Daily Devotional Saturday 11th September 2021by William Moody
Eliphaz Speaks: Job’s Wickedness Is Great
22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
2 “Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right,
or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?
4 Is it for your fear of him that he reproves you
and enters into judgment with you?
5 Is not your evil abundant?
There is no end to your iniquities.
6 For you have exacted pledges of your brothers for nothing
and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 You have given no water to the weary to drink,
and you have withheld bread from the hungry.
8 The man with power possessed the land,
and the favored man lived in it.
9 You have sent widows away empty,
and the arms of the fatherless were crushed.
10 Therefore snares are all around you,
and sudden terror overwhelms you,
11 or darkness, so that you cannot see,
and a flood of water covers you.
12 “Is not God high in the heavens?
See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
13 But you say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the deep darkness?
14 Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,
and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
15 Will you keep to the old way
that wicked men have trod?
16 They were snatched away before their time;
their foundation was washed away.1
17 They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’2
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things—
but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it and are glad;
the innocent one mocks at them,
20 saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
and what they left the fire has consumed.’
21 “Agree with God, and be at peace;
thereby good will come to you.
22 Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
if you remove injustice far from your tents,
24 if you lay gold in the dust,
and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed,
25 then the Almighty will be your gold
and your precious silver.
26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
27 You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
and you will pay your vows.
28 You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.
29 For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;3
but he saves the lowly.
30 He delivers even the one who is not innocent,
who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
Eliphaz’s final speech to Job is terribly cruel. He has lost sight of the need to bring comfort to Job and his words show how he despises Job. We always need to be careful that the devil doesn’t turn us against even good people.
Eliphaz speaks of how basically God needs no one and takes no pleasure in the good people do (v2-4). His picture is of a God who is indifferent to people. This false view would not help Job through his suffering.
Eliphaz accuses Job of not caring but even being cruel to those in need (v5-9) and that he was suffering what he did because of this (v10-11). Showing kindness to those in need is important and one mark of a right relationship with the Lord. But Job was not guilty of these sins (1 v1), they were made up or bad distortions of the truth.
Eliphaz then twists Job’s words to condemn him for claiming God does not see everything (v12-14). Eliphaz implies that Job has total disregard for God (v15-18) and even cruelly implies that the righteous will rejoice at Job’s demise (v19-20).
Eliphaz finishes by calling on Job to return and to turn to the Lord for forgiveness and peace (v21-30). Eliphaz’s words at other times to the unrepentant would have been good, but to a righteous man who was suffering they were inappropriate.
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