Summary: A study of the book of Job 4: 1 – 21
Job 4: 1 – 21
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: 2“If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking? 3Surely you have instructed many, and you have strengthened weak hands. 4Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees; 5But now it comes upon you, and you are weary; It touches you, and you are troubled. 6Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope? 7“Remember now, whoever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? 8Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. 9By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of His anger they are consumed. 10The roaring of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions are broken. 11The old lion perishes for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness are scattered. 12“Now a word was secretly brought to me, and my ear received a whisper of it. 13In disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, 14Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones shake. 15Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair on my body stood up. 16It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; There was silence; Then I heard a voice saying: 17‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? 18If He puts no trust in His servants, if He charges His angels with error, 19How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before a moth? 20They are broken in pieces from morning till evening; They perish forever, with no one regarding. 21Does not their own excellence go away? They die, even without wisdom.’
Do you like to go to scary movies? You know like the ones that have evil spirits lurking about in a house. Some people can’t get enough of scary movies. They’ve seen scores of scary films – over and over. They catch horror flicks on opening night. They have DVD collections at home.
Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead watching a scary movie. They freak me out, leaving me unsettled for days — the images a record player in my mind. In fact, I have a hard enough time sitting through the scarier scenes that will play on my mind
Are you a person like me that you sense coldness or eerie feeling? Have these feelings hit you at some time while you are at home? If so, you are not alone. We see this experience exactly occurring in this chapter to one of Job’s so called friends. We will get to it in a little while.
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: 2“If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking?
For seven days this person and his two friends had observed a profound silence, being awed and confounded at the sight of Job's unprecedented condition. Having now sufficiently contemplated his afflicted state, and heard his bitter complaint, forgetting that he came as a comforter, and not as one to reprove, he loses the feeling of the friend in the haughtiness of the censor, endeavoring to strip him of his only consolation, - the testimony of his conscience. Eliphaz seemed a sympathetic friend until he opened his mouth.
Eliphaz has been quiet throughout Job's lamentation. Such bitterness and heartache was to be expected. But, on hearing Job's defense, (3:26), Eliphaz could hold his peace no longer. Clearly he has been quietly trying to reason out why Job is being punished? He naturally assumes that this torment can only be punishment for some incredible sin hidden from the gathered friends. He begins gingerly, begging Job's patience with him, complementing Job's righteousness, but quickly proceeds to imply that Job can dish it out, but he can't take it (4:5).
Eliphaz simply believed that a good person should have a good life. And Eliphaz thought that an evil person should have a terrible life. So, when Eliphaz saw Job’s troubles, Eliphaz had no explanation. Eliphaz was sure that Job was a good man. But Job was suffering the troubles that an evil person deserves. Eliphaz did not know that the devil caused Job’s troubles. And Eliphaz did not realise that God permitted the devil to test Job.
3Surely you have instructed many, and you have strengthened weak hands. 4Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees; 5But now it comes upon you, and you are weary; It touches you, and you are troubled. 6Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope?