, just like every other time Job’s friends have spoken, this is completely incorrect. In fact, it directly contrasts Jesus’ words about Lazarus in John 11.
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”John 11:4 NASB
We know that disease and sickness permeate lives that honor and love God. Here, Jesus gives us a reason. Of course, we know for Lazarus that he would be resurrected by Jesus and his sickness leading to death would become a miraculous event in which the Son of God would be glorified.
Today, believers have been resurrected with Christ by grace through faith. There is no sickness or disease that can take that from us. The glorification of Christ is placing our eyes firmly on Him, trusting in every situation no matter how grim the outlook. For those of us in Christ, we are healed for eternity. This earthly body is just a temporary shell that will be joyfully abandoned upon death as we are welcomed into Heaven. When we know that, we will find joy in all circumstances.
The real question is not, ‘Why am I not healed physically?’ but rather, ‘How can I glorify God through my suffering?’ If we believe Jesus’ words, then we must believe that there is glory to be found. The world is watching. How will we respond?