Job 15:1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?
3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?
4 Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.
5 For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.
6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.
7 Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?
8 Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?
9 What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?
In chapter 15 Eliphaz takes another run at Job. His three friends have been listening to what he has said. They do not agree with him at all. Here Eliphaz questions the wisdom of Job. A wise man would not utter vain knowledge. A wise man would utter wise words. These men did not consider Job’s words to be wise.
The east wind in the Middle East is a hot wind. Eliphaz was suggesting that Job was blowing off a bunch of hot air. It was drying things out but it was not helpful.
Eliphaz continued this line of questioning in verse 3. Eliphaz was obviously mocking Job. God’s assessment of Job was that he was a wise man, and yet according to Eliphaz the words he was speaking were anything but wise.
It is true that Job was missing some important truth regarding God and regarding what was happening to him. He was a wise man, but he was not acting like a wise man at this time in his life. He needed some real help to get out of his slump, but these three men were not of any help to him.
In verse 4, Eliphaz accused Job of casting off the fear of God and that he refused to pray to God. Obviously he had not been listening to Job. Job had been pleading with God to answer him. He wanted to talk to God and he wanted to hear from God. He also exalted God and spoke of His power and His wisdom. He was certainly not rejecting the fear of God. He needed to learn a greater reverence for God but Eliphaz was not the one to show him that.
In verse 5 Eliphaz suggested that Job’s own mouth condemned him. He claimed that Job was heaping judgment upon himself by opening his mouth. He suggested that Job was twisting the facts to try to justify himself.
Verse 6 continued this same vein of speech. Eliphaz was trying to justify himself. He did not know what was happening in the spiritual realm. He assumed that Job was in sin and that God was seeking to get his attention with his boils and with the loss of his family and his possessions. Eliphaz was judging Job according to his false theology.
It is important to have the facts. It is important to be able to hear what a person has to say and to be able to have discernment in knowing how to help the person. Eliphaz was not listening to what Job was saying and he also lacked discernment in being able to help him.
We can see further in verses 7-9 that Eliphaz lacked any compassion. He accused Job of having a corner on truth. He asked if he was the first man born or if he was made before the hills. Job was not acting in a superior fashion to anyone else. He was looking at his life as he knew it. He was open for God to show him where he was wrong. He needed to hear from the One Who knew what was going on. Job did not know what was going on and his three friends certainly did not know either.
Eliphaz was trying to suggest that he was equal to Job in wisdom and understanding. God would soon show him otherwise. Eliphaz had an inflated sense of who he was. He and his two friends drew their conclusions solely based on humanistic reasoning.
They reasoned that since Job was facing all these troubles, he must be at fault. They reasoned that because their lives were moving along quite smoothly, they must be in the right. Circumstances are not a good way to judge right from wrong. God deals differently with His children than with the ungodly. God also shows us in this book that there are things that happen to His children that are caused by the devil. God is aware of all things and He has given the devil some permission to show who he truly is.
As we recall, the devil had to report to God and he had to ask permission to be able to go after Job. God had His reasons for giving Satan permission to attack Job. It was not a punishment against Job. It was to prove that those who have their faith in the true God will stand every test given them. They will not turn their back on the God they know and love. Christians do not sit back and hide behind the devil. They need to act responsibly and listen to wise counsel. Job was not getting that from these men.
Job had much more understanding than these men had. Job knew what he had been doing in his life. He knew he had not been pursuing a life of sin. He knew he had been seeking to help his sons to walk uprightly. He knew that he had tried to show his wife the right way to live. His friends did not seem to have observed much of anything of Job’s past. They assumed they could look into the heart of Job without any outward indicators to back up their assumptions.
We as people are sometimes good at hiding what is really going on. However, a true child of God will not get away with hiding sin for very long. God is not glorified when His child sins. He chastens His child to bring about the peaceable fruit of righteousness. As we have noted already several times, not all trouble that a child of God faces is a result of God’s chastening. It is always good to examine that possibility. However, if the child of God is humble and true to God, he or she will know if God is chastening them. Anyone else would need to have some clear evidence that the person is in sin before they can firmly accuse them of sin.
Eliphaz was blowing off steam. He assumed he knew what Job’s problem was and yet he had nothing that he could point to as evidence other than that Job was suffering. That in itself is not good enough. There has to be something more than that.
Job was not a thief. He did not mock God. He was not an adulterer. He had not cheated his neighbours. There was nothing that these men could point to and hold up as the root of Job’s problem.
They would have been wise to hold their peace and learn some things from God. They were not open to that. They assumed that they knew God better than He knew Himself.
Today is the Lord’s Day. It is another opportunity to go to a good church to learn from God’s Word. Go and let God’s Word teach you. If you are saved, God has some blessings in store for you as you humbly submit to His Word. If you are not saved, God wants to bless you with His salvation if you will turn to Him in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from the Lord today.