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The speech of Eliphaz is continued through the whole of this chapter. He dwells upon several circumstances concerning sin and its consequent affliction, and recommends in affliction a crying unto God.
(1) ¶ Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn? (2) For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one. (3) I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation. (4) His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them. (5) Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance. (6) ¶ Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; (7) Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Eliphaz still harps upon the same string in these verses, that affliction is sure mark of sin, and therefore it is plain, that in his mind his conclusions were unfavorable concerning Jobadiah And there is somewhat invidious in his several expressions, as referring to the short-lived triumphs of the wicked, because he referred to Job's former prosperity. Certain it is that all the prosperity of the wicked is but as the grass. But then, this was nothing in respect to Jobadiah Eliphaz had no consciousness, notwithstanding what he here saith of affliction not coming forth from the dust, that, though the LORD sends chastisement, yet, to his children, love is at the bottom. Hebrews 12:5-6 .
(8) I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:
This advice is truly scriptural; though it is rather to be feared, when viewed in connexion with what Eliphaz said before and after, it is rather meant to imply that Job did not seek to GOD in his affliction. But, Reader! let you and I not consider the Temanite's motive so much as the goodness of his counsel. One of the sweetest signs that grace is in the heart, and that trouble will be sanctified, is when that trouble leads the heart to GOD, and not from GOD. That it was so in Job's instance is evident by what the poor man said in another chapter, Show me wherefore thou contendest with me? Job 10:2 .
(9) Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: (10) Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: (11) To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety. (12) He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. (13) He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. (14) They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night. (15) But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. (16) So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth. (17) ¶ Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: (18) For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
Be Eliphaz who he may, or let his views be what they might in his address to Job, yet we must own he giveth in these words a most sublime description of the sovereignty, and goodness of GOD. Reader! I would call upon you to remark with me, some of the sweet and precious truths contained within these verses. First, mark what he saith of GOD, as governing in the kingdom of nature. To him he ascribes all the great things produced. Not as some do to chance or accident, but to a settled plan of his order; the rain, and the dew, and the waters which run through the earth. Next he goes on and contemplates the works of GOD in the kingdom of his providence. Here he more largely treats; in stating how the LORD sets up one, and lowereth another; and while men are concluding, that it is from their own plans, and wisdom, and foresight, Eliphaz reasoneth with a precision and certainty, that it is GOD that taketh the wise in their own craftiness, and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. But Eliphaz doth not stop here, for whether he himself had any experience of divine influences, or had marked it in others, I do not stay to enquire, but certain it is, his language equally applies to the works of GOD in the kingdom of his grace, when he talks of the LORD saving the poor sinner from the sword, and giving hope to the poor, in stopping the month of iniquity. This is true gospel. And therefore, in a more especial manner, may it be said, that man is happy, who is made sore by the convictions of GOD'S SPIRIT, and bound up, and healed by the blood and righteousness of CHRIST.
(19) He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. (20) In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. (21) Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh. (22) At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. (23) For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee. (24) And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin. (25) Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.
This is a most beautiful description, of a soul at peace with GOD; and if read in a spiritual sense, with an eye to CHRIST, riseth to a point of sublimity, beautiful, and gracious indeed. Though six troubles and seven, may and will beset the godly, yet GOD is engaged by his faithfulness in the covenant of redemption, to carry his people safely through them all. War, famine, the pestilence, the sword, the strife of tongues, all are converted into messengers of sanctification, and wisdom to the righteous. They may, like the angel to Peter in the prison, they may smite roughly, but like that messenger they all come commissioned, to bring life, and liberty, and peace. Nay, saith Eliphaz, the very stones of the field, and the beasts of the earth, shall be in league with GOD'S people. Mark this, Reader! so long as a poor sinner is unawakened, unregenerated, and at war with GOD, being an enemy to GOD by wicked work, all creation, and all providences are at war with him. But when that poor sinner hath found peace with GOD, in the blood and righteousness of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, then all nature, and every providence, ministers to his welfare. Let the Reader note that precious declaration of GOD concerning this, which we meet with, Hosea 2:18-23 .
(26) Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Oh! how sweet is it to know that he that lives in the LORD, must die in the LORD. JESUS will be with his servants wherever they are, living or dying. And he that drops into the arms of JESUS in death, drops like a shock of corn fully ripe, let the age be what it may. And then that scripture is fulfilled; while the sinner, die whensoever he may, though it be at an hundred years, dies immature: the child of GOD though but an infant of days, dies an hundred years old in the calculation of grace. Isaiah 65:20 .
(27) Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.
Eliphaz here concludes his sermon, leaves it as all preachers must, to the mind and conscience, to judge its truth!
THE best improvement that we can make under GOD the HOLY GHOST, from this discourse of the man of Timan, is to consider the whole scope of his reasoning, not as it concerns Job only, but all the exercised family of the faithful upon earth. As far as we have already advanced, in the history of this patriarch's sufferings, we trace enough to discover some of the sweet designs of the LORD in his affliction! GOD will manifest that Satan's charge is false. Job's integrity shall be proved. And therefore Job's integrity must be brought to the trial. The enemy charged him with hypocrisy. And Job's friends are endeavoring to prove it, During the sharp exercise the LORD will sustain him.
Reader! remark from what we have already seen in Job's history, that a suitableness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little or no exercise for faith, when all things go well. When the LORD in his providence, neither suffers our desires to be crossed, nor thwarts our wishes; then it is smooth sailing down the stream of life. But if GOD raiseth a storm; permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and when we cry the LORD gives no answer, but seemingly stands aloof from our prayers; then in the prospect of shipwreck, still to hang on and trust GOD, when we cannot trace him; this is the patience of the saints!
But oh! precious JESUS, how sweet is it to eye thee, thou blessed Author and Finisher of faith in such moments. While we look at thee what strength doth it induce! when we lose sight of thee, what poor creatures the best of thy servants are! Oh! LORD! I would say for myself and Reader, give us to believe! help thou our unbelief.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 5". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25