“What is man that thou shouldest magnify him and set thine heart upon him? And that thou shouldest visit him every morning and try him every moment? How long wilt thou not depart from me nor leave me alone, til I swallow down my spittle?”
Many have attempted to speak about the patience of Job but no one truly knows the anguish of his soul save one who has experienced the heavy hand of Jehovah. The friends of Job came to him with the good intentions of comforting him. They sat with him for seven days and spoke not a word. They watched him scrape the scabs off himself with a piece of pottery and heard the moaning of his cries. Finally Job breaks the silence and states that he wished he had never been born. God had brought him to the point of loathing his life and seeking death because the thing that feared Job the most had come upon him. He did not enjoy loosing his children and his possessions and the voice of his wife telling him to curse God and die was not music to his ears, yet these were not his greatest fear. That which he was most afraid of was that his God would turn on him and become his adversary. Job knew that there was nothing in his conduct that would either commend himself to God nor condemn him either but he also knew that he was not at ease, passive or at rest and yet raging turmoil and angry trepidation’s had come upon him. Now his friends would speak.
Eliphaz is the first to respond to Job, even though he was not asked anything, and he immediately demonstrates that he has no knowledge of Job’s conditions or of what he has just said. He does not care if Job is further troubled by his sayings or that they may indeed make his grief worse. His words are important enough to be spoken and must be heard. He begins by commending Job for his former deeds and then condemns him for being an hypocrite. It was perfectly acceptable for Job to sit and give counsel to others who needed help but when the matter turned against him, his strength and confidence left him and he was troubled. Indeed, Eliphaz asserts, his greatest fear was in his self confidence and the uprightness his ways. To add to this accusation, he presents a false premise that he holds as a truth; “Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent or where were the righteous cut off?” Certainly God had not brought this evil upon Job without provocation for he that plows iniquity and sows wickedness reaps the same! But wait!!!! Is there one who is innocent? No not one, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Is there one who can claim that he has been exempt from the sin of Adam in which all have sinned and death has come upon all? There is none righteous no not one. They have all gone astray and every man has followed the lusts and desires of his flesh. There is none that seeks after righteousness and none that can perceive the light. SO if the Lord should regard iniquity, who should stand? None!!! If Eliphaz’s doctrine is correct than the answer is not only that no one has ever perished being innocent and all have perished because none are innocent. It must also be stated that the righteous, being born from above of that incorruptible seed cannot sin and therefore cannot die, for they have eternal life. There is no possibility of the righteous being cut off unless there is a possibility that the Father could cut off the Son since the righteous are clothed in fine linens pure and white which is His righteousness. A child of grace cannot tarnish these fine linens because he cannot fail to meet the standard of the Holiness of God. He has the testimony of Jesus Christ and he keeps the law of God by the Spirit that dwells within. Now if these things be not firm and sure than we of all men are indeed most miserable. If the Son can deny the Father and if the Father can reject the Son then can the sons of Jacob be consumed and loose their deliverance in Him. Words cannot do justice to the immutability of God and the logic of man cannot understand this essential truth.
Yet this false premise is not enough for Eliphaz. Now he must bolster his position with a dream and vision to prove that this doctrine is not of man but that it has indeed come from God. Strange that he could not recall the particulars of the dream except that it made him tremble, there was something that he could not discern and he heard a voice. This voice asked the question, “Shall mortal man be more just than God and shall a man be more pure than his maker?” Of course the answer to this question is NO and it is meant to intimidate Job into agreeing with Eliphaz’s conclusions. Nothing can be greater than God and nothing can occupy a greater status than the perfection of God but what does that have to do with the situation that Job is in? To add to this Eliphaz calls on Job to bring forth his witnesses that can collaborate his position and give credibility to his arguments. After all, in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall all things be confirmed. He then accuses Job of foolishness and asserts that judgment had come upon his children because of his foolishness. Here then is the formula for good counseling, stroke the ego with former good deeds, present a false premise as an axiom, support your conclusion with dreams and visions, present flawed carnal logic with incontrovertible clauses and finally make the defendant feel all alone. But fear not Eliphaz has found the answer.
“I would seek unto God and unto God I would commit my cause because HE does great and marvelous things, without number, which cannot be searched out”. Pure unadulterated duty faith. Only a child of grace can seek God while HE may be found and that only by the direction, guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Natural man cannot seek God for he does not know God. He has the things of this world set in his heart, by God, so that he cannot find out the things of God by searching and God has said, “I am sought by then that asked not , I am found by them that sought me not’ (Is. 65:1). So the duty faith that is presented is contrary to the Word of God and there is nothing new under the sun!!! Besides, who does he think Job is crying out to and to whom does he think Job is making his complaint before?
This delightful delicacy of hemlock conditionalism is sprinkled with brightly colored jimmies of covenant theology. If Job will get himself straight with God, then God will make his days to prosper, his works to succeed, his pathway smooth and “Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great and thine offspring as the grass of the earth”. But wait!!! Didn’t God just destroy the children of Job and isn’t the grass of the earth equated with the glory of man which is today in the field and tomorrow is cast into the oven and burnt. Yet Eliphaz taunts Job with the idea that if he is in tight with Jehovah God then his children and their children will have an unction of peace and prosperity in the sight of the God who is NOT a respecter of persons. No matter how enticing the words are, the wisdom of man is empty and useless.
Job’s answer is not to the false doctrine that has been spewed forth but it is in affirmation of the sovereignty of Almighty God and His ways. His greatest fear is that his God has set him up as a target and has shot his poison arrows into him. Each and every man has a lot assigned to him by God as an hireling and a servant and Job’s lot was to be the target. His desire was that God would be swift in the execution of His ways and destroy the body of Job quickly so as to give him rest. His friends have dealt treacherously with him, his life was worthless and the world was a waste howling wilderness to him. He did not ask for these three friends to come to him and bring him anything and he chides them for trying to teach him with their words; “Now therefore be content, look upon me for it is evident to you if I lie”. He speaks of the station in life that God has assigned to each and every one. This assignment must be followed and there is no possibility of any not completing the labours thereof. All must walk the path that has been set, run the race that is before them and complete the segment of creation that they have been granted to perform. In other words, before time began, God established the way that all things should be. He then caused these things to come to pass exactly as He designed and they all lead to predesignated conclusion for the glory of God. This is commonly known as God’s predestination of all things.
Job speaks of this truth not from intellect. He did not read this in a book nor obtain it from some school of higher learning. He was taught this in the bitterness of his soul and the anguish of his spirit. He experienced the reality of the evil that is with his every work and the wickedness that dwells in his members so that when he would do good, evil is present with him and he hates life for it. He knows what a wretched man that he is and he knows who shall deliver him from the body of this death.
Now he asks his God, what is mortal man that you should lift him up, promote him, make him great and important and appoint your heart to him? What is mortal man that you should visit and provide for him every morning and then prove him every moment of every day? Why God gives so much to His children in the watch and care for them is because of His love for them. He provides the daily bread and all things necessary for His children to run the race set before them with patience. Yet that patience comes from the divers trials and tribulations which He set unto them to teach them that it is not by might nor by strength but by My Spirit saith Jehovah of Hosts. He plows the ground to prepare the chosen soil and send the adversary to break up the clods (break down the flesh) so that no flesh shall glory in His sight. He will not forsake nor fail His people and He has promised to lead them all the way. Since flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God He slowly breaks down the earthen vessel and the nature of Adam until it be dissolved. Then in a twinkling of an eye, His people shall be changed to be like the Son of God, this is the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body.
Job’s burden was upon himself and no one could help him that had no experienced the same tribulation. Job’s experience would enable him to comfort those who were in any kind of trouble because of the severity of what he had endured and that comfort would be in the lesson that he learned. He knew that he was a sinner and he pleaded that God would lift up his guilt and pass over his iniquity. He knew that his redeemer was the only one who could lift his sin from off him and that His blood was the only marking that would cause the justice of God to pass over him.
The child of grace has no hope in the things of this world and he finds no peace in the vile corruption wherein he dwells. The body of this death must be destroyed for there to be final peace. Man cannot calm the hand of God with all his so-called wisdom and knowledge for he does not know the ways of God. The common salvation of the household of the redeemed is a deliverance from the righteous justice of the Living God who demands absolute perfecting in all things. The surety of the house of the redeemed is the finished work of the head of that house: Jesus Christ the righteous.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 24, 2012