-The second round of discussions over Job’s calamity and heart-state begins with Eliphaz the Temanite responding to Job’s words. The theme here in the first part of the chapter can be titled, “Eliphaz’s Presumptions Concerning Job’s Attitudes Towards God.” He calls Job’s words “windy knowledge,” meaning that this wise man has spouted off only vanity. He thinks Job is full of the “east wind,” with his musings. He considers his talk “useless” and “not profitable.” He felt that Job had done away with reverence (yir'ah- fear, respect, terror, dread) and had hindered meditation before God. Eliphaz declared Job “guilty,” and that he had chosen the “language of the crafty.” He truly believed that Job’s own words from his own mouth and lips condemned him and testified against him. Eliphaz didn’t think he was finding fault at all by his pointing out of all of Job’s discretions. In the Temanite’s mind, it was obvious from Job’s speech what the verdict was (Job 15:1-6).
-Eliphaz degrades his friend now claiming that, in other words, Job wasn’t so special. He really didn’t know the secret counsel of God, which was, to a degree, accurate. He felt like everyone had wisdom and that it wasn’t limit to only Job. He surmised their understanding was just as valuable as his. In fact, older gentlemen were there, even older than Job’s father. They were the elders, and Eliphaz felt they were being forgotten in their analysis. He even accused Job of neglecting the consolations of God, as if they were too small for him. The gentle word of God was being shunned in Eliphaz’s opinion. He believed Job’s heart was carrying him away to a dangerous place. The phrase “Why do your eyes flash?” represents a cultural idiom of sarcasm and ill-content, much like we would relate it to “The rolling of the eyes.” Eliphaz accused his friend of turning his spirit against God and having demeaning words ushered against the Sovereign LORD. He rightly deduced that man was impure and unrighteous before the Almighty and that even the spiritual beings (i.e. demons and the devil) were not to be trusted and not pure in His sight. Eliphaz flat out called mankind, of which Job was a part, “detestable” and “corrupt,” drinking “iniquity like water (Job 15:7-16).”
-The second part of this chapter can be titled, “What Eliphaz Has Seen, He will Declare.” This is the phrase he begins with here in this section. He wants Job to listen up to what wise men have told and not concealed from their fathers. These men of old were given land and no alien has passed among them. They were secure in their lives in other words. In contrast, Eliphaz has seen the wicked man writhe in pain all his days from misfortune and disaster. He states that the ruthless man’s years are numbered. The wicked can expect terror in his ears, and while he is at peace, the destroyer comes upon him. He doesn’t believe he will return from darkness, and he is destined for nothing but the sword of violence. He wanders about looking for food knowing that evil has befallen him. “Distress and anguish terrify him, they overpower him like a king ready for the attack, because he has stretched out his hand against God and conducts himself arrogantly against the Almighty.” This wicked man rushes headlong at the LORD with his massive shield. His face is covered with wanton fat, and his thighs are heavy with flesh. This is another way of saying that his physical is feeling the effects of his lifestyle. He is being eaten up with his evil. His cities and habitations are destined to become ruins. He will not become rich, and even if he gains something, it will not endure. There is no escape from the darkness, and the flames of judgment will wither him physically and spiritually. By the breath of God, the wicked man will go away. Eliphaz rightly says that this one who is in iniquity should not trust in emptiness, so deceiving himself. If the wicked does trust vanity, then emptiness will be his reward. This is what Eliphaz has seen in life. He goes on some more. The sinner will accomplish nothing before his time, and “his palm branch will not be green (i.e. his works are cut off and dead).” His unripe grape will be dropped off from God just like a vine does in the physical as it sheds worthless fruit. He will be cast off like a flower from the olive tree. “For the company of the godless is barren, and the fire consumes the tents of the corrupt. They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity, and their mind prepares deception (Job 15:17-35).”
-*Application* This indictment against Job is malicious, yet it contains some truth. The wicked will not prosper, that is a biblical guarantee (Psalm 1:4-6), but Job really was innocent of all this condemnation (Job 42:7-9). What we should be allowing God to do in us is exercise more kindness, while still speaking the truth into a situation (Ephesians 4:15). In other words, be careful not to jump to conclusions. People may be dealing with more than we realize, and God is always at work in the situation to teach, instruct, discipline, and grow. We must always watch our words and consider how they will make the most impact on people for the Kingdom of God. Careless words can really hurt (Matthew 12:36).
Verse to Memorize: Job 15:34