Eliphaz the Temanite tries to answer Job.
Job 4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, 4:2 If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? [Will you listen to us?] but who can withhold himself from speaking?
Eliphaz said that he [Job] has taught and helped many and now that you have trials you forget your own councils and faint away.
4:3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. 4:4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees. 4:5 But now it [this trial] is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.
With that truthful opening, Eliphaz then begins to reason that since the wicked will be ultimately cut off; that means that ALL suffering [and sickness] is because of some wickedness.
Jesus Christ gave the answer to these questions about sickness or suffering.
John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Eliphaz argues that Job must have sinned to suffer so, and that the God who judges angels is judging Job for his sin.
Job 4:6 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? 4:7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
4:9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. 4:10 The roaring of the lion [mighty man , and the voice of the fierce lion [powerful man], and the teeth of the young lions [strong young men], are broken. 4:11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey [inability to catch prey], and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad.
The greatness of God
4:12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. 4:13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, 4:14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
4:15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: 4:16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his [fallen] angels he charged with folly: 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay [God will not be concerned with fleshly men] , whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? 4:20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. 4:21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.
Job 5:1 Call now, if there be any that will answer [no one can defend against God] thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn? 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
5:3 I have seen the foolish taking root [prospering]: but suddenly I [God] cursed his habitation. 5:4 His [the wicked man’s] children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them. 5:5 Whose [the wicked man’s] harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance.
He argues that man’s afflictions do not come from nothing, but from his own folly and sin.
5:6 Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Eliphaz advises Job to repent of his sin and seek out God who has wrought such correction.
5:8 I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: 5:9 Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: 5:10 Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: 5:11 To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety.
Job is told not to be crafty or to think that he can outwit God and hide his sins
5:12 He [God] disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. 5:13 He taketh the [worldly] wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward [stubborn, herd hearted] is carried headlong [to destruction]. 5:14 They meet with darkness in the day time, and grope in the noonday as in the night.
Iniquity is stopped by the humility before God of those who do not trust in physical riches.
5:15 But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their [hunger] mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. 5:16 So the poor [humble in spirit] hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.
Happy is the man who responds positively to God’s correction, for God will forgive and restore the sincerely repentant.
The blessings of Godliness
Here Eliphaz misses the point that such blessing are given and taken by God according to God’s own will and purposes and not necessarily according to a person’s righteousness.
In this world the godly often experience many trials as God molds us into the people he wants us to be for eternity. Yet if we remain faithful to God and zealous to live by every Word of God in blessings and trials; we shall inherit an eternal life.
5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 5:18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
5:19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. 5:20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. 5:21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
5:22 At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. 5:23 For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.
5:24 And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle [life] shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin. 5:25 Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth. 5:26 Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.
5:27 Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.
Job Answers Eliphaz
Job speaks of his grief and complains that his friend adds to his sorrows instead of consoling him
Job 6:1 But Job answered and said, 6:2 Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! 6:3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up. 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
Would I complain without reason? Asks Job.
6:5 Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder? 6:6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
I cannot eat for my sorrows, and must fast.
6:7 The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
Here Job makes a mistake common even today! Many people when very ill, have said “let me die”. That is a misguided statement, since we really do NOT want to die. What we really want is relief from our trials and suffering! We say that life in such suffering is not worth living, but what we really want is healing! We want deliverance from sorrows into a good life well worth living!
6:8 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! 6:9 Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! 6:10 Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
Christ had not yet come the first time in the flesh to reveal a good understanding of human salvation and Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of men. Therefore Job argues from the disadvantage of not knowing these spiritual things which were hidden by God until Christ came in the flesh.
Job asks “What is the hope of man except to die and end his sufferings.”
6:11 What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? 6:12 Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass? 6:13 Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?
Job seeks pity from his friends.
6:14 To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.
Job claims his friends are deceitful in challenging his righteousness and that their accusations will melt away like the snow.
6:15 My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away; 6:16 Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: 6:17 What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place. 6:18 The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.
Job claims that his friends are like armies who came to take the spoil and were disappointed that nothing was there.
6:19 The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them. 6:20 They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.
Job says that in his plenty his friends took advantage of his generosity; and now that he is afflicted they are upset over the loss of the gifts that Job had given them in the past and are afraid that they will be asked to support Job.
6:21 For now ye are nothing [no help]; ye see my casting down, and are afraid [that Job will ask gifts and alms from them].
Job declares that he wants nothing from them except the truth, so that he may repent of any error.
6:22 Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance? 6:23 Or, Deliver me from the enemy’s hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty? 6:24 Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.
Yet, Job declares that the words of his friend are not true and are adding to his affliction by making false accusations.
6:25 How forcible [powerful] are right words! but what doth your [false] arguing reprove? 6:26 Do ye imagine to reprove [my] words, and the [with the] speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?
Job says: yes, you destroy with false words and dig a grave for me.
6:27 Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.
Job said, look at me and tell me if I lie.
6:28 Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie. 6:29 Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it. 6:30 Is there iniquity in my tongue [I speak the truth] ? cannot my taste discern [what is right and wrong] perverse things?
Job 7:1 Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling? 7:2 As a servant earnestly desireth the [to rest in the shade] shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work: 7:3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.
7:4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
7:5 My flesh is clothed with worms [maggots eating the dead flesh of his sores] and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome. 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
Job, without understanding the hope of salvation, sees that his days are passed in suffering and his life has no purpose and will end like all other lives end, ending forever in the grave.
This is about the vanity of physical life without God, like the book of Ecclesiastes.
7:7 O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good. 7:8 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. 7:9 As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.
Job will not hold his peace since he believes that he has no hope beyond the grave.
7:10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. 7:11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
There is no escape from suffering, for when Job is comforted in sleep he is terrorized by dreams.
7:12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me? 7:13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaints; 7:14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions: 7:15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.
Job loathes his life of suffering not realizing that God is perfecting him through his suffering.
7:16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
Why is God testing and trying people every moment?
7:17 What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? 7:18 And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?
Job admits that he must have sinned and asks God’s pardon and the lifting of his sorrows before he finds death.
7:19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone [make me to suffer] till I swallow down my spittle? 7:20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? 7:21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.
The answers to all these questions of why God allows suffering and allows even the righteous to suffer, are found in the spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles.
Correction and trials are for our GOOD, so that we may turn to the Eternal God and be saved. It is often by affliction of the flesh that the spirit can be saved. Therefore do not despise the correction of the LORD who is working to save us like he saved Job.
Do not lose heart and give up; because our trials are only for a very short time compared to eternity and they are tools that Almighty God the Master Potter uses to perfect us.
Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 12:8 But if ye be without [If we refuse to be corrected to learn to obey God our Father, we are not the sons of God] chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
We are not legitimate sons if we will not accept the guidance, instruction and correction of God our Father. To be legitimate sons of God the Father, we must accept and keep every Word of God our Father, and act with repentance upon his correction.
12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live [receive eternal life]? 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he, [God corrects us for our advantage, not for his own pleasure.] for our profit that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Of course our correction will be grievous and in the flesh we often suffer greatly, but it will bring us to God and his holiness and his gift of eternal life
12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby