Eliphaz Speaks: Job's Wickedness Is Great
22 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
“Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,
or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you
and enters into judgment with you?
Is not your evil abundant?
There is no end to your iniquities.
For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing
and stripped the naked of their clothing.
You have given no water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
The man with power possessed the land,
and the favored man lived in it.
You have sent widows away empty,
and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.
Therefore snares are all around you,
and sudden terror overwhelms you,
or darkness, so that you cannot see,
and a flood of water covers you.
“Is not God high in the heavens?
See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
But you say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the deep darkness?
Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,
and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
Will you keep to the old way
that wicked men have trod?
They were snatched away before their time;
their foundation was washed away.
They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’
Yet he filled their houses with good things—
but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
The righteous see it and are glad;
the innocent one mocks at them,
saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
and what they left the fire has consumed.’
“Agree with God, and be at peace;
thereby good will come to you.
Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
if you remove injustice far from your tents,
if you lay gold in the dust,
and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed,
then the Almighty will be your gold
and your precious silver.
For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
and you will pay your vows.
You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.
For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;
but he saves the lowly.
He delivers even the one who is not innocent,
who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
Job 22 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The third and final round begins between Job and his friends. The first cycle his friends spoke in generalities, without making their doctrine specifically to Job and what was going on with him. The second round dealt with those who were wicked and how God punishes them. Job was the focus. His rebuttal to each of these men is in complete contradiction to their own ideas. Now the third begins and when all is said and done, there is nothing left to state and a gap between the men stands wide open.
Eliphaz opens this round and has nothing new to state. Once again truth is mixed with opinion here as he confronts Job on sin in his life. That said, toward the end in his own way was trying to offer hope to Job that if he would simply stop lying and confess his sin – God would be merciful.
The last portion of what Eliphaz says is a spot on beautiful picture of the restoration God brings to those who return to him. It marks that of confession, mercy and God bringing peace to the repentant. These words hold what takes place when we repent, but of course as we know do not apply to Job and his situation. But there are beautiful statements.
“Yield now and be at peace with Him; thereby good will come to you. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored. You will pray to Him and He will hear you. A light will shine on your ways…”Job 22:21,23,27,28
Restoration begins with owning our sin and confessing it. It follows by deciding to turn from the things that are not pleasing to our God. It is believing God hears our prayers, answers our pleas and leads us forward in His righteousness with a fresh slate. He does it every time.
Job 22 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
When we do not pay attention to the needs before us, true care can turn to condemnation. This is what summarizes Eliphaz’s words to Job. He has a mold of what he understands to be the solution to the problem, and he continues to force Job into that mold, even though it doesn’t fit.
Shockingly, Eliphaz gives some fairly specific sins that he claims Job to have committed. Among the accusations is the scathing rebuke in verse 17 that compares Job to someone who doesn’t believe God can harm them. It’s almost like calling him an atheist.
Are you determined to walk in the paths that evil people have always followed? 16 Even before their time had come, they were washed away by a flood. 17 These are the ones who rejected God and believed that he could do nothing to them.Job 22:15-17 GNB
I’ve known people before who, when they don’t know the details, will try and speak on behalf of God. I had one situation where an individual tried to offer reasoning as to why I was suffering with so many severe health issues. There was no sympathy or compassion behind their words as they charged forward like a truth train.
I left the conversation questioning my relationship with the Lord. I had a crisis of sorts as I wondered if my health could be “earned back” with faith, repentance, or good deeds. If, as this person said, God’s desire was for complete healing and wellness, then the only other possibility was that I was lacking something.
It was my fault… or was it? Even though I had prayed for healing. Even though I had prayed for more faith. I started to believe that because I wasn’t healthy, my relationship with Jesus was inadequate and there was something wrong with me. But that’s not how I learned Christ. I did not place my faith in my own abilities, but in Christ alone.
It would be soon after this that I realized my health problems were producing something mysterious in me. I drew closer to the Lord during my struggles, asking for strength and perseverance. I had many revelations. I realized that my fruitfulness was not solely based on my physical health, but on my response to suffering. In other words, God would get more glory through an ailing physical body that was still choosing to praise and worship God despite.
For the longest time I believed (wrongly) that I needed to be at my peak physically, mentally, and emotionally in order to make the biggest difference in God’s Kingdom. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Lord taught me self-control, patience, gratitude, and humility. My faith actually grew stronger — not in restored health, but in the fact that Jesus was producing a stronger and more resilient child of God.
This didn’t happen overnight. I had nervous breakdowns. I told God many times, “I’m done.” At times, it felt like it was way more than I could handle. I can also say that today I am a far different person spiritually than I was before. Completely different. And I can say with honesty I wouldn’t trade in my sufferings for what I’ve gained.
Here’s the bottom line — don’t be like Eliphaz. If we look at his track record we see that not once does the “righteous” Eliphaz plead for Job’s restoration. Not once does he compassionately offer to assist him in his worst time. He meets absolutely none of Job’s needs. He claims to speak on behalf of God but offers none of God’s grace and mercy.
His call for Job to repent is a true statement but it really means nothing in the end because of how it’s delivered. If we are called to bring others to repentance, we must be flexible enough in our theology to communicate from a place of love. Exhibiting grace doesn’t mean compromising truth. It just means that you are trying to be like Jesus.