In Job Chapter 4 we heard from one of Job’s three friends, Eliphaz. Eliphaz did his best to comfort Job and in my opinion is acting in the best interest of Job. Unfortunately there’s little Eliphaz can do to stop God. God has made it His mission to prove His point to the measly mortals He created. If you haven’t figure it out by now, I consider God’s actions on Job to stink of jackassery. Look up ‘jackassery’ online at urbandictionary.com if you need a definition. Chapter 5 brings us more from Eliphaz. He begins with some bad advice.
“Resentment kills the fool, and envy slays the simple.” – Job 5:2
Job has every right to be resentful and envious of those around him. Remember from Job 1 that Job is the greatest of all men in the east. Yet God punishes Job for no reason. I’d be resentful in that position too. If I ever found myself in a situation of very poor health with no hope of recovery, I’d be envious of my healthy family and friends. I would never wish them harm, but I would be envious of their good health. Envy is a perfectly normal, healthy emotion. To suppress it as the Bible suggests is not good for one’s health.
“I myself have seen a fool taking root, but suddenly his house was cursed. His children are far from safety, crushed in court without a defender.” – Job 5:3-4
The punishment of children due to the father’s actions is a common theme in the Old Testament. This is the first we’ve seen it, but it’s one of many statements in the Bible making it clear that children can and will be punished due to the actions of the father. This is simply ridiculous and it’s something I wish more Christians would question in the Bible. No one, and I mean no one, can seriously argue that a 10 year old child, or even a 30 year old child, should be punished because a father did something wrong. Eliphaz next advises Job to plead his case before God.
“But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before Him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” – Job 5:8-9
Apparently God’s wonders and miracles include destroying all of Job’s servants, animals, and children. Thanks, but no thanks. If I were Job, I wouldn’t be asking God for any more ‘miracles’.
“He catches the wise in their craftiness, and schemes of the wily are swept away.” – Job 5:13
The Bible again states that being wise or striving to be wise is a sin punishable by God.
“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” – Job 5:17
Finally! We have a reason for God’s ‘discipline’. God is only doing these horrible things to Job so that He can bless Job. I’m sure God thought long and hard and came to the conclusion that the only way to bless His creations is to ‘discipline’ them through the most horrible way possible.
“For He wounds, but He also binds up, He injures, but His hands also heal.” – Job 5:18
First, I think God’s just bored and needs something to do. Second, he doesn’t always heal. People who die young in car accidents aren’t healed. Children who die from leukemia aren’t healed. Those are just two of many examples I could provide of God injuring but not healing. Christian apologists will argue that God’s healing is Heaven, but for a child living in pain for his/her entire short-lived life, Heaven makes no sense as a healing. There’s no purpose for God to ‘discipline’ an innocent child. It’s sickening and disgusting.
Eliphaz says a few more things to Job. How Job holds back from knocking the teeth out of Eliphaz I do not understand. I guess Job was ‘disciplined’ so harshly that he was unable to move his body.
To sum up Chapter 5, Eliphaz tries to help and encourages Job to plead his case to God, but his words are probably more harmful than helpful. In modern life we call all of this false hope. It’s false hope to tell someone that they will be fine when you know they won’t. Yes, it’s tough to tell the truth and the timing must be right, but the truth is always better than false hope.
Coming Soon: Job – Chapter 6: Job Replies