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John Brown :: Job 4-5

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I. INTRODUCTION

A. Last week, in Chapter 3, Job was at the height of his deep, dark, depression!

1. In fact, he stated over and over again that he wished that he had never been born, and even though he had, he wished he had been stillborn.

a) But, I would like to point out, that even in the middle of what are the darkest hours of Job's life, he never mentions suicide!

2. We discovered in our study, that Job was fearful even when he was living in luxury!

a) We concluded with 4 things from God's word that can keep us from living in the same fear that Job had:

(1) Exod 34:14 (NKJV) `(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God),

(a) In other words, love the Lord and not the "things" provided by Him.

(2) 1Chr 29:15 (NKJV) For we [are] aliens and pilgrims before You, As [were] all our fathers; Our days on earth [are] as a shadow,

(a) We need to have an "eternal" perspective instead of living for the "here and now."

(3) 1Joh 2:15-17 (NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that [is] in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

(a) We need to make it our life's purpose to love the Lord and serve Him, not to accumulate things!

(4) And finally, #4, learn to love Him with whom you will spend eternity!

(a) If we really know Him, then we can trust Him even during the hard times!

B. Now we turn our attention to Chapters 4 and 5.

1. Eliphaz is the first of Job's friends to respond to Job.

2. Verse 27 of Job Chapter 5 gives an indication that these friends had discussed what they would say to Job and most likely appointed "Eliphaz = the `seer'" as their spokesman. (You'll understand why I use the term "seer" as go on.)

a) Job 5:27 (NKJV) Behold, this we have searched out; It [is] true. Hear it, and know for yourself."

b) It is important however to point out that there is no indication that they prayed about what they would say to Job!!

II. TEXT

A. Job 4:1-2 (NKJV)Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: 2 "[If] one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking?

1. In other words he asks Job if it will upset him to talk to him, then says that he is going to talk to him anyway!

B. Job 4:3-6 (NKJV) Surely you have instructed many, And you have strengthened weak hands. 4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, And you have strengthened the feeble knees; 5 But now it comes upon you, and you are weary; It touches you, and you are troubled. 6 [Is] not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope?

1. Eliphaz reminds Job that when he lived in luxury, he was very good a giving counsel, but now he can't even apply what he use to dish out!

a) This is not an uncommon thing!

b) It seems to be a human trait to "psychoanalyze" everyone else, but neglect seeing our own inadequacies.

(1) That reminds me of the cartoon of 2 psychiatrists that met on the street and one says to the other, "You are fine, how am I."

(a) Why is it so much easier to see the short-coming of others and hard to see it in ourselves?

(b) As we are going to see in the next few verses, Eliphaz is say, "I am fine, but you're not!"

C. Job 4:7-11 (NKJV) "Remember now, who [ever] perished being innocent? Or where were the upright [ever] cut off? 8 Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same. 9 By the blast of God they perish, And by the breath of His anger they are consumed. 10 The roaring of the lion, The voice of the fierce lion, And the teeth of the young lions are broken. 11 The old lion perishes for lack of prey, And the cubs of the lioness are scattered.

1. Do you catch the implication and sense of superiority?

a) You can almost see the pious grin on Eliphaz' face and hear the "message" behind the message.

(1) "Come on Job, what secret sin are you not telling us about?You know that God would not the innocent suffer!"

2. Now we know that was not the case with Job because the Lord has already told satan that Job was a "righteous man."

a) But this same lie is being perpetuated today with the "health and wealth" teaching.

(1) The proponents of this teaching are telling God's children the same thing Eliphaz told Job:

(a) "It is not God's will for you to be sick!"

(b) "It is not God's will for you to be poor!"

(c) "If either of these things are in your life it must be a result of sin!"

3. Eliphaz goes on to tell us how he came to this marvelous conclusion!

D. Job 4:12-16 (NKJV) "Now a word was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it. 13 In disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men, 14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, Which made all my bones shake. 15 Then a spirit passed before my face; The hair on my body stood up. 16 It stood still, But I could not discern its appearance. A form [was] before my eyes; [There] [was] silence; Then I heard a voice [saying]:

1. Not all "spirits that go bump in the night" are from the Lord!!

a) Later on in the book, the Lord rebukes all the counsel of Job's friends.

b) Therefore, based upon the Lord's rejection of their counsel, we know that this was not the Holy Spirit or any messenger of the Lord!!!!!

(1) That only leaves one option - this was an evil spirit sent by satan for the very purpose of discouraging Job even further.

(2) It was all part of his plan to fulfill what he had said to the Lord and get Job to curse God!

2. The proponents of the "health and wealth" teaching also claim to have divine authority for their same lie.

a) I would also like you to notice that this was indeed a real "spiritual" experience.

(1) It had all the spiritual mystery, and it even made Eliphaz' "bones shake", and his "hair stand on end".

(2) But please also notice that this spirit came in the dark of night and never let Eliphaz see him clearly!!

(a) And the "advise" he gives is even more clouded than his appearance.

E. Job 4:17-21 (NKJV) `Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? 18 If He puts no trust in His servants, [If] He charges His angels with error, 19 How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, [Who] are crushed before a moth? 20 They are broken in pieces from morning till evening; They perish forever, with no one regarding. 21 Does not their own excellence go away? They die, even without wisdom.'

1. As when satan came quoting God's word to Jesus, these words are true!

a) But the message they send is false because of the omission of God's grace and love!

b) With the reference to angels in verse 18, you get the impression that is more like how satan feels about God and man than the Lord!

(1) [If] He charges His angels with error,19 How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust

(2) "If He would kick me and my crew out of heaven for a small `error', why should he care about you human `dust-balls'?

(a) Notice that this evil spirit doesn't even acknowledge their rebellion in heaven for what it was = SIN!

(i) He calls it an "error"

(ii)"And for a simple "error" God kick His angels out of heaven why should He show you any mercy?"

c) If this was a message from the Lord it would contain hope, and it contains none.

F. Job 5:1-3 (NKJV) "Call out now; Is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn? 2 For wrath kills a foolish man, And envy slays a simple one. 3 I have seen the foolish taking root, But suddenly I cursed his dwelling place.

1. More truth mixed with lies.

a) Wrath and envy does kill, but again Eliphaz kills Job's hope with the lie that there is no one to hear and answer him when he call out for help!

b) Eliphaz is classifying Job among the "foolish" because he believes that he has sinned against God secretly.

G. Job 5:4-7 His sons are far from safety, They are crushed in the gate, And [there] [is] no deliverer. 5 Because the hungry eat up his harvest, Taking it even from the thorns, And a snare snatches their substance. 6 For affliction does not come from the dust, Nor does trouble spring from the ground; 7 Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward.

1. There is surely truth to this.

a) Mankind, even God's kids, are not immune to human suffering.

(1) The Hebrew word for "man" means "the miserable."

(2) And our English word "sympathy" means "to suffer together."

(a) That was not God's hope for us, but it is part of the curse from the fall!

(b) But because our Lord is so wonderful, knowing that mankind would suffer, he uses it for good in the life of those who follow Him.

(i) Jame 1:2-3 (NKJV) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

b) the sparks fly upward because of the principle of thermodynamics.

(1) It is a law of nature, not an accident!

(2) The plight of mankind is likewise not an accident.

(a) It was chosen at the Garden!

H. Job 5:8-16 "But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause-- 9 Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number. 10 He gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields. 11 He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety. 12 He frustrates the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot carry out their plans. 13 He catches the wise in their own craftiness, And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them. 14 They meet with darkness in the daytime, And grope at noontime as in the night. 15 But He saves the needy from the sword, From the mouth of the mighty, And from their hand. 16 So the poor have hope, And injustice shuts her mouth.

1. Eliphaz is a `self-righteous fool."

a) He has told Job that there is no one who will hear him (Job) if he cries out "But as for him, he would seek God, And to God he would commit his cause-

(1) And of course God would hear him because he was not a sinner!

I. Job 5:17 (NKJV) "Behold, happy [is] the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.

1. This is also true but Eliphaz is "whipping" Job with it, not encouraging him with it!

J. Job 5:18-26 (NKJV) For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. 19 He shall deliver you in six troubles, Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. 20 In famine He shall redeem you from death, And in war from the power of the sword. 21 You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, And you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes. 22 You shall laugh at destruction and famine, And you shall not be afraid of the beasts of the earth. 23 For you shall have a covenant with the stones of the field, And the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you. 24 You shall know that your tent [is] in peace; You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss. 25 You shall also know that your descendants [shall] [be] many, And your offspring like the grass of the earth. 26 You shall come to the grave at a full age, As a sheaf of grain ripens in its season.

1. In these verses, Eliphaz gives us situations in which the Lord will redeem His children, and once again it is a mixture of truth and lies.

a) Verse 18 gives a beautiful picture of caring Father that although suffering is part of His plan, he is there right beside us!

b) But, Christians do die from famine, and war, and wild beasts and people's tongues!

c) And then almost as if to taunt Job, Eliphaz "prophesizes" a prosperous future for Job and death at an old age!

(1) But of course this is predicated upon Job admitting that he has secretly sinned against the Lord and asking for His forgiveness.

III. CONCLUSION

A. We must be careful of psychoanalyzing everyone, but not looking into our own hearts!

B. We must all be careful that the counsel we give is Godly!

1. Sin is not always the reason for the suffering!

C. Not all "spirits" are holy!

1. 2Cor 11:13-15 (NKJV) For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore [it] [is] no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

2. That is why God's children must walk by faith in what they know to be true and not in their "feelings."

D. And lastly, just because something is "true" doesn't mean it is Godly or righteous!

1. Satan loves to quote the truth, but if we "kill the patient" that is not God's way!

2. Christians can rip each other to shreds with the "truth".

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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