Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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ENTERED: December 18, 2014
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Scripture Passage



        Job - Chapter 05 (Contemporary English Version)
      1. Job, call out for help and see if an angel comes!
      2. Envy and jealousy will kill a stupid fool.
      3. I have seen fools take root. But God sends a curse, suddenly uprooting them
      4. and leaving their children helpless in court.
      5. Then hungry and greedy people gobble down their crops and grab up their wealth.
      6. Our suffering isn't caused by the failure of crops;
      7. it's all part of life, like sparks shooting skyward.
      8. Job, if I were you, I would ask God for help.
      9. His miracles are marvelous, more than we can count.
      10. God sends showers on earth and waters the fields.
      11. He protects the sorrowful and lifts up those who have been disgraced.
      12. God swiftly traps the wicked
      13. in their own evil schemes, and their wisdom fails.
      14. Darkness is their only companion, hiding their path at noon.
      15. God rescues the needy from the words of the wicked and the fist of the mighty.
      16. The poor are filled with hope, and injustice is silenced.
      17. Consider yourself fortunate if God All-Powerful chooses to correct you.
      18. He may cause injury and pain, but he will bandage and heal your cuts and bruises.
      19. God will protect you from harm, no matter how often trouble may strike.
      20. In times of war and famine, God will keep you safe.
      21. You will be sheltered, without fear of hurtful words or any other weapon.
      22. You will laugh at the threat of destruction and famine. And you won't be afraid of wild animals--
      23. they will no longer be fierce, and your rocky fields will become friendly.
      24. Your home will be secure, and your sheep will be safe.
      25. You will have more descendants than there are blades of grass on the face of the earth.
      26. You will live a long life, and your body will be strong until the day you die.
      27. Our experience has proven these things to be true, so listen and learn.

Reflections



Job - Chapter 05

Entered: December 18, 2014

Eliphaz continued his first speech and Job must be commended for his extreme patience in not interrupting him to defend himself against such pompous assumptions. Eliphaz elevated his assumptions to claims of fact which he claimed to have learned through experience. As he continued in his speech he suggested that a fool was taking root in Job but the fool was Eliphaz himself for presuming so much without inquiring in more depth into Job's situation or seeking counsel from God. He reversed the wise counsel found in James 1:19, "everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak." Instead, Eliphaz was quick to speak and slow to listen.

Having suggested Job was a fool in the making, Eliphaz went on to say that "trouble does not sprout from the ground." (5:6) In other words, Job had brought on his own trouble because of sin. There was, in Eliphaz's mind a direct cause and effect relationship between sin and trouble. As in, "where there is smoke there is also fire", so "where there is trouble there is also sin." Such was Eliphaz's reasoning. Jesus dispelled this thinking in Luke 13 when some people reported something bad that had happened. Of those to whom the bad happened, He said to those who reported it, "do you think they were more sinful than all the people who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!" (Luke 13:4-5) Whether good or bad happens, we all alike are sinners. The idea that those for whom good is happening are without sin and those experiencing trouble are suffering for their sin is simplistic thinking and incorrect theology. But for those who need an explanation for things, it offers a neat and logical explanation for complex circumstances. Had God Himself told Eliphaz that Job's suffering were a result of a bargain He made with Satan and not a result of Job's sin, Eliphaz would probably still not have accepted it. It was too far outside his reasoned explanation for things.

The only recourse for Job, said Eliphaz, was to "appeal to God" and present his case to Him. (5:8) Here Eliphaz's counsel is sound. It is never inappropriate to go to God with our trouble for He does set, "the lowly on high, and mourners are lifted to safety." (5:11) It is true also that those who accept God's correction are made happy as God puts them back on the right path, as Eliphaz told Job. The only problem is that he misapplied this truth with Job in his assumption that Job had sinned and was being disciplined by God.



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