Ever had your friends who you thought knew you make false accusations? Ever had your friends do or say something hurtful to you in the midst of tragedy? Ever had your friends in the midst of the pain seem to turn on you? Ever had your friends who say they had come to comfort you after a while turn around and start to accuse of you things without knowledge or cause?
Ever realized that Satan will look for weakness just like the wolf when watching a flock in order to know where to attack? Ever realized that Satan will look to use those closest to you to try and derail your efforts for God? Are you rested? Are you prayed up? Are you read up on God’s Word? Are you geared up with the full armor of God? Are you getting your family and friends ready too? Ever been that friend? Ever considered that there might be something bigger going on? Ever considered that you don’t know it all and you don’t have all the details?
Have any friends who use sarcasm as their weapon of choice?
We need to be cautious and remember what Jesus taught when being questioned by his disciples about the blind man. We might want to consider God is working in and through it for good. We might want to turn to God rather than trying to cast judgement! We might want to consider God’s glory that might be revealed through the situation.
‘While He was passing by, He noticed a man [who had been] blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but it was so that the works of God might be displayed and illustrated in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world [giving guidance through My word and works].” When He had said this, He spat on the ground and made mud with His saliva, and He spread the mud [like an ointment] on the man’s eyes. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. So the neighbors, and those who used to know him as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Still others said, “No, but he looks like him.” But he kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He replied, “The Man called Jesus made mud and smeared it on my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received my sight!” They asked him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” ‘— John 9:1-12
Now there are times when we do things that cause us self inflicted pain and suffering. Consider this and don’t be one to point fingers without checking your own life first.
‘ “ Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. For just as you [hypocritically] judge others [when you are sinful and unrepentant], so will you be judged; and in accordance with your standard of measure [used to pass out judgment], judgment will be measured to you. Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. ‘— Matthew 7:1-5
Today’s reading from Job 4 starts into the conversations with Job’s friends who had traveled so far to come and support and comfort him after such devastation and pain.
‘Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, “If we dare to converse with you, will you be impatient [or offended]? But who can restrain himself from speaking? Behold, you have admonished and instructed many, And you have strengthened weak hands. Your words have helped the one who was stumbling to stand, And you have strengthened feeble knees. But now adversity comes upon you, and you are impatient and intolerant; It touches you, and you are horrified. Is not your fear of God your confidence, And [is not] the integrity and uprightness of your ways your hope? “Remember now, who, being innocent, ever perished? Or where [and in what circumstances] were those upright and in right standing with God destroyed? As I have seen, those who plow wickedness And those who sow trouble and harm harvest it. By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast of His anger they are consumed. The roaring of the lion and the voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken. The lion perishes for lack of prey, And the cubs of the lioness are scattered. “Now a word was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it. Amid disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, Dread and trembling came upon me, Which made all my bones shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair on my skin stood on end! The spirit stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, and then I heard a voice, saying: ‘Can [mortal] man be just before God or be more righteous than He? Can a man be pure before his Maker or be more cleansed than He? God puts no trust or confidence, even in His [heavenly] servants, And He charges His angels with error. How much more [will He blame and charge] those who dwell in houses (bodies) of clay, Whose foundations are in the dust, Who are crushed like a moth. Between morning and evening they are broken in pieces and destroyed; Unobserved and unnoticed, they perish forever. Is not their tent-cord drawn up within them [so that the tent collapses]? Do they not die, and yet without [acquiring] wisdom?’’— Job 4
Today’s Notes from the study of Job:
Starting in today’s reading we see the engagement of discussion between Job and his friends. We see that today’s dialog starts with Eliphaz whose name means “my god is gold”. We learn that Eliphaz’s name and native land of Teman are associated with Esau and Edom (Genesis 36:11, 1 Chronicles 1:36, Jeremiah 49:7). Imagine being accused just because your friend had never seen anyone who was innocent suffer. Imagine being accused by your friend of being a hypocrite. Imagine being accused by your friend that you must have done something to deserve the punishment. We know from the reading of God’s Word that Eliphaz has no idea what took place between God and Satan that caused this suffering of Job. We learn that Eliphaz begins with sarcasm as he accuses Job of not practicing what he preaches. Based on the order of the speakers in Job, it would be most probably that Eliphaz would be the eldest and wisest of Job’s sage friends as he gets to speak first. We will see in the continued reading how Eliphaz also happened to be the most compassionate one of the three friends. We learn looking into this more how Eliphaz starts with emphasis on God’s greatness and His judgment of sin. Today’s study provides us with the context around the other two friends as well with:
Eliphaz takes the position of a theologian, emphasizing the greatness of God and His judgment of sin. Bildad takes the position of a traditionalist, emphasizing the principles of wisdom, which he suggests Job has violated. All three of them take a negative view of Job, assuming that he has done something to bring this trouble on himself.— Book of Job – Job 4
The silence stopped after 7 days of morning. It starts out more compassionately where Job is acknowledged and recognized for being a wise man. We see the truth of Proverbs 17:28 of how wise people can seem as long as they keep quiet. Don’t be so arrogant that you start to speak to only find out that you aren’t as smart you thought or others were thinking. Let’s be prudent and discreet about our words and our thoughts and look to control our tongues and keeping our mouth shut.
We see how he asks if Job will be troubled if they question or interrogate him. We learn how their words are sharp and not going to be too comforting but more on the side of rebuke · reprimand · reproach · admonishment · admonition · reproval · remonstration · disapproval · disapprobation · criticism · censure · blame · condemnation · fault-finding · telling-off · rap over the knuckles · slap on the wrist · dressing down · blast · ticking off · wigging · serve · rating · reprehension which will be quite irritating · annoying · vexing · vexatious · galling · exasperating · displeasing · grating · disagreeable · tiresome · wearisome · tedious · trying · troublesome · burdensome · bothersome · awkward · inconvenient · difficult · boring · uninteresting · infuriating · maddening · pesky · cussed · confounded · infernal · pestiferous · plaguy · pestilent to Job. Eliphaz makes it look like he would like to stop himself from doing this but just cant help himself from speaking out. Today’s study brings some very interesting points on Job 4:2 where they share:
“Who can withhold himself from speaking”: When he hears such unreasonable and ungodly words coming from such a person as thou art, whereby thou dost accuse thy Maker, and reproach his providence, and contemn his blessings? No man who hath any respect to God, or love to thee, can forbear reproving thee.
Eliphaz was fully aware that up until this time Job did not want his friends to talk to him. We discussed earlier, that many times deep grief has to be worked out silently within one’s self. Now, Eliphaz believed that it might be time to speak to Job. He was actually asking Job’s permission to speak to him. He had waited 7 days, and now he felt he must speak.— Book of Job – Job 4
We see how he speaks to how many people Job has helped over the years. We learn how he was able to give them good advice and teaching them lessons. Unfortunately, the sarcasm kicks in though with a finger pointing that Job may not have learned this lesson himself though and could be why he is having to go through this suffering. We learn how Job had been one who encouraged others who were troubled, discouraged, and demoralized through sharing advice, support, and comfort with those who were unable to bear the load of their situation or their responsibility. We learn how Job was one who would help the downcast and needy all around him facing problems of many kinds. We learn how he directed them in the ways of the Lord and helped to strengthen them in the Lord. He helped them in the pressures and the falls by pointing them back to God, God’s promises and care. Job would point them back to God. Job would help strengthen their faith. Job would help them rebuild their trust in God. We learn how just like how Job had concerns over his own family, his kids, we learn that Job also cared for others who were around him. Job’s advice helped them in the midst of their troubles and trials to be able to be renewed and recover.
With Job 4:5, we see the accusation that Job may not be able to take his own medicine. Today’s study notes put it this way:
Job 4:5 “But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.”
That is, the evil which thou didst fear (Job 3:25), or that which had come upon those whom thou didst so comfort.
“And thou faintest”: There is no more spirit left in thee: and thou canst not practice thy own advice.
“It toucheth thee, and thou art troubled”: It is now come to be thine own case, and thou art struck with consternation.
This friend was telling Job that he was good at giving advice, but he was not very good at taking advice. He was also saying, take for yourself the advice you have given others. This friend of Job believed that this calamity that had befallen Job, was a chastisement from God. He was thoroughly convinced that Job had done some terrible thing, and God was punishing him for it.— Book of Job – Job 4
As I reflect on this the question comes to mind “How do you know if the advice you are being given is good?” Are you living in the Spirit in order that you have God’s wisdom and are speaking God’s Word? God’s Word warns of false prophets. God’s Word even shows how Satan knows the Bible and tried to use it to twist the truth and manipulate God’s Word.
Eliphaz then turns Job’s faith and trust and belief to the test. He asks him about how he is living in comparison to what he says he believes. Today’s study expands on it this way and we will continue in this chapter tomorrow:
Job 4:6 “[Is] not [this] thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?”
The meaning seems to be, “Should not thy fear or piety be thy confidence, and the uprightness of thy ways or hope? Should not the piety you was so ready to commend to others supply a sufficient ground of hope for thyself?” Or we may understand, “Is not thy reverence, thy confidence, thy hope, and thy integrity shown to be worthless if thou faintest as soon as adversity toucheth thee?” The drift of the speaker is virtually the same in either case.
Job feared God, and had confidence that God would see him through every peril. His hope was that he lived before God the very best that he could. He had done everything as near perfect as he knew how. It was very hard to put that confidence in God into practical application, with as much trouble as Job had at this time. The friend was making a deceptive remark to Job about his righteousness. He was saying, if you were righteous in the sight of God, wouldn’t he save you from this? He had begun to insinuate that Job had sinned.
Verses 7-11: Eliphaz illustrated his belief in the principle of divine retribution (“plow” and “reap”), with an example from the animal kingdom: if a lion does not catch its prey, then it and its cubs will suffer.
Job 4:7 “Remember, I pray thee, who [ever] perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?”
This was, probably, some very good advice that Job had given to his friends in need who had come to him. God would not be cut off. It just appeared that way at the moment.
“Who ever perished, being innocent”? Eliphaz, recognizing Job’s “fear of God” and “integrity” (verse 6), was likely encouraging Job at the outset by saying he wouldn’t die because he was innocent of any deadly iniquity, but must be guilty of some serious sin because he was reaping such anger from God. This was a moral universe and moral order was at work, he thought. He had oversimplified God’s pattern of retribution. This simple axiom, “the righteous will prosper and the wicked will suffer,” does not always hold up in human experience. It is true that plowing and sowing iniquity reaps judgment, so Eliphaz was partially right (Gal. 6:7-9; 1 peter 3:12), but not everything we reap in life is the result of something we have sown (see notes on 2 Cor. 12:7-10). Eliphaz was replacing theology with simplistic logic. To say that wherever there is suffering, it is the result of sowing sin is wrong (Exodus 4:11; John 9:1-3).
Job 4:8 “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”
“Even as I have seen,” that is, Eliphaz’s argument was based on personal experience. “They that plow iniquity … reap the same,” meaning, you reap what you sow. Therefore, Job must be suffering because of sin.
With friends like this, Job did not need enemies. His friend was accusing him of sin. Iniquity here, was speaking of both physical and spiritual evil. He was saying, “you reap, what you sow”. He was convinced that Job had sinned and was refusing to repent of that sin. This was not true.
Job 4:9 “By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.”
They and their works, those that plough, the sowers, and reapers of iniquity; the allusion is to the blasting of corn by the east wind, or by mildew, etc. Having used the figures of ploughing and sowing before; and which is as soon and as easily done as corn, or anything else, is blasted in the above manner. And denotes the sudden and easy destruction of wicked men by the power of God, stirred up by his wrath and indignation, because of their sins. Who when he blows a blast on their persons, substance, and families, they perish at once.
“And by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed”: Meaning his wrath and anger, which is like a stream of brimstone, and kindles a fire on the wicked, which are as fuel to it, and are soon consumed by it. The allusion is to breath in a man’s nostrils, and the heat of his wrath and fury discovered thereby. Some think this refers to Job’s children being destroyed by the wind (see Isa. 11:4).
It is the breath of God within all of us that allows us to live. God is in control of our birth and our death regardless of who we are or what we have done. It is also Jesus who is the Judge of all the world. It is his determination of whether we live in heaven or spend an eternity in hell.— Book of Job – Job 4
So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.