Monday, November 13, 2023

Eliphaz Shoots His Arrows (Job 15)

"Yes, you cast off fear, and restrain prayer before God" (Job 15:4).

We return now to our study of Job and Eliphaz’s response in which he charges Job with six very serious transgressions: 1) He charges Job with folly. Once Job had been reputed a wise man, but Eliphaz claims that his long and pitiful discourses have proved him to be a fool. This charge was certainly unwarranted because Job did not simply prattle on, but said much of value.

2) He charges him with impiety. Eliphaz accuses Job of casting off fear of God and of not praying to God. This is a valuable insight on Eliphaz’s part, even though it is not applicable to Job who feared the Lord and prayed to Him. Eliphaz rightly observed that true religion exists when one fears the Lord and prays to Him. When these two things are missing, a person is in rebellion against God.

3) Eliphaz charges Job with arrogance. Job had accused his friends of thinking they had a monopoly on wisdom. Job claimed that he had just as much understanding as they did. This infuriated Eliphaz who accuses Job of exalting himself over his counselors. He and the others thought they understood God’s purposes far better than Job. This, however, was far from the truth.

4) Next he charges Job with contempt of his friends’ advice. His friends thought so highly of their advice that they are offended when Job rejects their counsel. This is a common occurrence among those who seek to give advice. They are more concerned about their own insights and knowledge than about the person they advise. Then, when their advice is not taken, they are deeply offended.

5) Eliphaz then accuses Job of opposing God Himself. He assumed that Job had turned against God because of his complaints. Thus he charges him with the very thing Satan wanted to accomplish, that Job would curse God. This, however, Job did not do. He complained bitterly, but he did not curse his Maker.

6) Lastly, Eliphaz harps on the old theme that Job was trying to justify himself. He accused Job, once again, of claiming to be without sin. Eliphaz rightly observed that no man is righteous. But in this charge, he showed that he was not listening to Job who said “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?” Job knew he was a sinner, but he defended himself against the charges of hypocrisy.

Take a second look at each of the six charges Eliphaz makes against Job. Have you ever charged someone with one or more of these accusations when you should not have? Has anyone ever accused you of these kinds of transgressions? What does Jesus say about the person who makes false charges? Read Matthew 5:21–26.