Job 5

Job 5

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  “Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
    To which of the holy ones will you turn?
  Surely vexation kills the fool,
    and jealousy slays the simple.
  I have seen the fool taking root,
    but suddenly I cursed his dwelling.
  His children are far from safety;
    they are crushed in the gate,
    and there is no one to deliver them.
  The hungry eat his harvest,
    and he takes it even out of thorns,
    and the thirsty pant after his wealth.
  For affliction does not come from the dust,
    nor does trouble sprout from the ground,
  but man is born to trouble
    as the sparks fly upward.
  “As for me, I would seek God,
    and to God would I commit my cause,
  who does great things and unsearchable,
    marvelous things without number:
  he gives rain on the earth
    and sends waters on the fields;
  he sets on high those who are lowly,
    and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
  He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
    so that their hands achieve no success.
  He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
    and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.
  They meet with darkness in the daytime
    and grope at noonday as in the night.
  But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth
    and from the hand of the mighty.
  So the poor have hope,
    and injustice shuts her mouth.
  “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves;
    therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
  For he wounds, but he binds up;
    he shatters, but his hands heal.
  He will deliver you from six troubles;
    in seven no evil shall touch you.
  In famine he will redeem you from death,
    and in war from the power of the sword.
  You shall be hidden from the lash of the tongue,
    and shall not fear destruction when it comes.
  At destruction and famine you shall laugh,
    and shall not fear the beasts of the earth.
  For you shall be in league with the stones of the field,
    and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.
  You shall know that your tent is at peace,
    and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing.
  You shall know also that your offspring shall be many,
    and your descendants as the grass of the earth.
  You shall come to your grave in ripe old age,
    like a sheaf gathered up in its season.
  Behold, this we have searched out; it is true.
    Hear, and know it for your good.”

(ESV)


Job 5 Commentary

by Hank Workman

“I told you so…”

Imagine sitting in the wreckage of some situation, where you are doing everything you can to keep your head up and a well meaning friend speaks such words:  “I told you so…”

This is almost the feel that is found in Eliphaz’s statements.  He tactfully yet ever so boldly lets Job know some important truths of who God is, His righteousness and so forth – but comes in with his own take – God is punishing Job for things of his life.  In fact, he goes so far to state that these 3 who sit with him have searched out these thoughts; have investigated the entire theology of God and of Job’s situation and know what they’re talking about.  Such arrogance.  And truly, such a horrific friend in such a crisis.

Eliphaz is a lousy friend, a terrible counselor, and got lost in the application of what he’s discovered of God Himself.   What a toxic mix of things.

There will come a point at the end of this story where God addresses Eliphaz and his foolishness.  In fact, He singles him out of all 3 men in Job 42:7 – “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you did not speak the truth about me, the way my servant Job did.”  Oh he may have had fairly sound doctrine and theology of God but he was absolutely the epitome of the worst counselor and friend possible with someone so in need.

It seems the older you get the more difficult it is to meet or make genuine friends.  Maybe it’s just me, but this seems to be the case.  But it does seem harder to connect on a personal level with another that makes a difference in even your day to day life.  As I consider even the opening of comments from these 3 friends of Job, they may have meant well but were absolutely terrible friends for him. Even though they sat in silence for 7 days, when they opened their mouths it was with their own agenda.  They had their own purposes and things they wanted to tell Job about his situation.  They acted in arrogance as they boldly spiritualized things as well.  I almost think Job would have been better to have simply sat alone.

It does beg the question:  What kind of friend are you?

This is not a question of how many friends do you have or lack thereof.  That is an entirely different conversation.  It’s the questions of who are you truly investing in as a friend?  Are you so busy that there is no time?  Are you finding your pattern of friendships is even so wide that you have many friends but are not making a difference in any?  There are some that spread themselves so thin with the number of friendships they hold but are not genuine friends with any.

Who are the people that genuinely matter to you and are you working on these relationships?  Relationships are meant to be that of give and take.  Unfortunately many are the latter where they simply take — all the time.  They come in with their own agenda.  Their own needs are the only reason they even reach out.  What truly is the motivation of the friendships you hold?

Look, we need one another.  We desperately need others in our lives.  Take stock of your relationships.  Which ones truly are important and how are you investing in these relationships?  Maybe it’s time to make some changes.  Just don’t think about it, do something.


Job 5 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Eliphaz continues his speech in chapter 5. I am struck with similar thoughts from his words in chapter 4. What he knew was not wrong. In fact, he was quoted by Paul.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”;

1 Corinthians 3:19 NASB

This is true, but it does not apply to this situation. It was not what he knew, but rather, what he didn’t know that spoke the loudest. The mystery of God and His ways with regard to suffering was not considered. As Oswald Chambers writes in his book Our Ultimate Refuge…  

“If the study of the Book of Job is making us reverent with what we don’t understand, we are gaining insight. There is suffering before which you cannot say a word; you cannot preach the “gospel of temperament;” all you can do is remain dumb and leave room for God to come in as He likes.”

Oswald Chambers

What does it mean to become reverent with what we don’t understand? Isaiah 55 gives us a good direction.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.  9  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB

But we want to figure it all out, don’t we?! Sometimes, instead of trying to explain everything, it’s better to just submit ourselves under God and admit that our knowledge is limited. In this situation, it would have been far better for Eliphaz to simply love and care for Job as a friend than to try and “fix” his problem.

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