Job 14:18

 

Job is speaking to God and his friends are also hearing what Job says. Job says in Job 14:18-22, “And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place.[19] The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man.[20] Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.[21] His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.[22] But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.” Once again Job is talking about all that he has suffered. Since God does everything, and God is involved in everything, and nothing happens unless God allows it to happen, Job knows that his sufferings come from God. In verses 18 Job points out that God can make a mountain fall down if God wants to. God also brings floods that wash away part of the earth. And just as God can do these upheavals in the natural world, God can uproot any person’s life whenever God so chooses. As Job says in verse 19 that God “destroyest the hope of man.” People hope that certain things will work out in their lives, but God just might decide that no, things are not going to work out. The question will be, just as it was for Job, will you still be able to believe in Him and trust in Him no matter what is your lot in life?

 

In verse 20 Job says that God prevails against man. Of course, we cannot fight God and win. That is one of the reasons that we need a Savior. The Savior Jesus is our go-between. The Savior Jesus gives us peace with God. But God is still God. Hopefully, we will get saved and become servants of the Lord Jesus in the few years that we have left on the earth. But God will decide when it is time for us to leave. God will decide our “passing.” That is the word used in verse 20. And then Job uses in verse 20 two other phrases to describe death. Job says that when God brings death to a man that God “changest his countenance, and sendest him away.” Sending someone away is easily understood. When someone dies, God sends them away from their loved ones, away from this world, and into the next life. If they know Jesus as Savior, they will be sent away from this world and into a much better place called heaven. The phrase “thou changest his countenance” simply means that God will change the person when they die. For those who are the children of God, it will be a wonderful change. We will be changed from weakness to power, and from dishonor to glory. This mortal must put on immortality, as it says ion First Corinthians chapter 15.

 

But until we die, Job gives a description of life on this earth as Job was experiencing it: “But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.” Pain for the body, and sorrow and mourning for the soul: life can be tough in every way imaginable. Thank God that we can have victory over this world and over this life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Bible says in Job 15:1-10, “Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,[2] Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?[3] Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?[4] Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.[5] For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.[6] Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.[7] Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?[8] Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?[9] What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?[10] With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father.” This is the second time that Eliphaz speaks, and he just continues with his attacks on Job. Eliphaz attacks Job for the very things that Eliphaz himself is guilty of. Look at all the negative things that Eliphaz says against Job in these verses. In verses two Eliphaz says that Job has “vain knowledge” and that Job is full of the “east wind.” In verse three Eliphaz says that Job has “unprofitable talk” and that Job’s words can “do no good.” In verse four Eliphaz says that Job’s words are so bad that if anyone listens to Job, they will be driven away from God. Eliphaz said, “thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.” In verse 5 Eliphaz says, “thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity.” In other words he is saying that Job’s words are evil. And Eliphaz also says in verse five that Job has “the tongue of the crafty,” meaning that Job’s words are deceitful. In verse six, the real reason that Eliphaz says that Job is condemning himself and witnessing against himself is because Eliphaz disagrees with Job, and in Eliphaz’s mind he himself could not possibly be wrong. In verses 7 through 10 Eliphaz is giving out more insults, emphasizing that Job does not know what he is talking about. Anyone that has wisdom would agree with Eliphaz, at least that is what Eliphaz is saying in verse 10: “With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men.

 

Eliphaz continues speaking and says in Job 15:11-13, “Are the consolations of God small with thee? Is there any secret thing with thee? [12] Why doth thine heart carry thee away? And what do thy eyes wink at? [13] That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?” The basic difference between Job and his “friends” is this: they think that Job must have done something bad to deserve all the sorrows that came to him, but Job knows that even though he is a sinner that he did not deserve these sorrows and he does not know why God allowed all these things to happen to him. In verses 11 through 13 Eliphaz seems to be expressing his frustration that Job continues to defend himself and Job refuses to agree with the three “friends.” As Eliphaz says in verses 13: how can Job turn “against God” and continue to let “such words” go out of his mouth?

 

Eliphaz continues speaking and says in Job 15:14-20, “What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?[15] Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.[16] How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?[17] I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare;[18] Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it:[19] Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.[20] The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.” Here Eliphaz is saying that we know that everyone is a sinner, and therefore, Job must be deserving of what happened to him. That is very poor logic, and is not true. If something bad happens to you, it does not mean that you deserved it. Bad things happen to good people. Life has its sorrows for everyone. Even Jesus was called “a man of sorrows and well-aquainted with grief.”

 

Eliphaz also says in Job 15:21-35, “A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.[22] He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.[23] He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.
[24] Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.[25] For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty.[26] He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:[27] Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.[28] And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps.[29] He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth.[30] He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away.[31] Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.[32] It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.[33] He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.[34] For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.[35] They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit
.” Once agin Eliphaz is talking about how much human beings suffer when they are great sinners. That is the law of consequences. That is why Eliphaz mentions “his recompence” in verse 31. And of course, Eliphaz continues to conclude that since Job has been having great sufferings, it must be because of Job’s great sins against Job. Notice that Eliphaz says in verse 25, “For he stretcheth out his hand against God.Eliphaz is making the false accusation that Job is against God. The things that Eliphaz lists as the natural result for a sinner are among the bad things that happened to Job. For example, in verse 29 Eliphaz says, “He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue…” That is exactly what happened to Job. He lost all of his wealth. Job’s “friends” did not spare any harsh words for him. In verse 34 Eliphaz in effect called Job a hypocrite and said, “For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate…

 

Job responds to all this criticism and condemnation from Eliphaz, and Job says in Job 16:1-5, “Then Job answered and said,[2] I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.[3] Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?[4] I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.[5] But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.” Even though Job did not know why the sufferings had come upon him, Job had more wisdom in his little finger than his “friends” had in their entire bodies. Supposedly the three “friends” came to Job to give him advice after all that fell upon Job. Job’s conclusion about the three of them is stated very clearly in verse 2: “miserable comforters are ye all.” We all need to be comforted at times because life can be very hard, and we all are going to suffer something. We need comfort so much in our human condition that the Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. Once we learn the comfort that comes from putting our faith in Jesus, we should be able to communicate that comfort to others. It says in Second Corinthians 1:4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;[4] Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.[5] For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

 

In verse 4 Job tells his “friends” that if the tables were turned and they were the ones suffering, Job could have done exactly what they were doing: Job could have condemned them. Job said, “I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.” But Job said that he would not do that. Job would not condemn them if they were down. Job said in verse 5, “But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.” That is exactly how words should be used. We should use our words to build people up and not to knock them down. One of the benefits of becoming a Christian and following Jesus is that the Lord will teach you to start using your mouth and your words correctly.   

 

 

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Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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