Scripture reading – Job 22-23
Job 22 – Eliphaz’s Rebuke of Job
Job’s friend, Eliphaz the Temanite, challenged him for this third and final time (the first two recorded in Job 4-5, and Job 15). He wrongly accused Job of thinking he was righteous, and that God was obligated to him (22:1-4). Impatient with Job’s pleas of innocence, Eliphaz unleashed a torrent of accusations against the man whom God had said, “there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” (1:8).
Eliphaz accused Job of being unmerciful: Exploiting the poor (22:6), refusing water to the thirsty, and denying bread to the hungry (22:7). He faulted him for sending widows away wanting (22:9a), and crushing orphans (22:9b). He warned that all the evil that had befallen Job was God’s punishment for his wicked ways, and suggested he must believe that God was blind to his wickedness (22:12-14)!
The false charges against Job continued throughout the balance of Job 22. Eliphaz’s diatribe ended with him admonishing Job to repent of his wickedness (22:24-25), promising God would then prosper him (22:26), and answer his prayers (22:27-30).
Job 23 – Job’s Appeal to God to Hear His Plea
Job once again employed the scene of a heavenly courtroom, with God being his judge and he the victim advocating for compassion and understanding (23:1-2). Job complained that it seemed God was distant, but were he to find Him, he would petition the LORD to hear his appeal (23:3-4). He confessed, I know the LORD; “5I would know the words which He would answer me, And understand what He would say unto me” (23:5).
What a wonderful picture Job gives us of God! In fact, he makes one of the great statements of faith in God’s providences when he confessed, “He knoweth the way that I take: When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (23:10).
Job was confident that, regardless what accusation his friends brought against him, he was sure that God knew him to be a man of integrity. His friends had slandered and misjudged him, but God’s judgment was perfect and just. He was determined to walk in God’s way (23:11), and not go back or turn away from His commandments (23:12).
Job confessed, unlike man, God is not given to whims; “He is one mind…and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth” (23:13).
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith