Shall mortal man be more just than God?
shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Eliphaz’s first speech
v1 Then Eliphaz, who belonged to the people called Temanites, replied. He said:
v2 Job, I do not want to upset you. But I want to say something. And this is an important matter.
v3 Think about this point! You have taught many people. You have helped weak people. v4 By your words, you have saved people from great dangers. And you have encouraged weak people.
v5 But now, you yourself suffer many troubles. And you become weak. Troubles affect you. And your troubles upset you. v6 But you are a holy man. So, you should be confident. And you are a good man. So, you should have hope.
Job’s words upset Eliphaz. And Job’s troubles also upset Eliphaz.
Eliphaz simply believed that a good person should have a good life. And Eliphaz thought that an evil person should have a terrible life.
So, when Eliphaz saw Job’s troubles, Eliphaz had no explanation.
Eliphaz did not know that the devil caused Job’s troubles.
At first, Eliphaz believed that Job was a good man. (Later, Eliphaz would change his opinion (Job chapter 22).)
Eliphaz was a patient man (Job 2:13).
But he spoke too soon.
Job needed Eliphaz’s sympathy.
And Job needed Eliphaz’s friendship.
Instead, Eliphaz told Job to be happy.
And Eliphaz’s words seemed cruel to Job (Proverbs 25:20).
But Eliphaz’s advice in verse 6 was sensible. In chapter 3, Job hardly thought about God. Job was only thinking about himself. So, Job had no hope. Instead, Job wanted to die. Job could be confident because he was a holy man.
Eliphaz’s ideas about the fate of evil men
v7 Think about this! An innocent man does not suffer. A good man does not die. v8 I have seen that evil men suffer. In fact, they suffer from the troubles that they themselves cause. v9 So, God punishes them. God is angry. So, he kills them.
v10 These men are like old lions, without teeth. Such lions may roar. v11 But the lions will die, because they cannot attack other animals. And the young lions will wander away.
Eliphaz was partly right. God punishes evil people. And God protects good people. But Eliphaz’s thoughts were too simple.
Job was suffering. But Job was an innocent man. So, Eliphaz’s words could not help Job. Instead, Eliphaz’s words upset Job.
God knows everybody’s thoughts.
God sees our secret plans.
And God is a fair judge.
Sometimes a good person will suffer, like Job. That person should be patient (James 5:11). Perhaps God is testing that person. Or perhaps God is teaching that person. God is like a father who teaches his children (Hebrews 12:5-11). Or perhaps that person’s troubles are the work of evil people (Matthew 5:11-12).
Eliphaz said that evil men are like angry lions. These lions seem terrible. But really, they are hopeless, because they have no teeth. So evil men seem terrible, but really, they are hopeless.
God did not agree with Eliphaz’s opinion about lions. In Job 38:39-40, God reminded the men that he created lions. And God provides food, even for lions.
God even cares about evil people. God provides rain, so that their crops will grow (Matthew 5:45). And God sent Jesus to die for evil people, so that God can forgive their evil deeds (Romans 5:8).
Eliphaz’s Strange Dream
v12 I heard a secret whisper. v13 And I saw a strange dream. It happened by night, when men sleep deeply. v14 I was so afraid! Even my bones were shaking!
v15 I saw a spirit. My hairs stood up. v16 The spirit stopped. But I could not recognize it. I saw its shape. And I heard its quiet voice.
v17 The spirit said, ‘Men are so weak! Nobody is better than God. Even strong men are not innocent
. God, who made them, is their judge.
. God, who made them, is their judge.
v18 God does not trust his servants. God even accuses his servants in heaven. v19 And men are much worse. The bodies of men are like mud huts. And their bodies belong in the earth. Men die like insects. v20 Men, like insects, die in a single day. Nobody notices their deaths. And they will not live again. v21 They fall, like a tent with no strings to hold it. And they die without wisdom.’
Eliphaz described a strange dream. This dream frightened him. We do not know whether the dream came from God. The dream taught an important lesson to Eliphaz. Some strange experiences come from God. Other experiences may come from our own minds. And some are from the devil.
The Bible describes good spirits and evil spirits.
Good spirits come from God.
Evil spirits come from the devil.
This verse is correct. God is the judge of everyone. A person may be weak or strong. But everyone is guilty in God’s opinion. Everybody refuses to obey God’s law (Romans 3:23; Psalm 53:3; Proverbs 20:9; Isaiah 53:6; 1 John 1:8). But the good news is that God still loves us. God sent Jesus to die for us. We must confess our evil deeds to God. Then God will forgive us.
See Genesis 2:7 and Genesis 3:19.
God made man’s body from the soil.
And the body returns to the soil when the man dies.
God even notices when a little bird dies (Matthew 10:29-31).