Tuesday, February 6, 2024

 (No 41) Eliphaz’s Second Sermon―“More Graceless Words to a Grieving Man

Eliphaz’s sermon (of if he was writing a book) could easily have been entitled “More Graceless Words to a Grieving Man.” The words are not necessarily any different. It’s just that the fire inside grows hotter.
The words of Eliphaz (paraphrased) are in quotations throughout.
Job 15:1  Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said, 

Job 15:2  Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? "A truly wise man does not utter stupid things. A truly wise man does not spew out hot air."

Job 15:3  Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can   do no good? "A truly wise man does not argue using worthless words―words that serve no good purpose. A truly wise man does not waste his time winning arguments that accomplish nothing."

Job 15:4  Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God. “You no longer pray to Him―you do not fear God anymore."

Job 15:5  For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty. 

Job 15:6  Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee. "Job, you have a reputation for being a wise man. Yet, here you are, uttering stupid stuff, spewing out hot air, bubbling forth worthless words―all for nothing. Everything you say does not change the fact that you are wrong before God, and He is revealing the truth about you. I am not the one charging you with wrong―God is the One doing that. And, in fact, it is you who is condemning yourself, not me. Your own mouth, your own lips, your own words condemn you. You are so hung up on yourself that you have forgotten Who God is to you. You say you pray to God, yet it is to yourself, that you give respect and adoration. You destroy the whole concept of reverence before God! You know nothing about reverence! Your wickedness is evident by what you say. You are condemned by every word you speak. Do you even listen to the voice of God anymore?"

Job 15:7  Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills? 

Job 15:8  Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself? "Are you older than the hills? Are you an adviser to God Himself? 


Job 15:9  What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us? 

Job 15:10 With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father. "What do you know that we don’t know? Job, you think you are something! You think you are the wisest man who ever lived. You spout out that you know all the secrets of God. You act as if we, who are much older than you, are stupid imbeciles. You think we, who are older than even your father, are ignorant (have learned nothing) for all the time we have lived on earth."
Job 15:11 Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee? 

Job 15:12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at, 

Job 15:13 That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth? "Are you not concerned that God listens to all the words you spew forth? Don’t you know how to keep your mouth shut before God? Your pride has lifted you up so high you think you cannot fall! You have turned away from God to your own self." 


Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? 

Job 15:15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. 

Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water? 


Job 15:17 I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare; 

Job 15:18 Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it: 

Job 15:19 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them. "Let me tell you, Job, what I know―what I have seen. And what I know and have seen is the same thing our fathers from the beginning of time, have known and seen and have acknowledged, held and cherished as truth. This knowledge comes from the days when man walked directly with God, and received knowledge directly from His hand. Here is the truth held from time immemorial: the wicked never prosper."


Eliphaz Describes the Wicked

Job 15:20 The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor. "A wicked man has pain all the days of his life."

Job 15:21 A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon   him. "Fear and dread rings in his ears every day of his life. If it looks like he is prospering, it’s only an illusion―a mirage, because marauders will certainly come and take it all away from him."

Job 15:22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword. "He knows trouble lurks at his every step.He never has a moment of security."

Job 15:23 He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day  of darkness is ready at his hand. "He is always famished for lack of food. He can never find it. He knows at any day he will die―he cannot take a step further. His lights will go out and make for him a day of darkness (death and the grave)."

Job 15:24 Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as  a king ready to the battle. "The troubled man is always afraid. He is always having to fight his way through life to keep the meager crumbs he does possess."

Job 15:25 For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty. "In his anger, he turns against God, and put himself ahead of God. He blames God for his troubles―not his own self."

Job 15:26 He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers: "He runs stubbornly, aggressively, headlong, headstrong, defiantly with his outstretched head proudly held high as he rushes to attack God with his thick, studded shield."


Job 15:27 Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks. 

Job 15:28 And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps. "He has to dwell in shambles where no reasonable man would dwell."

Job 15:29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth. "The wicked man is never rich―he never prospers―his perceived wealth never lasts."

Job 15:30 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. "The wicked man lives in darkness and ignorance, until, poof! he finally is blown away by the wind."

Job 15:31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence. "The wicked man is deceived, and receives nothing for all his labor."


Job 15:32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green. "He will die prematurely―earlier than what normally would be expected for his age. He never had the time to grow up and become a decent human being."

Job 15:33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive. "He falls to the ground prematurely and quite unripe. His flower sheds too early."

Job 15:34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume  the tabernacles of bribery. "He is a hypocrite and associates with people like himself―fellow hypocrites. They all shall be destroyed."

Job 15:35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit. "They―the hypocrites―are nothing but trouble wherever they are―worthlessness follows them wherever they go. They never learn, they never change, and they never become profitable people."


Hey, Eliphaz, You're Repeating Yourself 
In some instances, there is repetition of thought (if not of words). Eliphaz makes statements in Chapter 15 similar to his first speech in Chapter 4. For instance:
                Verse 15:14 sounds a lot like 4:17.
                What is man, that he should be clean?
                and he which is born of a woman, 
                that he should be righteous? (15:14)                    
                Shall mortal man be more just than God? 
                shall a man be more pure than his maker?  (4:17)
And 15:15 is nearly identical to 4:18.
                Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints (15:15)            
                Behold, he put no trust in his servants (4:18)

Hey, Eliphaz, You're Reasoning is Faulty
Here is an example where the observations made by Eliphaz do not match the realities of life: He claimed that the wicked live in torment and never prosper.
Eliphaz lived in Teman of Edom. And maybe things were different there. But nothing in Teman matches what I see in real life around me and in my world today.  I find the very opposite of how Eliphaz described the fate of the wicked. I see the opposite. I hear it. In my world today, it is the wicked who seem to prosper. Many of the wicked, who have gained their wealth ill-gottenly, live in the most elegant of homes, and live the most extravagant of lives. Everything they touch seems to turn into more gold (ill-gottenly). The wicked do not live in torment. Many live a life of ease and luxurywanting nothing.
The description Eliphaz makes of their fate does not match the realities of life. A person does not have to be educated to see the error in this reasoning (though he is claiming it to be the truth of all time).

Here is a second, albeit, even more specific example of inconsistent reasoningnotice verse 27: Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks. If he is so famished, as he described in verse 23, how can he be so opulent in verse 27?

Hey, Eliphaz, Aren't You Being Hypocritical?
Prov 11:9 says, An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour. Certainly, Eliphaz was out to destroy his neighbor. In how many more different words and in how many more different ways, could Eliphaz call Job a worthless man? A sham? A fraud? A hypocrite? He lays his friend Job low in the dirt. No remorse―no compassion whatsoever. Not in a single instance does he show kindness. Yet he is quick to condemn.
Hey, Eliphaz, Aren't You Being Judgmental?
Eliphaz sets himself up as Job’s judge as if he can read Job’s inmost thoughts and determine the purity of Job’s motives and actions. This emboldens him to say things like, “You no longer pray to Him―you do not fear God anymore"(verse 4). Only God can read the heart. 
Our judgments of others often reflect what is found in ourselves (although we may not see it). Sometimes we make judgments against other because we see the same thing within ourselves. Either way, Jesus said, Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matt 7:1).


Hey, Eliphaz, Job Does Know Something You Don't

Eliphas taunted Job when saying, What do you know that we don’t know? (verse 9).
Here’s what Job did know: 
                1) Job knew God!
                2) Job did place His trust in God!
                3) Job knew he was not the great sinner Eliphaz described him to be. 
                4) Job was innocent before God!
                5) Job was righteous!                                        
                6) Job knew he was going to go right on loving God no matter what!
Eliphaz asserted that God had offered Job comfort, and beleaguered him for rejecting that comfort. Job was, in fact, wanting that comfort from God. Job wanted comfort just by
1) hearing God’s voice again in his ears . . .
2) feeling God’s presence again in his life . . .
3) knowing from God why all this stuff had happened to him . . .
Job wanted to hear that from God Himself. Is not this is the cry of millions? Is not this is the cry of nations? And sometimes, is this not the cry of our own heart? 

Each of us should know in every instance of our lives where we stand with God. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is that we might know. The Holy Spirit enables and empowers us to be in and remain in right standing with Him.

I want daily to have that experience that Job had. 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. (You must be signed in to Google to do so).

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