It is the duty of those especially who are in affliction to keep up a perfect acquaintance with God, accommodating themselves to all the disposals of His providence; thus they shall be possessed of His peace, no matter what the circumstances.
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?
4 Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?
5 Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?
6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing.
7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.
8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it.
9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
10 Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;
11 Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.
12 Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?
14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.
15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?
16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:
17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?
18 Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
19 The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.
20 Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth.
21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.
23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.
25 Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.
26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.
27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.
28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.
30 He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.
Job 22:1-2 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 22:3-11 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 22:12-30 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 22 – Acquaint Thyself with God
Eliphaz opens the third cycle of the discussion with a speech altogether too hard and cruel. He begins with an enumeration of Job’s fancied misdeeds, Job 22:1-11. The fundamental position with Eliphaz was the absolute, even-handed justice of God. In contrast with the oriental magnate who is influenced by gifts, God at least was unimpeachable; and therefore, however Job might affirm the contrary, he must have deserved the chastisement which had befallen him.
Then follows his argument from the Deluge, Job 22:12-20. Evil men are always anxious to think that God does not notice them. This was, says Eliphaz, the policy of those who were destroyed by the Flood. They attempted to build society on atheistic lines, though he filled their houses with good things. The inference, of course, was that Job had been guilty of the same offense, Eliphaz concludes with a tender delineation of a holy life, Job 22:21-30. To be reconciled to God, to obey His Word, to put away iniquity and trust in earthly riches, are the conditions of blessedness. We shall gain more than we lose, Job 22:25. We shall inherit the confidence and joy of His presence, Job 22:26. Our prayers will be answered; we shall walk “in the light;” and our ministry to others will be full of helpfulness. Let us, then, acquaint ourselves with God and be at peace! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Job 22:10 – There is not a place beneath which a believer walks that is free from snares. Behind every tree there is the Indian with his barbed arrow; behind every bush there is the lion sneeking to devour; under every piece of grass there lieth the adder. Everywhere they are. (Spurgeon)
Job 22:23—If thou return to the Almighty.
These words introduce a most exquisite picture of the blessings consequent on return to God. They do not fit the case of job, to whom they were addressed, because he had not left God; and they sound strange as coming from the mouth of Eliphaz. Still they are full of sublime truth.
There are three conditions.—We must retrace the steps of our backsliding and wandering lives. We must put away unrighteousness from our home-life and business engagements, so that the tent may be free from idols. We must be content to lay our most treasured possessions in the dust at God’s feet for Him to deal with as He pleases.
There are four consequences.—Whatever we give up for God, we shall find again in Him; He shall become our treasure. Prayer shall have new zest, new success; be full of delight; become the interchange of face-to-face fellowship. There shall be more certainty and permanence in our decisions and achievements. Our decrees shall stand, our work shall last, our path shall be illumined with light. Trouble and trial shall depress us for only a brief space, like the passing of an Atlantic breaker over a lighthouse rock, a glad relief shall always follow close on disaster.
Let us ask for all this in our daily prayer. O God, be my precious silver; give me delight in Thee; hear my prayers; may I decree what Thou canst establish; let Thy light shine on my ways; lift me up above all my depressions and fears—that I may stretch out a strong hand to those who are in trouble.
“Oh strengthen me, that while I stand
Firm on the Rock, and strong in Thee,
I may stretch out a loving hand
To wrestlers with the troubled sea.” —Our Daily Homily