Tuesday, January 2, 2024



 No 36 Eliphaz Continues 


I Have No Sympathetic Feelings for Eliphaz.
I have no sympathetic feelings for Eliphaz. A friend would not act this was to a friend. Eliphaz came to Job in the name of friendshipto comfort himbut only added more hurt to Job’s already heavy burden of hurt. Job does not deserve the insults Eliphaz hurls at him. Eliphaz throws it up to Job about the number of times Job helped other people in their troubles. Is Eliphaz doing this to encourage Job? No. Eliphaz is using Job’s past record of ministry to shame him in the present. Eliphaz is putting Job down. Slamming him. In effect, Eliphaz is saying, “You have helped so many people in the past with your teachings, your counsels and your comfort. So, now do it for yourself! Apply your teachings to your own self.”
Eliphaz Preaches a Faulty Religion
After reminding Job of his impressive ministry to others (when they needed help), Eliphaz adds, Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways? (Job 4:6). In other words, doesn't your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn't your life of integrity give you hope?
Our confidence and our hope is not based on the good life we live. We are to have reverence for God. But that is not the basis of our faith. That is not our confidence. We are to live a life of integrity. Job did. But that life is not the basis of our hope. Our hope is in God, and in His Son Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. For in Thee, O Lord, do I hope (Psa 38:15). We sing it that way“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”
This highlights our fourth trait of the last days.
Fourth Trait of the Last Days 
Those who have a faulty religion accuse others of having a faulty religion. So did Eliphaz accuse Job.
[The first, second and third traits were discussed in the last study (No 35). For a quick summary note the following: The First Trait of the Last Days is to have misshapen and misapprehensive views of God. To misunderstand God. Eliphaz did. The Second Trait of the Last Days is to call the people who are right―”wrong.” To call the ones who are good―”bad.” Eliphaz did. The Third Trait of the Last Days is to commend and praise the people of God for their reverence, integrity and piety (all the while believing they are a lie). Eliphaz did.]
And now this fourth trait.
After stabbing his friend Job in the back, so to speak, Eliphaz withdraws his dagger from one spot only to plunge it into a different spot in Job’s soul. His words are, Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? (Job 4:7, KJV). Let’s read this in several other translations (which serve as helpful paraphrases of Eliphaz’s words):

CSB Consider: Who has perished when he was innocent? Where have the honest been destroyed?

CEB Think! What innocent person has ever perished? When have those who do the right thing been destroyed?

CJB Think back: what innocent person has perished? Since when are the upright destroyed?

ERV Can you think of any innocent person who was ever destroyed? Do you know of any place where good people are punished?

EASY Think about this: People who are not guilty of sin do not suddenly die. God does not destroy people who do good things.

GNT Think back now. Name a single case where someone righteous met with disaster.

ICB Think about this now: A person who has not done wrong will not die. Honest people were never destroyed. 

TLB Stop and think! Have you ever known a truly good and innocent person who was punished? Experience teaches that it is those who sow sin and trouble who harvest the same.

NCV Remember that the innocent will not die; honest people will never be destroyed.

NLV Think now, who without guilt was ever destroyed?

NLT Stop and think! Do the innocent die? When have the upright been destroyed?

TLV Reflect now: Who, being innocent, ever perished? And where were the upright destroyed?

VOICE Take pause; scan your memory: Who ever died among the innocent? And when have the righteous ever met with destruction?

Rewards in This Life Today
Eliphaz subscribes to the popular theology of his day in regards to our rewards being given to us in this life.
         The innocent never perish. 
         The righteous are never cut off. 
        The wicked are punished in this life. 
And his obvious conclusion is―"Since you are being punished, Job, you must be wicked!" Eliphaz overlooks the truth that good and bad come alike to all. Jesus said, He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust (Matt 5:45).
You Have to be a Great Sinner
Eliphaz intends his question (who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?) to automatically be answered with, “No one. No innocent person was ever destroyed." The full implication of his premise is, "There are no exceptions, including you, Job.” The GNT above paraphrases it succinctly: “Think back now. Name a single case where someone righteous met with disaster.” Eliphaz’s logic follows, “Since you have been met with disaster, you cannot be righteous.” This is another way of saying, “Suffering equals sin.” Therefore, it follows, “Righteousness equals prosperity.”
Job was prosperous at one time. Then it was all taken away. Therefore, it was because Job was no longer righteous. Eliphaz is saying, "All this bad stuff has happened to you, Job, because of your great sin, which, obviously, you are hiding from the world and from your own self.”
Eliphaz Continues His Rant
It began in Chapter 4 and continues through Chapter 5. We are just now approaching the halfway mark. In no way is Eliphaz going to lessen his resolve to show Job the errors of his ways and set him straight. Eliphaz will now introduce us to the fifth trait of the last dayshow his day informs us of our day―how his thinking highlights the thinking our day.
Fifth Trait of the Last Days
Eliphaz will appeal to the highest authority in the land―Eliphaz himself. His own views. His own experiences. Eliphaz’s authority is Eliphaz. His will be the final word. Even as I have seen, Eliphaz says (Job 4:8). This fifth trait of the last days is to assert one’s self as the final authority in all matters of religion―to appoint oneself as the spokesperson and voice of God Himself. And Eliphaz has no qualms about doing so. Let’s see how this develops:

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

Eliphaz Invokes His Authority
Eliphaz reveals a secret vision which came to him in the night when most people are sound asleep. In this vision a voice whispered to him, Eliphaz, can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his maker? (Job 4:17). A spirit comes to him and stands in front of him. Eliphaz doesn’t name the image standing before him, but he wants to leave the impression with Job that it was God. Eliphaz infers God is speaking to him. And thuswhen he, Eliphaz, speaks, he is simply relaying God's messages. Eliphaz is only speaking God’s voice in this matter. He is saying what God wants said. And who can argue with God?
First, let's ask the question: Did God say this? Would God say this? The answer to both questions is "No." It is true that a man (a mortal) can never be MORE righteous than God. But he can be righteous in God. God has already clarified this issue when He said that Job was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil (Job 1:1). Can a man (a mortal) be just before God?  Yes.The just shall live by his faith (Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38). Not only can he be, but must he be. 
A man (a mortal) can never be MORE pure than his Maker. But can a man be pure in his Maker? It is God’s expectation of man. Purity is requisite. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (Matt 5:8). And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (1 John 3:3). Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:25-27).
The words Eliphaz would have us believe came from God did not come from God. Eliphaz had a private, and very personal, vision. This vision becomes the yardstick by which he judges the religion of others. Secret visions and whispered voices that bring private messages attributed to God should be immediately suspect. Not that God doesn’t use this methodologyjust that these methods must agree with His written Word.

            To the law and to the testimony:
            if they speak not according to this word,
            it is because there is no light in them
(Isa 8:20).

Sixth Trait of the Last Days
Whereas Eliphaz was purporting his personal views as the voice of God, the last days will witness this on a larger―even worldwide scale. Spiritualism will purport to be as the presence and voice of God. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1). And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Rev 16:13,14).
We must be careful when someone appeals to a dream or vision they have had. Where can you go when something says, “I’ve had my own vision on this subject.” It is usually the end of the discussion.
Once God has spoken (and Eliphaz claims to be speaking for God), who can argue? Any time a letter or conversation begins with the sentence, “God has spoken to me,” there is no room for discussion. Secret visions and whispered voices that bring private messages attributed to God should immediately be suspect.
Our responsibility is to test the spirits. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1).

When Eliphaz says, "I heard a hushed voice say…" we have no way to verify this was a genuine revelation to Eliphaz from God. Apparently, Eliphaz believed in its validity. But this is not the test of a prophet and his vision. The other tests are not verifiable from this passage. The Bible nowhere suggests Eliphaz possessed the prophetic gift.

So many Eliphazes presently speak in our day, and, certainly, many more of them shall speak as the voice of God in the last days. I want my faith to be based firmly and securely upon the Word of God―a Thus saith the Lord―and an It is written. Don't you?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359 or use the comments via Google section below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No 48 Job's Ladder Satan's Lies  One of Satan’s many lies (installed in the Garden of Eden) is that God blesses you when you are goo...