Daily Devotional Friday 20th August 2021

by William Moody

Job 4

Eliphaz Speaks: The Innocent Prosper

4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

  “If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient?
    Yet who can keep from speaking?
  Behold, you have instructed many,
    and you have strengthened the weak hands.
  Your words have upheld him who was stumbling,
    and you have made firm the feeble knees.
  But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
    it touches you, and you are dismayed.
  Is not your fear of God1 your confidence,
    and the integrity of your ways your hope?
  “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?
    Or where were the upright cut off?
  As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
    and sow trouble reap the same.
  By the breath of God they perish,
    and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
10   The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
    the teeth of the young lions are broken.
11   The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,
    and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
12   “Now a word was brought to me stealthily;
    my ear received the whisper of it.
13   Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
14   dread came upon me, and trembling,
    which made all my bones shake.
15   A spirit glided past my face;
    the hair of my flesh stood up.
16   It stood still,
    but I could not discern its appearance.
  A form was before my eyes;
    there was silence, then I heard a voice:
17   ‘Can mortal man be in the right before2 God?
    Can a man be pure before his Maker?
18   Even in his servants he puts no trust,
    and his angels he charges with error;
19   how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
    whose foundation is in the dust,
    who are crushed like3 the moth.
20   Between morning and evening they are beaten to pieces;
    they perish forever without anyone regarding it.
21   Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them,
    do they not die, and that without wisdom?’


[1] 4:6 Hebrew lacks of God
[2] 4:17 Or more than; twice in this verse
[3] 4:19 Or before


Eliphaz is the first to reply to Job and he possibly was the oldest. His basic argument is that you reap what you sow (v8). Behind this is the implication that Job is guilty and reaping the consequences. He argues that no one is right before God (v17-21). Yet we learnt earlier that Job was righteous (1 v1).

Looking closer to what Eliphaz says there is a prejudice in how he looks at Job. He mentions how Job has instructed others (v3-6). There is probably a resentment and jealousy at the influence Job had on others and he is to some extent relishing what is happening to Job.

We need to be careful if personal and sinful feelings hinder us from having the compassion we should have to wards others.

Another important point about Eliphaz is how he claims a higher spirituality through a special revelation from God (v12-16). We need to be very carefully of those who claim such a higher spirituality, often such claims are used to manipulate others and lead them astray.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.