Job’s Answer to Eliphaz

One day in 1909 a group of Alaskan miners, popularly called Sourdoughs, were sitting in a saloon in Fairbanks talking about outsiders such as Dr. Frederick Cook climbing “their” Mount McKinley. Convinced that Cook’s ascent had never been made, some of the miners … More

Trust

In this chapter we find Job’s first reply to Eliphaz. In Job’s reply to Eliphaz he emphasizes three key points (vv. 1-7):

  1. You are giving me all of this advice but with no sympathy for my situation.
  2. Your criticisms are not based on fact but only on your own experience.
  3. In all that you have said, you have never answered my basic question as to why I’m suffering.

Job repeats his wish to die that he also voiced in Job 3:20-23, 7:15, 10:18-19 and Job 14:13. He feels that his misery would end if God would just “let loose his hand, and cut him off” (vv. 8-11). The word “loose” carries the idea of setting prisoners free, and “cut off” pictures a weaver cutting a thread. One consolation that Job has in all of his pain is that he was innocent of defying God.

Having voiced his disappointment in his friends’ lack of help (vv. 12-23), Job pleads with them to tell him where he has gone wrong (vv. 24-27). He asks them to produce evidence as to where he has sinned. He wants them to stop making unjust and false accusations. He seems to be responding more to the tone of what Eliphaz has said than to the content. He wanted them to note his honesty, and to quit making false accusations. Job doesn’t claim to be guiltless. He admits he has sinned, but why would he be selected for this special attack as a notorious sinner (vv. 28-30?

Application

My tendency, like Job, is to want to give up when the going gets tough. It is commendable to trust God in the good times, but to trust Him in difficult times is a true exercise of my faith.

Job 6:1-30 (English Standard Version)


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