In our study of Job chapter five, we will see how experience can bring knowledge but wisdom can only come from God. In chapter 4, we saw that Eliphaz spoke to Job as the voice of experience concerning his current problems. Now, we will see that experience and knowledge have their limits when it comes to the things of God while true understanding of the things of God (wisdom) is only available through the power of God.
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'Call if you will, but who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn?'
Eliphaz continues to speak as he asks Job which saint or angel he will appeal to for help. This speaks about the pagan practice of praying to a long list of gods concerning a particular problem in hopes of finding the one that had the ability to help. As we see here, this pagan practice was even brought into the family of God and is even among people that call themselves Christians today. With the questions, Eliphaz implies that there is not an angel that can help Job and he was right about that point.
'Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple. I myself have seen a fool taking root, but suddenly his house was cursed. His children are far from safety, crushed in court without a defender. The hungry consume his harvest, taking it even from among thorns, and the thirsty pant after his wealth.'
The Hebrew word that is translated as "resentment" here, is ka' ac which means anger and the word translated as envy is qin' ah which basically means passion. The term fool is used to describe someone that ignores the things of God and Eliphaz is basically telling him that he has let his emotions get between him and God. He goes on to explain that fools (those who ignore the things of God) are eventually judged (cursed). We are reminded of the fact that Eliphaz believed that Job was hiding a "secret sin" and, in his experience, that was the basis of God's current curse upon Job. Eliphaz had some understanding but he failed to realize that experience and knowledge have their limits when it comes to the things of God.
'For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.'
Eliphaz continues by explaining that the troubles of this life are not a normal part of creation and, therefore, he is reminding Job that it is not the way that God planned things. The Hebrew word that is translated as "born" is "yalad" and it speaks of a midwife (a person that helps to bring about the birth of a child). He goes on to say that, like a midwife, man brings about trouble as surely as sparks from a fire rise into the air. Once again, Eliphaz is basically saying that Job has brought all of his trouble on himself through his "hidden sin".
'But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.'
Once again, Eliphaz gives Job good advice as he tells him to cry out to the Lord but we can imagine how Job felt as he was continually accused of hiding his sin.
'He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.'
Eliphaz continues with what appears to be a hymn of praise to God but it also contains the accusation and a hint about the identity of Job's "hidden sin". Basically he is saying that Job's sin is pride and that, if he would simply humble himself and repent, then, God would show him mercy. Have you ever had someone try to use prayer and praise as a weapon to attack you? Their words may seem like they are full of wisdom and the Spirit when, in fact, they are designed to beat you down. That is usually what the "religious" people will do to someone that they think is not living up to their standard of holiness.
'Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.'
Eliphaz continues to lecture Job by pointing out some truths about the fact that God disciplines His people. While this is true, it does not mean that every time something bad happens to someone it is because of God disciplining someone for their sin. As in the case of Job, God allows some things to happen because He knows that it will grow us in our faith and draw us closer to Him.
'For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you. In famine he will deliver you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword. You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes. You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the wild animals. For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you. You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing. You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth. You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season.'
Eliphaz describes the fact that you are blessed when you place your hope in God and trust in Him. We notice that everything that Eliphaz says is true but it still does not apply to Job's situation. This reminds me of the fact that we can choose to quote Bible passages to people that are hurting or we can listen to them and show them compassion. You can almost feel the friendship between Eliphaz and Job dying as he continues lecturing Job.
'We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.'
Eliphaz completes his speech by stating that the things he has said are all true based on his experience. He wraps it up with his conclusion that Job has hidden sin and must repent.