Gracious and Merciful God, help me to bring any darkness in my life to your light. Forgive and restore me Lord.
Read JOB 15
15 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “Would a wise person answer with empty notions
or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
3 Would they argue with useless words,
with speeches that have no value?
4 But you even undermine piety
and hinder devotion to God.
5 Your sin prompts your mouth;
you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
6 Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
your own lips testify against you.
7 “Are you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Do you listen in on God’s council?
Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
9 What do you know that we do not know?
What insights do you have that we do not have?
10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
men even older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,
words spoken gently to you?
12 Why has your heart carried you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
13 so that you vent your rage against God
and pour out such words from your mouth?
14 “What are mortals, that they could be pure,
or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,
if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt,
who drink up evil like water!
17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you;
let me tell you what I have seen,
18 what the wise have declared,
hiding nothing received from their ancestors
19 (to whom alone the land was given
when no foreigners moved among them):
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,
the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;
when all seems well, marauders attack him.
22 He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness;
he is marked for the sword.
23 He wanders about for food like a vulture;
he knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror;
troubles overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,
25 because he shakes his fist at God
and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him
with a thick, strong shield.
27 “Though his face is covered with fat
and his waist bulges with flesh,
28 he will inhabit ruined towns
and houses where no one lives,
houses crumbling to rubble.
29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,
nor will his possessions spread over the land.
30 He will not escape the darkness;
a flame will wither his shoots,
and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.
31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless,
for he will get nothing in return.
32 Before his time he will wither,
and his branches will not flourish.
33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,
like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless will be barren,
and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;
their womb fashions deceit.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘[Jesus] entrusted himself to him that judges justly’ (1 Peter 2:23). Bring all your frustrations, sense of injustice and of being wronged – and leave it with God.
I’ve often been struck by how little time Jesus devotes to convincing people they are sinners. Religious hypocrites are exposed, but for the crowd, that’s not his approach. Eliphaz takes the high ground and sees his role as rubbing Job’s face in his corruptness (v 16). The formula is simple: Job is suffering. Righteous people prosper, but evil people come to no good (verses 17–35 leave us in no doubt about that!). Ergo, Job is part of the latter group. End of story. Everybody knows this (vs 10,18).
There are two concerns about Eliphaz. One is his manner; the other, oversimplification. Did Jesus ever patronize his audiences (v 17)? Did he utter truth without compassion (see e.g., Luke 19:41)? Contrast Eliphaz. Sadly, his is a compassion-free zone. But generally, it’s grace that changes hearts (e.g., John 8:11). And what about Eliphaz’s use of blunt theological ideas to coerce into submission? Eliphaz may speak truth, but not the whole truth. Jesus taught us not to draw straight lines between personal disaster and sinfulness (Luke 13:1–9). The people who died in a tower collapse at Siloam were not especially guilty sinners. It’s not that simple. Don’t judge, but do heed the warning in this story against the self-righteous.
Many people criticize Christians for being judgmental. Do you think that’s fair? If so, how might we change to address this flaw?
Dear God, keep me from pulling other people down so that I lift myself up.
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