January 17, 2019
DAY 19: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Focus Verse for Today: Job 5:17 and 6:14
Chapter 5 continues with Eliphaz, Job’s friend, challenging Job to confess to God the sin which brought this calamity upon Job. Once again, it appears, that Jewish people of that time, at least the ones who are shared in God’s word, looked upon material blessings as rewards from God for living a righteous life. From Eliphaz’s perspective, the calamity that Job was experiencing was punishment from God. Eliphaz’s circular thinking could not allow him to see it any other way.
Eliphaz is not portrayed as a bad guy; an unworthy friend. Eliphaz’s problem is that he is viewing Job’s condition through his limited understanding of how God’s world works. Eliphaz, like many people today, fail to understand that Satan is searching the earth for people to prey upon. Eliphaz appears to be prideful; maybe not! Like Eliphaz’s assessment of Job’s predicament, our view of Eliphaz, with our limited understanding of his view of how God works, makes him appear to be prideful of his relationship with God.
Are we like Eliphaz? Do we make judgment based on observation without exploration? It does not appear Eliphaz did any real searching into what happened. It does not appear that Eliphaz consulted God about Job’s predicament before passing judgement on Job.
In chapter 6, Job tries to explain to Eliphaz that things are not as they appear to Eliphaz. Chapter 6 continues with Job describing his condition.
Today’s Focus Verse is Job: 5:17 and 6:14:
“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty." (Job 5:17, NIV)
Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. (Job 6:14, NIV)
Have you ever misjudged someone? Maybe your misjudgment was about something; rather, than someone. It is unlikely that anyone reading this article can claim that a misjudgment on their part, at one time or another, did not negatively impact that person. It is human nature to try to figure things out: get to the bottom of things.
On todays journey, God is revealing a very important lesson to us all. If you are journaling, break it out, grab a sharp pencil. Pen if you prefer! What are our focus verses for today saying to us?
In Job 5:17, Eliphaz is using his understanding of God’s word to give himself comfort in a situation he could not understand. It is important to understand that Eliphaz did not know what you know: Satan, not God, was testing Job’s faith. Eliphaz obviously did not know that God was not behind all of this. Eliphaz is like many of us: he could not admit that he did not understand, and misapplied the knowledge he had about God to the situation.
In Job 6:14, Job is telling Eliphaz you claim to have come here to comfort me but instead you have done nothing but assail me with false charges of secret sin. Job informs Eliphaz in this verse, verse 14, “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of God." The verse reveals the intensity of Eliphaz’s accusations against Job. They obviously stung.
To paraphrase verse 17 Eliphaz is telling Job to accept his correction from God. The problem shows through in verse 14 when Job tells Eliphaz that he, Eliphaz, forsakes God by withholding kindness from Job. This is an intense exchange between Job and Eliphaz.
Eliphaz’s intentions appear to be noble. He wants to help his friend Job restore his relationship with God so that Job’s life may return to normal. The problem is that Eliphaz had no idea what was going on. Since nothing was obvious from the outward appearance of Job’s life, Eliphaz came to the conclusion that Job’s condition was the result of hidden sin. Eliphaz tells Job to confess the hidden sin to God. Job refuses to confess to a sin he has not committed.
Eliphaz wanted to fix what was not broken. Eliphaz did not understand what had happened to his friend but chose to assume that he did. Eliphaz did not accept that Job was not lying to him about hidden sin. In Job’s time of testing Eliphaz chose to attack his friend rather than comfort him.
There is a lot to be leaned in Chapter’s 5 and 6 about personal relationships, judgement, understanding, and compassion. Eliphaz is an example of doing to do; rather than, seeking to know. Take some time to pray, meditate, and reflect, over today’s journey. In particular, ask God to give you clear understanding of what is being expressed in today’s reading.