“I will bring the third part into the fire,
I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.”
Eliphaz’s Additional Appeal
Eliphaz hasn’t spoken his last word yet. He has to try one more time to prove his point. Since Job still refuses to acknowledge transgression as the cause of his affliction, he obviously has to be dealt with a little more directly. Eliphaz is going to tell him in detail some possible ways that he may have grieved the Lord.
All the way through this story, the friends show their ignorance of the character of God. They appear to exalt Him by talking about His greatness and holiness, but they don’t seem to have any real acquaintance with Him, and yet, later, Eliphaz urges Job to a personal knowledge of God.
Eliphaz looks at Job and asks, “is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to Him if you were perfect?”
Yet, the Word says indeed, “the Lord takes delight in His people. He takes pleasure in them that fear Him.” Eliphaz didn’t know anything of the heart of God.
“Is it because you are good that He is punishing you?” he sarcastically continues. Judging by the extent of the reproof Job’s wickedness must be very great. His iniquities must have been unending since there seemed to be no end to his suffering!
Eliphaz’s favorite weapon is sarcasm. Almost his first words to Job are clothed with this. After listening to all that has been said, he sees it’s hopeless to convince Job by these flank attacks. He is going to cast aside all cover, and simply say what is on his mind for the last time. Job had just said that he knew they were referring to him with their stories about the fate of the wicked. Therefore, Eliphaz is going to speak out.
Job, “isn’t your wickedness great?” You’re simply receiving your portion in all the suffering that has come on you. It is a judgment for your sins, cries Eliphaz, as he goes on to enumerate these sins.
Job must have robbed his brothers; stripped cruelly the poor; withheld water from the weary, and bread from the hungry; been deaf to the cry of the widow; taken advantage of the fatherless; therefore the snares were around him, and sudden fear troubled him. Couldn’t he see that he was in darkness, and deep water?
Worst of all, Job was saying in his heart that God did not know all this; the Lord was too high and too hidden with clouds as He walked on the vault of heaven to see what Job was doing.
From the pedestal of his assumed knowledge of God, Eliphaz looks down on this poor sin-punished friend of his. “Will you keep to the old path that evil men have trod?” Aren’t you going to take warning by their fate—they who said to God, “Depart from us”?
Eliphaz’s Last Appeal
Eliphaz’s candid speaking now turns to pleading, because he genuinely wants to help Job. If Job would just acquaint himself with God, he would be at peace, and good should come to him and not evil. Eliphaz would even pray for him to receive instruction from the mouth of God, and to “lay up His words in his heart.” Because, in Eliphaz’s view, it was sad to see such havoc as appeared in Job’s life because of his persistent refusal to listen to the advice of the friends.
If Job would just return to the Lord, he would be built up, instead of being torn down; if he would put away unrighteousness from his home, and lay his treasure in the dust, the Lord Himself would be his treasure.
If Job could delight himself in the Lord, he would lift up his face to God without the terrors that he talks about; his prayers would be answered; he would be able to fulfill his promises to God; power and authority would be restored to him, because he could “decree a thing” and it would be done; instead of darkness, light would shine on his ways; he would be able to say confidently to those who were cast down “there is a lifting up;” and he would be used once more to help, and bless others. Souls would be delivered because he had put away unrighteousness, confessed his transgressions, and made clean his hands (v. 29, 30).
Yes, Phaz, this is all perfectly true. You are accurate in your assessment of the power of God’s grace. However, it has nothing to do with Job’s (or our) behavior. Job had never left the heart of God
If you are interested, you can download the whole study of Job.
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