The Arguments of Eliphaz

Wendy Pope

Day: 15 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty

Today’s Reading: Job 15

Job 15:6 (NIV) “Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you.”

The “friendly” dialogue between Job and his companions enters round two. Eliphaz is quick to continue his criticism and his retort is quite intense. He declares the wicked suffer pain their whole life (Job 15:20-22) and they face trouble and hunger. (Job 15:23-24) He surmises that suffering is because man rebels against God, (Job 15:25-26) thus supporting his continued argument: Job is suffering; therefore, he must be wicked.

Eliphaz again contends that Job’s know-it-all speeches are birthed from a heart full of ignorance. He questions Job’s fear and reverence of God. In essence, he is calling Job a wicked, unwise motor-mouth. If this is the warm and fuzzy encouragement that comes from a friend, I would hate to meet an enemy of Job’s. But, there is some wisdom sprinkled in. If we read closely, we can find some ways to help us stay right with God.

Argument 1: Be Wise

The know-it-all language is repeated from Bildad’s first speech. (Job 8:2) The men imply Job speaks from a heart that lacks knowledge and his words have no substance. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Asking for wisdom is an investment in becoming wise. When applying wisdom we receive, our speech will be profitable to our defense when we are wrongly accused. Seeking wisdom from God builds our relationship with Him.

Argument 2: Fear God

Eliphaz suggests in Job 15:4 that Job has cast away his fear of God. A life of wisdom includes a healthy fear of God. This is not like our reaction to horror movies, someone jumping around a corner to frighten us, or snakes. Biblical fear is reverence and respect for God:

“The fear of the LORD.” is the beginning of knowledge”

(Proverbs 1:7). When we respect and trust God’s way rather than our own, our knowledge of Him will grow. Fearing God keeps our relationship with Him spiritually healthy.

Argument 3: Maintain Devotion

Devotion to God is a vital part of our rightness with God. Eliphaz implies that because of his sin Job has restrained his life of prayer. (Job 15:4) It’s difficult for a person with an active prayer life to ignore the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin. Prayer and a daily commitment to the study of God’s Word are key components to maintaining a right relationship with God. He is so worthy of our worship and devotion.

Argument 4: Listen to the Aged

“The gray-haired and the aged are on our side”

(Job 15:10). Sometimes we don’t honor those older and wiser than us. No matter how wisdom is delivered, we can ask God to help us receive it, even if the wisdom is hurtful. In the end, our desire is to become more like God, and wisdom from those older than us can be of great benefit.

Prayer: Lord, I want to be a friend who speaks truth in love but I also want to be a friend who receives truth whether it is spoken brashly, rudely or with refinement. My desire is to become more like You no matter what the cost. I long to be completely devoted and always revere You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

In Job 15:27-28, Eliphaz specifically addresses the fate of the wicked, “Though his face is... Read More

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