Job 15:31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.
32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.
33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.
34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.
35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.
Eliphaz was not going to let up on his attack on Job. He accused him of being deceived. He accused him of trusting in vanity. Vanity is emptiness. The one trusting in vanity here was Eliphaz and his two friends. Eliphaz was correct in stating that the person who trusts in vanity will be paid in vanity. Eliphaz was trusting in vanity and he would come up empty in the presence of the Lord.
In verse 32 Eliphaz stated that Job would face an untimely death. He would not live out his full days because he was deceived. Job was not in good shape, as far as his health was concerned. Mentally and spiritually he was also not in the right place. Eliphaz and his two friends were not of any help. They were trying to drag him down further. God would not allow Job to collapse. In spite of his despair, he continued to look up to God for help. This was good.
In verse 33, Eliphaz compared Job to a grape vine that is not able to keep its fruit until it is ripe. He spoke of a sickly vine that does not have the nutrients to bring the fruit to its full end. He also used the comparison of the olive that looses its blossoms before it can be pollinated. Eliphaz had nothing good to say about Job or his condition.
In verse 34, Eliphaz suggested that Job was in the company of hypocrites. Even though there were others like Job, according to Eliphaz, they would not find joy or peace. Eliphaz was giving somewhat of a description of what hell is like. There will be many there, but it will be utter darkness and loneliness. Eliphaz assumed that he and his two friends had the truth, and they were full of sound wisdom that Job was just not willing to accept. Eliphaz was the one that was deceived and he did not even know that he was desolate.
Eliphaz continued to talk of the fire that shall consume the tabernacle of bribery. Fire is often used in the Bible to speak of judgment. Fire had come and consumed Job’s possessions earlier in this book. That fire had been sent by the devil. Eliphaz suggested fire would continue to consume him because he was guilty of bribery. Again, Eliphaz had no evidence to back up his accusations. False teachers do not need proof. They just make things up as they go.
I was witnessing to a Catholic recently who insisted that everyone has to go to purgatory after death. She had a recording she wanted me to listen to which she claimed proved that purgatory was real. The man speaking in the recording gave no Scripture reference. However, he had a two page paper that he claimed was written by a Nun who was in purgatory and had sent this letter to another Nun who was still alive. He did not explain how this letter got from the dead Nun to the living Nun. That did not matter. He read this letter and stated that it was true. The woman I was speaking with was gullible enough to believe this lie. How sad when people are so convinced that a lie is the truth and the truth does not penetrate to their head nor heart. We are praying this woman will let God’s Word speak to her heart and she will see the fallacy of what she is believing.
Job’s three friends could not be swayed by him. They insisted they were right and he was wrong. He insisted he was right and they were wrong. There was a stalemate. However, God intervened and He showed who was right and who was wrong. Job needed to be corrected on some of his thinking, but his faith was in the true God. His three friends were way off and needed to repent and bring an offering to be sacrificed by Job on their behalf.
God’s Word is sure and it is powerful. God’s Word will work in the heart of the lost. We will not see every person we speak to get saved, however, that is not the fault of God’s Word. We need to pray and seek God’s wisdom in presenting His Word faithfully and let It do Its’ Work in the hearts of the lost and the saved.
In verse 35 Eliphaz concluded this part of his attack with further vanity. He again accused Job of being the one involved in vanity. He could not see the vanity of what he was saying. He was so full of himself that the Word of God had no place in his heart and life. He had a perverted theology and a puffed up ego that would not allow truth to penetrate.
There are many in this same place today. There are many who are so sure they are right, even though what they believe is not founded in God’s Word. God’s Word is truth. Anything else is a lie. We need to know the true God and we need to be students of His Word. We can always learn something more if we are saved.
Those that are lost need to be broken by God spiritually so that they will receive the truth and be saved. Then they too can begin to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.