All of the things that Eliphaz is saying are the types of things that Christians say when things are going fine for them. And then it is easy for them to think that it is always going to be that way for all Christians. It is true that if things are going good for you, it is God who has done that in your life at that time. Everything was going wonderful for Job for years, but then the time of trouble came. It was God’s will that Job suffered all of the terrible troubles. The Bible says in Job 5:19-27 with Eliphaz speaking, “He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin. Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth. Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season. Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.” Eliphaz said in verse twenty that God will deliver us from “from the power of the sword.” Job’s servants were not delivered from the power of the sword. They were killed by the Sabeans and the Chaldeans. In verse 22 Eliphaz said, “At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh.” But that is not what Job experienced either. All of Job’s crops were destroyed and his animals were killed. In verse 25 Eliphaz said, “thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.” But all of Job’s offspring were killed.
God can deliver you from the terrible things that can happen in life, and often He does. But there came a time in Job’s life when he was not delivered. Eliphaz had no sympathy or understanding for Job’s situation.
The words of Eliphaz only increased Job’s suffering. In the first part of Job chapter six, Job states once again where he is now in his life in a place of great suffering, and Job’s request to the Lord is that God would end Job’s life. It is important to notice that Job had no plans to end his own life. Job wanted to die, but Job knew that God must do it: Job was not going to do it by his own hand. God gives life and only God should take it, and this applies to your own life too. Job said in Job 6:1-13, “But Job answered and said, Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up. 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. Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder? Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! 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. What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?” Job made an interesting phrase in verse 10. Job said, “I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.” Job understood the importance of the Word of God. Job is saying that he did everything that he was supposed to do as a believer, and the number one thing as far as Job was concerned was giving out the Word of God and speaking forth the Word of God. Notice that Job said, “I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.” Some Christians are secret Christians: they make an effort not to speak what they believe. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Allow (let) your light to shine, and you will be serving the Lord. Do not purposefully hide your light. Job said, “I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.” And so Job is thinking that he did everything he could to serve the Lord faithfully, and now that he has suffered all these things, and therefore maybe now it is just time to leave the earth. Job wants to leave the earth and leave this life because Job thinks that is the only way to get rid of his sufferings. But Job knows that only God can decide when Job’s life should end.
But now Job must deal with these supposed friends who have come to belittle him and accuse him. Job says in Job 6:14-21, “To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty. My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away; Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place. The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish. The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them. They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed. For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.” In verse 14 Job tells his “friends” that when you hear that someone has been afflicted, you should have pity and sympathy for them. That should always be the case. The basic attitude of Eliphaz was: Job must have deserved what happened to him. If we have the love of God motivating us, we should always feel compassion for those who suffer. If we do not understand that truth, then we are deceived by selfish human nature. In verse 15 referring to the lack of sympathy for him, Job said “My brethren have dealt deceitfully.”
Notice what Job said about his friends in verse 17: “What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.” Job compared them to snow and ice that melt when it gets warm. In other words, they cannot take the heat. As long as things are going well, they think that they have the love of God shining down upon them. But they lose their cool and they lose their perspective when things go wrong. Sometimes almost everything can go wrong in a believer’s life, and every believer must remember that sometimes God allows such things simply because it is His will. We must have faith the God knows better than we do. We must have faith that eventually we will also know why. We might have to wait until the judgment to find out, but God will eventually show us. Things will come full circle. That is true for us and it is also true for others.
Job understood his “friends” very well. He said to them in verse 21, “For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.” They came to “nothing” because their advice and their council was of no value. They thought they were so smart, but they did not know. They saw what happened to Job: they saw his “casting down.” One of the things that motivated Eliphaz and the others was fear. They were probably afraid that if they gave acknowledgement to the idea that Job did nothing to deserve his sorrows, that maybe they would eventually suffer such sorrows too. In reality that depends upon the will of God. They taught the gospel of prosperity. They taught that if you always do what the Lord wants you to do, that you will always benefit in this life. But as Job’s life shows, that is not always true. Jesus constantly warned His disciples that they would suffer persecutions and tribulations if they followed Him.
Job said in Job 6:22-30, “Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance? Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty? Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend. Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie. Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it. Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?” In verses twenty-two and twenty-three Job is reminding his friends that he did not ask for their help. In other words he is telling them to mind their own business. That was their first mistake. That mistake led to other mistakes by them, such as what they said to Job. They were not wise. They did not understand the situation. They could have helped, if they had said the right words. That is Job’s point in the first part of verse 25: “How forcible are right words!” There is great power in saying just the right words for a situation. And so that is something that we should often pray for: the wisdom form God to know what to say and to whom. Job’s friends had a lot to say, but Job described their words in verse 26 as “wind.” Job told them in verse 28 that if they had wisdom, they would have known that Job was telling the truth. Job knows that he is speaking according to righteousness, so why cannot they do the same thing? I am not a genius, and I have come to understand that Jesus Christ is Lord. If you cannot understand it too, then something is really wrong with you.
Everything that Job says in chapter seven is a description of his suffering and the pain that Job now must endure. Job says in Job 7:1-14, “Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling? As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work: So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me. 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. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope. O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good. The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. 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. Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me? When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions.” In verse 1 Job says, “Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth?” In other words Job is saying that each person has a limited time on this earth. Job is thinking that he had his time, and now after all that he had lost, it is the time for it all to end for Job. And starting in verse two Job talks about death again. Job is thinking a lot about death because that is the only thing left for him to suffer. In verse two Job said, “a servant earnestly desireth the shadow.” In other words a servant looks for some kind of relief from his hard work in the hot sun. Death would bring relief to Job from his sufferings. Also, “an hireling looketh for the reward of his work.” Job is saying that death would give him the chance to go to his reward. Job was not being rewarded now: he was only suffering.
Job just wants to get away from his sufferings, and death would do that for him. That is why he says in verse 9, “so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.”
The final statement that Job makes is that he was hoping to find some escape in sleep. But when he went to sleep, he had nightmares, and so sleep did not help. If you know Jesus as your Savior, one day you will close your eyes and wake up in heaven. What a day that will be! All believers can look forward to that day. That is the day that Job was hoping for: true rest. You can know true rest if you trust in Jesus Christ and rest in Him.
Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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