Job 4 & 5 - Eliphaz Speaks

Interesting to me that Eliphaz accuses Job of 'impatience'. He lost everything of value to him, save is wife, and he has sat in silence for a week. Doesn't sound like impatience to me.

The gist of Job 4 and the intro of Job 5 is that calamity doesn't come without sin, the just aren't punished, so surely Job has sinned. We know from our insight in Job 1-2 that Job was upright, called out by God as an example of righteousness. Yet God allowed Satan to attack him.

So this was not of Job's doing, and we see this in our lives as well. Hardship comes upon many people, most people frankly, and often it is not deserved. Callous religious folks will tell you it's due to a lacking in your faith or behavior, but the facts do not bear this out. People suffer and much of the time it is due to nothing in their control. To say otherwise is heartless and does injustice to their pain.

Eliphaz councils Job to seek God in his pain (Job 5:8-16), wise words, but there is an undercurrent of cynicism there (or maybe it's my own cynicism). He seems to be saying, "Go to God, you'll see, He'll set you straight." as opposed to "Go to God for comfort." His words speak of God's opposition to sinners and protection of the right and humble, implying that Job is certainly in the former since he was not protected.

In fact, in Job 5:17-27 he goes on about how God takes care of those he loves, even telling Job that folks with God laugh at destruction (v.22) and their offspring will be many (v.25), a bit callous to say to a man who has just seen destruction and the ruin of his offspring.

As I said earlier, there are religious 'councilors' that will try to tell you amid great tragedy and pain all the reasons that you have brought this on when there is no evidice to support it (notice that Eliphaz doesn't accuse Job of anything specifically, just implies that there must be something). Run from them. Seek those who will not shy away from confronting your sin when needed, but will comfort, care for and bandage your soul when wounded by the storms of life common to us all.

Jesus cared for the afflicted, over and over and mostly without comment on the reasons for their suffering. He simply cared for them.

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

"Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope."

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