Job 22:8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it.
9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
10 Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;
11 Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.
12 Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?
14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.
15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?
16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:
17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.
20 Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth.
In verse 8 Job was being accused of being a respecter of persons. He abused the poor and showed respect to the powerful and rich.
In verse 9 Job was accused of abusing widows. It is truly shameful to take advantage of widows. There are many businesses that will take advantage of widows. Job was not guilty of this, but if you are making up stories, what does it matter how ridiculous they are? Job was also accused of abusing the fatherless. There are women who believe they do not need a husband to raise children. They think it is fine if there is no father in the house. The Bible teaches that the father is an important person in the house. The father needs to be a godly father who walks in the fear of the Lord and can guide his family in the right way.
In verses 10-11 Eliphaz again would tighten the noose around Job. Job was the man that had done all these things and now the snares were going to catch him. His troubles were the direct result of his abusive ways.
As we have noted before, unjust people do not always immediately face punishment for what they have done. There are many unjust men who do quite well, off the backs of the poor and the vulnerable. We can see that in government and in business.
Eliphaz insisted that Job was in darkness and he did not even see the evil of his ways. He was trying to justify himself, but he was drowning in his sins.
In verse 12 Eliphaz stated that God is in heaven, implying that God is over all. This is true. God is over all. Eliphaz should have taken this into consideration as he and his two friends were insisting on tormenting Job mentally and spiritually. They were wearing on Job, but they were not able to wear him down. God is bigger than the devil. The devil can inflict trouble upon the saint, but only to a certain degree. God will always protect His child from being swept away.
In verse 13 Eliphaz accused Job of thinking that God was not aware of what was going on. He was assuming that Job had done all the evil mentioned above assuming that God did not know what he had been doing. As we have mentioned before, chapters 1&2 show us that God knew all about Job and he recorded good things about Job. Job was not being punished by God. Eliphaz and his two friends concluded that he must be. They assumed that they knew better than God.
Job also thought God was punishing him. The difference was that Eliphaz and his two friends assumed that they knew why God was punishing Job, while Job was seeking to talk to God and find out what the cause of his troubles was.
Eliphaz was trying to make the case that God knew all about Job’s sinful actions and He was bringing Job low now to get him to acknowledge his sin. It was “pay-day” for Job, according to Eliphaz.
In verses 15-20, Eliphaz tried a new angle. He wondered if Job had not observed what God had done to other wicked people prior to his time. Had Job not studied history? Was Job oblivious to what had happened to other wicked people around him?
Eliphaz noted that there were wicked people that he knew of that were hit with tragedy and died before their time. The question is: what is the right time for death? There are people who suffer greatly while young and they wish to die. There are people who suffer greatly when older and they wish to die. Who sets the time when a person should die? Eliphaz did not realize that this was in God’s hands, and in His hands alone. In our minds there are “untimely” deaths. We talk of a person who died in their prime or they died much too young.
For those who are saved, heaven is their home. It is never too early to get to heaven. For those who are lost, hell is not a good place to be. The Catholics have imagined purgatory to delay hell. They can teach that lie if they want, and people can choose to believe that lie if they want, but the reality is that there is no purgatory and at death the lost go immediately to hell.
Eliphaz concluded this part of his counsel and would challenge Job to turn to God. He had stated that Job was suffering because he had been unjust and God was punishing him for his sin. It was time for Job to turn to God and be restored.
We will look at this more tomorrow. It is important to notice the shallow thinking of Eliphaz. As we have mentioned before, he and his two friends would fit well into the charismatic camp of our time. In their minds, “good people” will prosper and wicked people will suffer. Materialism is the measure by which people are judged. This is completely opposite of how God judges and rewards people.
We need to know the true God in order to know His peace. That peace and joy is not dependent on how much of this world’s goods we have. It is dependent upon knowing the true God and living for Him.