Job 15

Those speeches which do no good, being of no service either to God, our neighbors or ourselves, are better unspoken. If in our troubles we give ourselves to prayer and worship, we will be less apt to drop those expressions which cause others to question our sincerity and constancy in religion.

1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,

2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?

3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?

4 Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.

5 For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity, and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.

6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own lips testify against thee.

7 Art thou the first man that was born? or wast thou made before the hills?

8 Hast thou heard the secret of God? and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself?

9 What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?

10 With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father.

11 Are the consolations of God small with thee? is there any secret thing with thee?

12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at,

13 That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?

14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.

16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

17 I will shew thee, hear me; and that which I have seen I will declare;

18 Which wise men have told from their fathers, and have not hid it:

19 Unto whom alone the earth was given, and no stranger passed among them.

20 The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days, and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor.

21 A dreadful sound is in his ears: in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.

22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.

23 He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

24 Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle.

25 For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty.

26 He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:

27 Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.

28 And he dwelleth in desolate cities, and in houses which no man inhabiteth, which are ready to become heaps.

29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth.

30 He shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away.

31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.

32 It shall be accomplished before his time, and his branch shall not be green.

33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the olive.

34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.

35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.

Job 15 – ​“The Heavens Are not Clean”

   The second colloquy, like the first, is commenced by Eliphaz. He begins by rebuking Job, Job 15:1-16. He complains that the words of Job proved him to be unwise, Job 15:2-3, and even impious, Job 15:4. His very speech testified to his iniquity, Job 15:5-6. With something of irony Eliphaz asks upon what Job’s claim to superior wisdom rests. Was he the first man? Job 15:7. Or had he access to the secret counsel of God? Job 15:8. In refusing the counsel of his friends, Job 15:9-10, and the consolations of God they had offered, Job 15:11, had he not proved his want of wisdom? He had even proved his folly and his impiety, by attempting to assert his innocence before God, Job 15:12-14, in whose presence even the heavens were unclean, Job 15:15-16. It is clear that Eliphaz and his friends did not believe the sincerity of Job’s protestations of innocence.
   Eliphaz then attempts to instruct Job, Job 15:17-35. His theme is almost the same as that of his former speech. It is the righteousness of God as specially manifested in the punishment of the wicked. He claims that his doctrine is that of the wise men, Job 15:17-19; then proceeds to describe the wicked man as troubled in conscience and full of fear, Job 15:20-24; attributes this to his bold impiety, Job 15:25-28; and predicts his fearful doom, Job 15:29-35. The application of such teaching to Job must have been very painful. He insinuated that Job’s terrible afflictions were God’s testimony against his sin. We know better from John 11:4-5. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Job 15:4—Thou restrainest prayer before God.

   Job’s friends were bent on discovering the cause of his sufferings in some secret failure and declension. This is why Eliphaz accused him so groundlessly. They did not know of those secret habits of intercession described in the first chapter. But this charge is eminently true of some professing Christians.
   They restrain private prayer.—The closet door is too seldom shut behind them, or it is kept shut for too brief a period. They do not give themselves time to get into the mid-current of intercession and be borne forward by it whither it will. The voice of the Holy Spirit is barely able to assert itself amid the hubbub of voices within. They are so taken up with speaking of the Lord, or working for Him, that they slur over private audiences with Himself.
   They restrain social prayer.—Their minister never sees them in the gatherings for intercession on behalf of the work of the Church and the salvation of the lost. They forsake the assembling of themselves with the saints. Like Thomas, they are absent from the gathering in the upper room, and miss the smile of the Lord.
   They restrain family prayer.—Surely we ought to gather at least once a day around the family altar. Where Abraham pitched his tent he erected the altar. A prayerless home is apt to become a worldly and unhappy one. There is no such keystone to the arch of home-life and home-love, as the habit of family worship.
   How foolish, how short-sighted, how sinful, it is to restrain prayer! What wonder that your soul is famished when you fail to feed it, or impoverished when you neglect intercourse with heaven! —Our Daily Homily