May 4, 2023 - Job 15-18
Just about when you might expect Job would get some sort of reprieve, here comes another to tell him how bad he must be. Eliphaz’s main charge seems to be that Job does not fear God: “Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge . . . should he argue in unprofitable talk . . . you are doing away with the fear of God” (15:2-3). Also, that Job thinks too highly of himself and his own wisdom: “Are you the first man who was born? . . . Have you listened in the council of God? And do you limit wisdom to yourself?” (15:7,8). And, of course, Eliphaz accuses Job of wrongdoing, thus his suffering.
Job, to all three accusers: “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all” (16:2). Job is worn out. He is desolate. He is broken. He lies in the dust. His face and eyes are red and swollen from crying. His friends scorn him. He cries out, and who will hear? Apparently, none of his friends or any other human being. By now, though, Job is beginning to look elsewhere: “Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for me is on high” (16:19). The old country preacher whom I have quoted many times: “You can't get a man saved until you get him lost.” That is, until a man understands there is no hope but in God, he will not turn. Job has exhausted hope in all other places, now he must turn fully to God, who himself will defend Job.
A few more struggles here,
a few more partings o’er,
a few more toils, a few more tears,
and we shall weep no more.
Then, O my Lord, prepare
my soul for that blest day;
O wash me in your precious blood,
and take my sins away. -- Horatius Bonar (1844)