Thursday, April 19, 2018

Year 8, Day 109: Job 15

Theological Commentary: Click Here

I think that Eliphaz deceptively gets a fair bit wrong here in this chapter.  One such place is his accusation of Job.  While Job has his faults, I don’t think fear of the Lord is one of them.  I think Job has a healthy understand of who the Lord is and what the Lord can do in His righteousness.  Job may be guilty of not seeing what God has planned.  He may be guilty of having a little less patience than necessary.  He may be guilty of jumping to hopelessness a little too quickly.  I think he has a healthy fear of the Lord, though.

Another place where I quibble is where Eliphaz says that God places no trust in the holy ones or even in humanity.  That’s just not true.  How many times in the Bible does God give a message to one of His holy angels?  Doesn’t God invite us to participate in His work?  Doesn’t Jesus Himself train human beings to be His disciples and to make disciples?  The reality is that God does trust us.  He knows our faults.  He knows our sin.  But He trusts us and invites us into relationship in spite of them!

Another place of bad advice is where Eliphaz talks about wicked writhing in their pain.  Again, this just isn’t true.  Yes, eternally, the wicked will live in separation from God.  Occasionally in life, the wicked are caught in their sin and punished.  However, God Himself says that in this life His blessings fall upon the wicked and the righteous.  There is example after example of wicked people who live and prosper in this life.  The level of one’s writhing in pain is not a fair indicator of one’s righteousness or wickedness.

This is a dangerous chapter.  It is very easy to read through much of what Eliphaz says and want it to be true.  He is doing a great job of painting a picture that we want to hear.  But Eliphaz is painting a theology of his own desiring, not a genuine theology.  That’s the danger in Eliphaz’s words.