“Humble yourselves . . . under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time.”
—I Peter 3:6
Eliphaz seems to roll up his sleeves and levels one serious charge after another against Job, from deliberate deceitfulness to the corruption of true religion. Eventually he throws up his hands and say, “Your own mouth condemns you, not mine.”
“Do you presume to know more than we do? Hey, we have tradition, age, the voice of the majority, all this carries weight. Are you—one man—going to stand out against all of our wisdom? God is on our side here, are His consolations that we have given you too trivial for you? Or were we too gentle with you the first time to be effective?
“Like I told you before about my vision, man could never be righteous before God. He is so holy that even heaven is not clean enough for Him, much less a man who drinks iniquity like water.”
Sadly, this may have been true, but Jesus “redeemed us unto God by his blood.” He has taken our place on the cross and we are to “put off the old man which is corrupt,” and “put on the new man created in righteousness and holiness and truth.”
Eliphaz is still relying on his spirit-vision that was intended to blind its captives from the liberty and peace that is available through the “shedding of blood for the remission of sin.”
Job had learned through experience that the way to God was by making the burned offerings that God had commanded. Maybe he couldn’t explain it in “New Testament” language, but the words he uses show that he knew what he was in his natural state, but he also knew in his heart that he had access to God.
Eliphaz and the other friends seemed convinced that Job is his own worst enemy and that his trials are entirely of his own making. What can you do with someone who refuses to repent? In the eyes of these spiritual doctors, Job is like a patient who has lung cancer because he has smoked too much. Now, they say, just look at the old fool—in spite of all the radiation and surgery and chemotherapy, he is still puffing away like a human smokestack. In their eyes, it is useless to waste one ounce of pity. Funny though, the fact that they themselves might have contracted a far worse disease—a cancer of the heart brought on by the failure to love, is conveniently overlooked in their medical textbooks.
What about your heart? Are willing to stand with those in need or are you more apt to stand in condemnation? Hmmm, maybe some time in prayer is needed . . . what do you think?
If you are interested, you can download the whole study of Job.
Other Bible Studies and Commentary are available at Doulos Studies.