-Eliphaz, one of the three friends of Job, continues his discourse in chapter five. He asks first in this pericope, “Call now, is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn?” Then he postulates his observations. These include some proverbs, which he begins with: 1) anger slays the foolish man, 2) jealousy kills the simple, 3) the foolish take root (deep laziness gets entrenched and spreads), 4) the foolish man’s abode is cursed, 5) the foolish man’s sons are far from safety, 6) the foolish man is oppressed (literally- crushed) in the city gate, 7) the foolish man has no deliverer, 8) the foolish has his harvest devoured by the hungry and taken to a place of thorns, 9) the schemer is eager for other’s wealth, 10) affliction doesn’t come from the dust, 11) trouble doesn’t sprout from the ground, 12) man is born for trouble as sparks fly upward (Job 5:1-7).
-As for him, Eliphaz says that he would seek God and place his cause before Him. Then he proceeds to give some general truths about the LORD. God is described as doing great and unsearchable things, “wonders without number.” God gives rain on the earth and the fields thereof. He sets on high those who are lowly (James 1:9). He lifts those who mourn to safety (Matthew 5:4). The LORD frustrates the plotting of the shrewd, so that their hands will not attain success. The LORD captures the worldly wise by their own shrewdness. The advice of the cunning is quickly thwarted by God. Darkness overwhelms the cunning, and they grope around aimless at mid-day (noon) just like it was night. Great poetic play here. God saves the poor from the sword and the hand of the mighty. Therefore, the helpless have hope, and the unrighteous man must shut his mouth (Job 5:8-16).
-Eliphaz continues, “Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” God inflicts pain, but He is good to give relief. He wounds, but His Hands also heal. “From six troubles He will deliver you, even is seven evil will not touch you.” In times of famine, the LORD will redeem from death, and in war, He will keep from the power of the sword. The reproved man will be hidden from the scourge (showt- a whip) of the tongue. In other words, gossip won’t affect the person whom God has taken through His discipline. This man will not be afraid of violence when it comes. In fact, he will laugh at violence and famine, and wild beasts will not scare him. This person need not fear stones of the field (rock slides that could harm in that region) for he will be in league with them, and all the beasts of the field will be at peace with this one. The reproved of the LORD will have a secure tent and will fear no loss when he visits his abode. He will have many descendants; his offspring will be as the grass of the earth. He will even come to his grave in full vigor, “like the stacking of grain in its season.” Eliphaz concludes, “Behold this; we have investigated it, and so it is. Hear it, and know for yourself (Job 5:17-27).”
-*Application* We too can observe and discern many things as we see the LORD’s interactions with mankind. We should obediently learn when God seeks to teach and correct us. We must understand that we are fallen creatures in desperate need of a Savior, Protector, and Higher Friend (1 John 4:14, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, John 15:14-15). Therefore, we should heed this counsel when it comes to the discipline and reproof of the Almighty. We should not despise it, but actually be happy about it because of what it produces, the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:5-13).
Verse to Memorize: Job 5:17