Job02

SMALL COMFORT

In all of our ordeals isn’t it great to have friends who are understanding and comforting? Oh but Job didn’t get to keep friends like that. Have you ever noticed how our spiritual enemy can use people to provoke us a little closer to falling? You can’t exchange words with a tailgater without using hand signals. I hope that was a peace sign you were just flashing! And if you are near enough to converse, there really is no audience anyway. Some can only hear their own words. Do they really hear what they are saying though?

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking? Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees. But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled. Job 4:1-5

Eliphaz is the friend who asks, “Are you going to be offended if we say something? I can’t stop my mouth, so here it comes. You tell everyone else how to handle their problems, but you can’t take it yourself.” Eliphaz acknowledges that Job has been encouragement to others even while he is about to try to drag Job down instead of encouraging him.

Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken. The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad. Job 4:6-11

Job had been the example of encouragement, not looking for sin in his suffering neighbors. The example doesn’t seem to rub off on this friend though. There is a church that pickets military funerals to tell everyone that this is God’s punishment for our sins. Do they know what the bible says about “railers”?

Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: 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, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Job 4:12-17

Eliphaz is now relating a dream or a vision that he may be claiming as a message from God. He was moved to fear by this visitation. It is interesting that so many angelic appearances have the spirit telling the witness to “fear not”. This spirit allows the fear to go on without comforting the witness. This spirit portrays God as holding man in scorn.

Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom. Job 4:18-21

David has told us that we are created lower than angels, but expect a much higher calling to come. I think this spirit is the chief of the angels who were charged with folly. He is the voice that claims that we are unworthy of salvation. That observation is true, but irrelevant in the face of grace. Mortal man will not be more pure than his maker, but he will be a joint heir with him. The Lord rebuke thee, Satan!

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