Those who pass rash and uncharitable censures upon their brethren, do Satan’s work. We should be careful not to add affliction to saints who are already in grief, unless we are certain we have a God-given message to deliver.
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
2 If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?
3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.
4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.
5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.
6 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?
7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?
8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.
10 The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken.
11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad.
12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.
13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.
Job 4 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Job 4:1-6 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 4:7-11 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 4:12-17 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 4:18-21 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 4 – “Shall Mortal Man Be More Just than God?”
The first cycle of speeches is opened by Eliphaz. It must be remembered that he and the two others believed that special suffering resulted from and was the sign of special sin. Job’s calamities, in the light of that thought, seemed to prove that he who had been considered a paragon of perfection was not what they had supposed. According to their philosophy, if only he would confess his sin, all would be well and the sun would shine again upon his path.
Eliphaz recounts a visitation, in a night vision, from the unseen world, which is described with marvelous power. Emphasis is laid on the infinite distance between God and man, and on the impossibility of a mortal being accounted just in the presence of divine purity. Of course the suggestion is that Job was suffering the penalty of sin which, though it had eluded human eyes, was naked and open before God. An angel seems dark against God’s pure light, and if an angel is deficient, how much more man! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Job 4:5—But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest.
It is much easier to counsel others in their trouble than to bear it ourselves. Full often the soul, which has poured floods of consolation on others, feels sadly in need of a touch, a voice, a sympathizing companion, as the chill waters begin to rise toward the knees, and the shadow of the great eclipse falls around. The fact of our having consoled so many others seems at such a moment to leave us the more solitary and lonesome. People have been so wont to be helped by us that they hardly dare approach us; besides, they suppose that all the fund of comfort from which we have succored others must be now available for us. What can they say that we have not said a hundred times? and if we have said it, of course we must know all about it; but they do not know how wistful the heart is to hear it said to us with the accent of a sympathetic voice and the touch of a ministering hand.
Ah, it will come unto thee at last. The pain and sorrow of life will find thee out. The arrow will at last fix itself quivering in thy heart. How wilt thou do then? Thou wilt faint unless thy words have sprung from a living experience of the love and presence of Jesus. Thou must have a better hope than “the uprightness of thy ways”, as suggested by Eliphaz (v. 6). But there awaits thee the personal fellowship of Jesus, a brother born for the hour of trial. He is the never-failing Friend, who sticketh closer than a brother. Put Him and His will and His choice between thee and thy sorrow, whatever it may be. Hide thee in His secret place, and under the shadow of His wings thou shalt enjoy sweet peace.
“Only heaven is better than a walk
With Christ at midnight over moonlit seas.” —Our Daily Homily