As disappointed as Job was in those who should have understood and had real compassion and sympathy in his time of trial, he reminds Eliphaz that he had never asked anything of him or those with him! Despite the fact he had lost everything, he never asked for a gift from their substance. Job never cried to them to deliver him from the enemy (actually, he didn’t even ask for their advice). He is quite willing to be taught and to be made to understand where he has been wrong, if they are able to do that.
It is wonderful to be able to speak the Truth. It carries force and weight; but the arguing of Eliphaz had no power. What is he arguing about? What is he trying to prove? Do they intend to correct whatever Job says? “Are you going to condemn me just because I impulsively cried out in desperation?” They should not judge his character, nor should his friends charge him in his bitter anguish with reaping what he has sown.
“Phaz you are so hardhearted, you would even cast lots for an orphan. Anyone who could deal with someone in my condition as you have with me would be capable of selling a friend.”
Take a moment and pretend that you are in Phaz’s position. Here is your friend suffering the loss of all his material wealth; his children; the support of his wife; his health—and he is sitting there in despair wracked with pain and calluses left from scraping the scabs from his skin . . . what are you going to say to such a friend in this condition? Now pretend this is a stranger you see on the street . . . will you step aside to avoid contact with him? Or will you stoop down and offer healing salves for his bruises?
As followers of Yeshua these are questions we need to ask ourselves. As Steve Camp sings in “Do You Feel Their Pain?”: “Do you feel their pain? Does it touch your life? Can you taste the salt, in the tears they cry?” Well . . . does it and do you?
Job’s condition was sufficient to melt the hardest heart. However, Eliphaz and his companions had settled that Job must be dealt with as a transgressor, and to give him sympathy when it was obvious he had sinned would only injure him more and make them partakers of his sins. Oh, I know so many supposed “believers” who feel just this way.
Eliphaz had told him to “seek God,” yet he was in the hand of God already! “Isn’t there a warfare against man on the earth? Are not his days like those of a hired hand?” Job is under authority and had to accept all that is appointed for him. There is a time of service for every man when he has to learn obedience to the will of God, regardless of the cost, before he can ever be trusted with authority in the kingdom of God.
If we could learn just those two truths, we could avoid all of our striving, worrying, and complaining!
There is indeed a warfare raging against us each day of our lives! You can either be a contender in the battle or you can be a victim, but there are no “innocent bystanders” or casual observers. As Arlo Guthrie sang, “Which Side Are You On?”
“I’m in that warfare,” Job says, “I have been suffering with nights of misery, tossing back and forth, wondering ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on and I toss until dawn. Months of weary waiting instead of happy service. My skin is broken and festering.”
He goes on with his complaints, but his terrible nights of suffering seem to be the main point of his complaint. He speaks of awful nights where he was tossing back and forth until daybreak. After which he goes to his couch in hope of some relief from his pain. There, instead of rest he is scared by dreams and fearful visions. This entire crisis he wrongly charges God with instead of recognizing the nights of unrest as another tactic of His enemy
Those awful nights made him feel that strangling would be a mercy. He couldn’t help but despise his life. If this is what he was going to be stuck with he didn’t want to fight in this war!
“Leave me alone,” Job cries to God. “If I have sinned, what can I do? What is it that I have done? Why don’t you pardon my sin, because soon I will lie down in the dust, and you will search for me and I’ll be gone.”
So sad . . . what a horrible condition to live in. Believing that your Creator; your passionate Father; would harm His children.
If you are interested, you can download the whole study of Job.
Other Bible Studies and Commentary are available at Doulos Studies.