“Call out now; Is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn? For wrath kills a foolish man, And envy slays a foolish one. Job 5:2 NKJV
Eliphaz warned Job against looking to the wrong sources for help and deliverance. Only a fool takes an angry posture with God. A covetous heart leads to a root of bitterness. It can darken a spirit. Learning to be content with God’s provision is a great blessing.
Eliphaz gave Job some great advice. It was applicable in the age when Job lived. It is applicable to us today.
People turned to false gods and idols for help in biblical times. Some relied on wealth and power to deliver them from trials and troubles. Some used lavish lifestyles and sinful behaviors to self-medicate and soothe their pain.
People are turning to false religions and idolatrous philosophies for help today. Some look to wealth and power to deliver them from hardship and distress. Far too many people use lavish lifestyles and sinful behaviors to self-medicate today.
Nimrod the man described as a mighty hunter before the Lord appears to have harbored resentment against God. He led his people to build the tower of Babel in order to wage war against God. That is where all false religion originated.
One reason for unbelief in God is bias against the Lord. People do not believe in God because they do not want to believe in Him. Some harbor resentment against the Lord. Unbelief spreads like cancer and we find ourselves living in an age of unbelief.
Why did Eliphaz say envy slays a foolish one? Perhaps he was concerned Job would envy men who were not suffering as he was. Envy led to loss of life in biblical times. It resulted in bitterness and resentment as well.
I have not suffered the way Job did. I have had my share of hardship and heartache. We all have. That is the way life is. None of us escapes without trials and troubles.
I have found myself coveting the way other people live. I have found myself coveting what other people have. No good has ever come from it. It only led to disappointment and heartache. It caused me to become bitter and resentful.
Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed, there is no other Rock; I know not one.’” Isaiah 44:8
There is only one God. Jesus is the Lord of heaven and earth. He wants you to be a witness of His mercy, grace and love. Jesus wants to be the Rock you lean on. Jesus wants you to show the world how a person who trusts Him lives!
Turn to Jesus when you are suffering. Do not judge the Lord through the lens of your circumstance. Be thankful. God can use all things for His glory and your good!
“Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his maker? Job 4:17 NKJV
Eliphaz reminded Job that he counseled and encouraged other people. He also told Job, now that the shoe is on the other foot you don’t want to hear it. Then Eliphaz said, isn’t your confidence in your own holiness, isn’t your hope in your own righteousness?
There are times when our confidence is in our own holiness and righteousness. It should be in God’s grace. We cannot earn God’s favor. We can receive His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We can be declared righteous through faith in the Risen Lord!
When tribulations come upon us we may wonder what we have done to offend the Lord. God is not sitting on His throne waiting for us to make a mistake so He can punish us!
Eliphaz told Job God does not judge or punish the righteous. He punishes the wicked and evil. He tells Job God has no confidence or trust in human beings. God does judge evil. That does not mean only evil people suffer. Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike!
And have you forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons; “My son do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens. And scourges every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:5-6
God does not spoil His children. The Lord trusts us enough to form us into the image of His Son. Jesus hung on a cross in obedience to the Father. Jesus wants us to take up our crosses and follow Him into the Father’s good and perfect will!
God allows trials and testing into our lives so we will have a testimony to share with hurting people! Jesus fills us with His spirit so He use us to save other people.
Job did not think of himself as more righteous and pure than God. I don’t. I don’t think you do either. There were times when Job acted like he did. There are times when you and I may act like it as well.
We act like it when we try to work harder and do more to earn God’s favor. We can act like it when we suffer hardship and loss even though we know this life is not the end of our existence. Our true rewards await us in eternity!
Jesus does not expect us to enjoy trials and hardship. He does want us to trust Him with them.
Do not be discouraged when you are rebuked by the Lord. Jesus chastens and scourges the people He loves. Jesus works in and through people He trusts!
Jesus trusts you enough to form His life in you. He trusts you enough to live out His life through you. Will you trust Jesus enough to let Him walk you through the trials and troubles in your life?
“If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking? Job 4:2 NKJV
Job lifts his voice against God. Eliphaz corrected him by saying, “If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can with withhold himself from speaking?”
Years ago my wife and I went to a presentation on raising children. The opening statement was, “If you hear something you disagree with you should examine yourself. The problem is not the teaching, it is you.”
The opening statement was designed to manipulate us into accepting the presentation as absolute truth. It was not!
The internet gives us access to instant communication. It brings the philosophies and ideologies of the world into our homes. Cable television stations of every kind stream 24/7. The commercials tell us what we need and how to get it.
The volume of voices vying for our attention is staggering!
Eliphaz may have been trying to help Job. He did not. He said Job brought calamity on himself. He didn’t. Job wasn’t being punished by God. The Lord was using him.
Job reached a point where he was so confused and frustrated he cursed the day he was born. Job complained that God was treating him unfairly.
Job did not abandon his faith in God. He never stopped trusting God. God never stopped loving job. The Lord did not withdraw His hand of blessing and protection from Job.
Some of the voices we hear manipulate our feelings and emotions. Many of them seek to draw us away from Jesus. Satan and the world system work to stifle our faith in Jesus. They try to convince us He is not trustworthy. The goal is to lead us into destruction!
Jesus is the only true source of trustworthy guidance and direction in this fallen world!
Be very careful where you focus your attention. Seek God’s guidance in everything you do. Ask the Lord for the discernment to tune out the voices of the unbelieving multitude. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit. He leads us into perfect God’s will.
Do not let the enemy or the world system snuff out your faith in Jesus. The Word of God is trustworthy because our God is trustworthy!
Do not let the multitude of voices in this fallen world keep you from hearing Jesus. Listen for the voice of truth and wisdom.
Jesus leads and guides people who seek and follow Him. Seek Him with all your heart, soul and strength!
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: “If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking? Job 4:1-2 NKJV
Eliphaz responded to Job cursing the day he was born. At first glance it appears his friend was offering counsel and comfort. He was not. He was calling Job a hypocrite.
Years ago, my wife and I met with a Christian couple for counseling. I was scolded every time I didn’t agree with the gentleman. He said I was being resistant. We met in small groups for years. I learned a lot from him. It just wasn’t what he was teaching.
Telling people what to do, feel and think is not counseling. It is not helpful. My former Pastor and friend often said, “A person convinced against his will is unconvinced still!”
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18
God takes time to reason with us because He loves and respects us. He explains the difference between good and evil. He lets us know when we miss the mark of submission to God’s will and walk into sin. He also makes a way for us to be forgiven of our sin!
Job was not sinless anymore than I was when I needed counseling. God declared him blameless and upright through his faith in the Lord. Eliphaz called Job a hypocrite because he assumed Job had hidden sin in his life. He did not. Job shunned evil.
You and I will not be free of sin until Jesus takes us home. We can be declared blameless and upright through faith in Jesus Christ. We can shun evil through our faith in Christ. And we can offer the grace of God to hurting people through faith in the Lord!
Sin was the reason Job sought death. It was sin that brought corruption into our world. It was sin that caused our world to spiral further and further from the perfection of God’s design. It is sin that causes men to mimic Satan and accuse each other!
Eliphaz had a vision that came upon him in fear and trembling in the night. He heard a voice saying: “Can a mortal man be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his maker? Vs 17
Eliphaz believed those words were for Job. Maybe they were for Him!
Legalism puts us in the place of God to judge each other. Grace puts us in the place of others so we can seek God’s best for them. The former is sin. The latter is a blessing!
God created us in His image and likeness. We can come alongside hurting people to offer counsel and comfort. We cannot do that if we see ourselves as sitting in the place of God to judge and condemn. We can if we put ourselves in their place and share God’s grace!
Share the grace of God with someone somewhere today. Do it through faith in Jesus!
“Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? Job 3:11 NKJV
Satan attacked a second time. He inflicted Job with painful boils. Job reached the breaking point. He wished he was never born!
Job spoke out from a place of extreme pain. He was sorrowful to the point of craving death. Job did not just lament the loss of wealth and beloved children. His world was turned inside out and upside down!
The foundations of Job’s faith were rocked. His discourse on the benefits of never being born borders on blasphemy. Why did God afflict him so severely?
Job was completely disoriented by his affliction because it was contrary to everything he believed. God blesses the blameless and upright. That describes Job perfectly. God curses sinners. Job took great pains to avoid sin. Was the Lord punishing him?
Job cursed the day he was born. He did not curse God. He did not lose his integrity. Job did not abandon his faith. He had a pity party. God was the honored guest!
My wife and I love Jesus. We went from living in the lap of luxury to wondering where we would live. My wife and daughter have suffered years of bad health. Our sons broke our hearts with their poor choices. Why has my family suffered so much?
We live in a fallen world. Poor choices lead to poor outcomes. Satan attacks God’s people. Many of our trials and hardship remain unexplainable. There are some things only God knows. Perhaps the Lord is using us in ways we do not understand.
Sometimes people are described as having the patience of Job. The truth is Job was not always so patient. He was human. This chapter of the book confirms it.
God does not expect you to react perfectly when suffering through trials and hardships. My wife and I have hosted plenty of pity parties. God was there. He was our honored guest. Jesus does not abandon us when make mistakes. He walks us through them!
Do not blame Jesus for trials and hardship. He loves you. Maintain your integrity. Only a fool cuts off his nose to spite his face. Have a pity party if you must. Make sure you invite the Lord. Jesus will walk you through the circumstances of life in a fallen world!
Don’t be a fair weather Christian. Serve the Son of God in every season of life. Jesus will walk you through the torrential rains of trials and troubles. His face will shine brightly upon you in the springtime of blessing and prosperity. Jesus is the Lord of every season!
God chose the day of your birth. It blessed Him greatly. Jesus will be there to lead you home when the time comes. Trust Him with days in between. Keep your integrity. Hold on tightly to your faith in Jesus. The Lord has a tight grip on you!
So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great. Job 2:13 NKJV
Job’s three friends heard about everything that happened to him. They agreed to meet with Job, to mourn with him and to comfort him. Job was in such pain and anguish they barely recognized him.
Job’s friends lifted their voices and wept. They tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. They sat down with Job for seven days and no one spoke a word. For they saw that his grief was very great.
What an amazing scene of compassion. Job’s friends did not try to talk him out of his grief. They did not try to make sense of his suffering. They came alongside him. They demonstrated their love and compassion by staying with Job for seven days!
After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. Job 3:1 NKJV
Job reached the point of utter despair. He wished he had never been born. This is the same man who said; “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job did not understand what was happening. He believed God always blesses the righteous and afflicts the wicked. Job’s theology was correct. He could not see beyond the veil of human understanding. God used Job in a way he could not comprehend. God used Job to reveal His absolute power and authority over creation.
Satan led a rebellion against God. He wanted to be exalted above the heavens. He wanted to be like the Most High. God put Satan in his place. He used Job to do it!
Job lost everything. He struggled with his theology, but his faith never wavered. He never stopped believing God is good. God restored to Job even more than He took away. Job was reunited with his children when he went to be with the Lord!
You may have suffered the loss of loved ones. Do not let your theology cause your faith to waiver. God is righteous and holy. God is good. You will be reunited with your loved ones who have gone to be with the Lord when He takes you home.
God wants us to trust Him with our trials and suffering even when we do not understand what it is happening!
There are people all around you who are struggling through pain and sorrow. Some have lost loved ones. All of them need encouragement. They need to know they are not alone. Stand by them as they struggle to reconcile their theology with their faith!
God wants us to rejoice with people who rejoice and grieve with people who grieve. Rejoicing is easy. Grieving is hard. Come alongside people who need Jesus. You may not understand how you can be Jesus to a grieving soul. Do not let your theology cause your faith to waiver!
But he said to her, you speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? In all this Job did not sin with His lips. Job 2:10 NKJV
I cannot imagine what life would be like if God did not love us. I cannot imagine what our existence would be like if God were not righteous and holy. What would our world be like if God was not good all the time?
When I was sixteen I spent a weekend at a retreat. I knew God was calling me. I remember feeling like I was caught up in a struggle between good and evil. I felt like I was the prize in that struggle.
I believed in Jesus. I did not know Him. I refused to surrender my life to Jesus. If I did I could not have continued to live as I was. I remember thinking I would surrender to Jesus someday but not then. I was having too much fun.
I thought Jesus was going to crimp my style. I thought He was going to rain on my parade. I could have avoided so much pain and suffering if I had known God is good all the time.
When I became a Christian God spoke to me. The Lord said, “My hand has always been upon you!” Jesus was with me even when I was trying to keep Him out of my life. I tried to hold God back until I was ready. I did not know God is good all the time.
Job knew God is good all the time!
Job was convinced of God’s goodness even though it appeared the Lord had abandoned him. He was convinced of God’s goodness even though it appeared the Lord was punishing him. Job refused to blame God for his circumstance even when his wife did.
Job could not comprehend God as anything other than Righteous and Holy. Job refused to believe God would stop blessing him. Job could not wrap his mind around a world in which the goodness and mercy of God did not prevail over evil!
Can you? It really does not matter. You do not have to. God is good all the time!
Job struggled with his circumstances. He did not know why he suffered horrible trials and hardships. He did not know why his loved ones were taken from Him. Job chose to focus on what he did know. Job knew God is good all the time. Job focused on the goodness of God!
Will you choose to focus on the goodness of God rather than your circumstances? Will you remember that our circumstances do not change God’s character? Will you choose to trust in the God of goodness and mercy?
Do not be deceived by the temporary and transitory circumstances of life in a fallen world? God is good all the time!
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse you to your face!” Job 2:4-5 NKJV
Satan striped Job of his earthly wealth. He killed Job’s children. Job kept his integrity. When his first attack failed Satan asked for permission to inflict Job with physical pain.
Job continued to worship God. He continued to believe God is righteous and holy. He remembered God’s ways are beyond reproach. God is just in all He does. Job did not judge God by his circumstances. Job worshiped God for His holiness and righteousness!
When Satan presented himself before God he revealed his character and tactics. He accuses us before God and man. When his attacks fail he waits for an opportune time to return. Satan thinks if he inflicts enough pain on us our hearts will harden against Jesus!
Satan does not take holidays. He does not let us take a time out. He never lets up. He wants to destroy us because he cannot harm God. He knows how much God loves us.
Satan hates Christians because our future will be an eternity spent in the presence of a loving God. Satan will suffer an eternity outside of God’s presence with the people he leads into destruction. Satan’s future is as certain as ours!
When Satan attacked Job fought back. Job did not talk to the devil. Job did not try to bind Satan or cast him out. Job wasn’t even aware Satan caused his trials. Job renewed his mind. Job continued to trust God because the Lord is trustworthy!
Job remembered everything he had was given to him by God. He was born with nothing and he will take nothing with him when he leaves this world. He focused on the goodness of God. Job worshiped God because He is the Lord of heaven and earth!
Satan is a real being. He is active in the world today. He can’t make us do anything against our will. He can’t read our minds. He can’t harm us without permission. Satan can’t stop us from serving God. Satan always underestimates God’s servants!
God calls us to fight against the devil and his followers. Not by arming ourselves with red letter bibles or silver crosses. Not by binding our casting out anyone or anything. God calls us to fight through faith in Jesus Christ by renewing our minds!
God is righteous and holy. His ways are beyond reproach. He is just in all He does. Do not judge God by your circumstances. Worship the Lord because He is the Great God of the heavens and the earth!
God loves you more than the sands on the seashore and the stars in the night sky. Do you love the Lord enough to worship Him regardless of the trials and hardships He allows into your life? Do you love the Lord because He is the God of creation?
If you love the Lord serve Jesus. If you love Jesus trust Him with everything all the time!
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 NKJV
It appears that Satan incited God against Job without cause. Job’s children and his servants were killed. All of Job’s possessions were taken from him. God held up Job’s righteousness and threw it in Satan’s face. God showed Satan Job’s heart belonged to the Lord. Nothing Satan did could turn Job away from his God.
God loved Job. He was sure of Job’s faithfulness. He used Job to demonstrate His sovereignty over creation. God never explained why He allowed Satan to afflict Job.
Job struggled with the fact his heart belonged to God but he still suffered. We will all suffer loss and pain. We may not understand why God allows it. We may not understand why we suffer even when we trust Jesus with our lives.
We must focus on what we do know. We know Jesus loves us. We know Jesus is for us and not against us. Jesus is at our side through the trials, struggles and hardships we all suffer. Jesus is with us as we journey through life in a fallen world!
God restored all Job lost. He blessed Job more at the end of his life than He did at the beginning of it. God will bless you more at the end of your Earthly life than He did at the beginning of it!
The life we live on planet Earth will end. We will live on in eternity. Everyone who lives by faith in the risen Lord will experience an eternal life with no pain or suffering. We will look back from the perspective of heavenly perfection with joy and gladness!
Trust Jesus with your trials and hardships. Trust Him with your circumstances. Trust the Lord to give you and take from you exactly what you need!
God never promised us a life of green pastures and still waters. Jesus promised we would suffer tribulation. Jesus told us to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. Jesus has overcome the god of this world. We can do the same by trusting Jesus!
At the end of His earthly ministry Jesus told the disciples, “A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”
Do not lose hope when it seems like Jesus is absent from your life. He is not. He is at the right hand of the Father praying for you. Be patient in affliction and hardship. A little while longer and you will see the Lord of Glory. A little while longer and your eternal blessings will be revealed!
Job did not blame God for the suffering of his soul or the anguish of his loss. He fell to the ground and worshiped the Lord. Worship Jesus for who He is not for what He gives you. Jesus may allow everything to be taken from you. He will never stop loving you!
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come from?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6-7 NKJV
Satan presented himself to God. It was an act of submission. The Lord questioned Satan. He answered. That was also an act of submission. Satan is the god of this world. He does not have unlimited power and authority. Only God is omnipotent!
Satan is like a prowling lion seeking whom he may devour. He cannot touch a hair on your head without permission from God or your willingness to live in bondage to sin!
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” Vs 8-11
Satan accused Job of serving God for personal gain. He is the accuser of the brethren. He slandered Job by saying Job’s faithfulness to God was conditional. He said Job would curse God to His face if he lost everything. That was a lie. Satan is the father of lies.
Job was not the only righteous man on the earth. He lived during the days of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. Why did the Lord say, “There is none like him on all the earth?” Job was so careful he offered the sacrifices for sin incase his sons cursed God in their hearts.
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. Vs 12
God responded to Satan’s accusation and lies by giving him permission to inflict Job. Why would God do that? God created Job to serve Him on the earth and to be a witness of His sovereignty in the heavenly realm!
I think Job would have been surprised that he could endure such horrible trials and hardships so faithfully. I do not think God was surprised. The Lord knew Job better than Job knew himself. The Lord knew Job’s faith in God was not conditional. It was genuine!
There are many reasons why righteous people suffer. None of them make sense at the time. Some may be revealed later. Some never will. Maybe it is because we are God’s servants. Maybe we are bearing witness of His sovereignty before heaven and earth!
You will suffer trials troubles and tribulations in this life. You have God’s Word and promise on that. Maybe God will give you understanding of what is happening and why, maybe not. Do not let your faith be regulated by your circumstances!
God created you to serve Him as a faithful witness. Serve Him with a faithful heart!
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