Eliphaz commences another round of discourse and argument against and to Job for the position he perceives tenaciously held by Job. Most of things Eliphaz and his two friends declare against Job are false assumptions that are magnified in their own minds, followed by comments that are totally unfounded and without merit against this man attacked by the enemy.
We’ve said this a number of time throughout this book, that Job operated on a miniscule amount of “word of the Lord”; it is clear from this chapter and others the “law of Moses” was in existence at this time and so all of the characters on stage up to this point are operating from a “law mindset”. They view “performance” as the means by which to be a recipient of God’s favor and blessings; that is, blessings from the Lord on the basis of works.
Aren’t you grateful today that we are blessed, not by “works” (who can do enough of them?); rather we’re blessed because “it is the Father’s great pleasure to give us the keys of the Kingdom”. We are blessed and can say without fear or intimidation He’s our “Father” which we cry out “Abba Father”; or Daddy! Please don’t be offended by that; allow the Holy Spirit to allow that to sync into your mind, changing your mindset.
Verses two and three are examples of a false allegation Eliphaz permitted in his mind that Job must have said or felt. He begins to ridicule Job by stating “is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you, and enters into judgment with you?” That statement is followed up by asserting Job’s “wickedness” was great and he persisted in “iniquity”. Continuing on, he makes another false allegation that Job wasn’t active in addressing physical needs of people; taking pledges with no reason, taking the very clothes on their backs, not giving them water or providing bread.
A satirical state is made in a mocking fashion when Job was a “mighty man” and an “honorable man”; he sent widows away without hearing their plea and crushing the strength of orphans, perhaps referring to indenturing their fathers. Because of lack of care or concern for these, he was snared like a caged animal and fear has now gripped his heart. Even the light has become darkness, which several applications; spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and relationally.
Eliphaz further accuses Job of stating God is out of touch with our world, and will be as other “wicked men” who die prematurely or are swept away by being overwhelmed. Because he had heard other “wicked men” say “God, ‘Depart from us'”, Job must have said the same things. He further accuses Job of being self-righteous (vs. 18).
Beginning in verse nineteen, Eliphaz makes some true statements; however they are viewed as a means to an end, being blessed by God. Job, if you’ll just get to know the Lord, pray, walk in His peace. It’s as though he’s exhorting Job to earn God’s favor by doing these “righteous” things. “You need to really take to heart all you’ve heard about God, and then things will be better for you.” Work and God will give you His favor by taking away all that is causing him trouble.
God will bless you financially (vss. 24, 25). Sounds similar to some tele-evangelists that say if you’ll just send in your money to our ministry, God is going to give you a specific blessing; which normally is a huge return on having given. If Job would just “do” these things, he would be able to “declare a thing, and it will be established for you”. It sounds like bribe of sorts.
The context of Eliphaz’s statements, although the statements in and of themselves are not necessarily wrong or devious are solely based as doing something so he can get something, from the Lord. The final verse of this chapter has a powerful truth and encouragement for those who witness and pray for the lost.
“He will even deliver one who is not innocent; yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.” Just as the patriarch Jacob, who saw angels ascending descending steps into heave and then bringing back the answers; likewise our prayers and witness when sown in love and sincerity, will bear fruit. We may not see the harvest; yet there is FRUIT. Don’t give up standing in prayer and sharing your faith. There is coming a day of harvest!