Summary: A study into Job chapter twenty two.
Outline for Job 22 -
Does Man’s Goodness Affect God? (verses 1-4)
Job Is Accused (verses 5-11)
Troubles For The Wicked (verses 12-20)
The Benefits Of Turning To God (verses 21-30)
Eliphaz will speak again.
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: 2 "Can a man be profitable to God, Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous? Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless? 4 "Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you, And enters into judgment with you? Job 22:1-4 (NKJV)
DOES MAN’S GOODNESS AFFECT GOD?
Does our righteousness affect God? What a great question. Our purity does not affect His purity nor does our sinfulness affect His holiness. God retains His holiness no matter what we do. We do not alter His pure nature by our impurity. Man’s goodness does not add to, or man’s badness take from, the purity and holiness of God; therefore it cannot be that God sends prosperity to some and calamities on others for His own advantage; the cause of the goods and ills sent must lie in the actions of men themselves. Job’s calamities must arise from his guilt. (At least that is the argument.)
In one of our Bible study sessions at church I asked the question: “What motivates you to try to live a good life?” Some of the answers were typical; such as gratitude and love but I was surprised by some of the other answers. I heard the words; greed and fear. I think that if we are honest many of our actions are motivated by greed and fear – it is our fallen human nature that motivates us to do much of what we do.
Eliphaz asks several questions in these first four verses concerning how man affects God:
1. Does God gain any profit from the goodness of man?
2. Is it pleasing to God if a man is righteous?
3. What has God gained by you making your way blameless?
4. Is it because you are right with Him that He corrects you?
To this last question let me comment. Why fix that which not broken? This seems to be the implication of Eliphaz. God would not fix you if you weren’t broken. He does not correct children who are doing what pleases Him. Which of us would spank our children for doing good – that does not make sense. Eliphaz believes that since Job is proclaiming his innocence – and still being punished – either Job is lying or God in not just. Since he does not perceive that God is unjust – Job is lying.
5 Is not your wickedness great, And your iniquity without end? 6 For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason, And stripped the naked of their clothing. 7 You have not given the weary water to drink, And you have withheld bread from the hungry. 8 But the mighty man possessed the land, And the honorable man dwelt in it. 9 You have sent widows away empty, And the strength of the fatherless was crushed. 10 Therefore snares are all around you, And sudden fear troubles you, 11 Or darkness so that you cannot see; And an abundance of water covers you. Job 22:5-11 (NKJV)
JOB IS ACCUSED
Now come the accusations:
1. Your wickedness is great.
2. Your sin is without end.
3. You have put people in debt for no reason.
4. You have abused the down-trodden.
5. You have not given a drink to the thirsty.
6. You have not fed the hungry.
7. You sat back snug and secure.
8. You ignored the widows.
9. You oppressed the orphans.
Eliphaz does not just tell Job that he is a sinner but that he is a great sinner. Eliphaz says that Job’s sins are “without end”. These accusations are not what we find early in Job. For we have found: “There was a man in the country of Uz named Job. He was a man of perfect integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil.” Job 1:1 (HCSB) God says of Job: “No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.” Job 1:8 (HCSB) And again: “No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil. He still retains his integrity, even though you (Satan) incited Me against him, to destroy him without just cause.” Job 2:3 (HCSB)
It is easy for others to point fingers and to accuse us of our faults (even if they are unfounded). Let us be careful not to fall into that trap – all of us will stand before God some day. Let us make sure that the accuser does not stand before the judge accused. Remember the teaching of Jesus: