Home > Bible Journal > January 6th, Job 4-7: Eliphaz responds, Job’s rebuttal

January 6th, Job 4-7: Eliphaz responds, Job’s rebuttal

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Have you ever read Thucydides? He is regarded as the author of the incomplete history of the Peloponnesian Wars. If Heredotus is the “father of history”, then Thucydides is its codifier.

One of the techniques that Thucydides uses is writing speeches for groups of people. For example, passages from his history include speeches from the Corinthians and the Athenians. The trick is that he wrote what he thought they were trying to say rather than what they were actually saying.

Or, perhaps, you’ve watched the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or the Colbert Report. Most of what they do is satire and taking quotes out of context, but deep down they’re actually portraying more accurately what politicians are saying than actual news programs can.

How does this apply to Job? Well, I’m going to try to give you what I think the participants of the arguing are saying rather than their actual words.

First up to answer Job is Eliphaz the Temanite. The first half of his reply points out that Job has helped many others in need, why is he getting discouraged now? God smites evil, he does not encourage it. How can man question God?]

Job 4:17 says:
“17 ‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God?
Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker?”

The second half of Elphaz’s answer addresses man’s penchance for getting into trouble and laying your problems before God. In fact, those who are corrected by God should be thankful.

Job 5:17 says:
17 “Blessed is the man whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

Then Job has his rebuttal. Job laments his position and wishes for God to crush him, for Job’s losses are magnitudes greater than the losses of others. He now lacks strengths, and on top of that his friends are unreliable.

Job 6:21 says:
21 Now you too have proved to be of no help;
you see something dreadful and are afraid.

Job continues on by describing his excruciating pain.

Job 7:4-5 says:
4 When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’
The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.
5 My body is clothed with worms and scabs,
my skin is broken and festering.

You see, Job wants to let God know that he lives with excruciating pain. The bitterness and anguish in Job’s spirit causes him to question God.

Job 7:20-21 says:
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
O watcher of men?
Why have you made me your target?
Have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my offenses
and forgive my sins?
For I will soon lie down in the dust;
you will search for me, but I will be no more.”

Questions: What kind of advice do you give to your friends when they face distress in their life? Have you ever been in enough pain to make you question God?

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