Eliphaz began his discourse in Job 4 by deeming Job a hypocrite. Rather than offering comfort or encouragement to his desperately hurting friend, he compounded Job’s pain by bringing false accusation against him. Eliphaz goes on, adding further insult to injury in verses 7-11.
“Remember: who that was innocent ever perished?
Or where were the upright cut off?
8 As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
and sow trouble reap the same.
9 By the breath of God they perish,
and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
10 The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
the teeth of the young lions are broken.
11 The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,
and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.~Job 4:7-11
Eliphaz asks Job to consider why he is dying with troubles heaped upon him. His arrogant and foolish assumption is that Job is guilty and full of fault and that God is angry with him. He claims that innocent and upright men do not suffer so. But what of Abel? Has he forgotten Lot?
Eliphaz couldn’t be more wrong about Job. How much more pain it must have caused Job to know his friend thought so ill of him. His innocence and blamelessness was the very reason he was chosen to suffer! Just like Jesus.
If God was angry with anyone at this point, it was Eliphaz – the arrogant, assuming, asinine accuser of his beloved child.
How many times I’ve played the role of Eliphaz! Distrusting and accusing my Savior of not being who he has indeed faithfully proven himself to be! How much pain I’ve arrogantly and carelessly heaped on my Jesus by misrepresenting him publicly while claiming to be his closest friend! God forgive me!
Lord, give me wisdom. When I am tempted to be Eliphaz, help me learn to encourage the downtrodden. Give me grace where I have not only so often failed to comfort, but even further injured the innocent and painstricken with false accusation and misrepresentation. Show me your compassion and teach me how to share it. When I am in suffering like Job and accusers tear me down without cause, will that I might learn to trust you alone. Help my unbelief. Amen.