Job 04~07 约伯记 4~7章

JOB 4-7

I.                   Eliphaz’s Rebuke (Job 4-5)

A.                His Approach (4:1-4)

  1. Eliphaz’s approach seems to start out positive enough, even gentle; but it was only honey to prepare Job for the bitterness that would follow (v.2).
  2. Eliphaz referred to how Job’s words had helped many in the past and that he and the other two friends wanted their words to help Job.

B.                 His Accusation (4:5-11)

  1. He basically accused Job of being one who could “dish it out” but couldn’t take it.  He could tell others how to handle their trials, but when trials came into his life, he didn’t practice what he preached.
  2. Eliphaz’s claim was that if Job was living a godly life, then he had nothing to fear, because God always blesses the righteous and judges the wicked.
  3. This is the basic premise of all three friends: Do what is right, and things will go well for you; do what is wrong, and God will send judgment.
  4. Most people agree that ultimately God blesses the righteous, His own people, and judges the wicked; but that is not the question discussed in Job.  It is not the ultimate but the immediate about which Job and his three friends are concerned.

C.                 His Arguments (4:12-5:7)

  1. Eliphaz presented two arguments to prove his point: one from experience (4:12-21) and one from observation (5:1-7).
  2. The first argument is based on an eerie experience he had one night when he saw a “vision” and heard a voice.  Two questions must be answered: What was the content of the message, and was the message a direct revelation from God?
  3. The message basically was: man’s life is brief and frail, and he can never be righteous enough in himself to please God.
  4. Whatever the source of Eliphaz’s vision, we can be sure that the message, or his interpretation of the message, was not from God.  It’s possible that he merely had a dream, meditated on it, and gradually transformed it into a vision.
  5. One thing is sure: Eliphaz was not telling the whole story about God and man.  Although man’s life is brief and frail, he is made in the image of God, and the God who made him is a God of grace and mercy as well as a God of justice.
  6. Eliphaz’s second argument is based on his own personal observations of life (5:1-7).  He has seen sinners prosper and take root, only to be destroyed and lose everything.  This was a not-so-subtle description of Job’s situation.  It must have hurt Job deeply to have heard that it possibly was his own sin that caused the death of his children. 
  7. The problem with arguing from observation is that our observations are severely limited.   In addition, we cannot be sure that the conclusions we come to as a result of observation are accurate.  We can’t see the human heart as God can and determine who is righteous in His sight

D.                His Appeal (5:8-17)

  1. Eliphaz’s appeal to Job was that he seek God and commit himself to Him.  The God who does wonders and cares for His creation will surely help Job if he humbles himself and confesses his sins.
  2. Job should see his trials as discipline from God to make him a better man (vv.17-18).  Job must have been in bad shape for God to have done all that He did to Job in order to straighten him out.

E.                 His Assurance (5:17-27)

  1. Eliphaz’s assurance was that the same God who wounds will also heal.  He will deliver you from your trouble, save you from your enemies, and give you a long and happy life and a peaceful death.
  2. However, this was Satan’s philosophy said in different words (1:9; 2:4).  Eliphaz was asking Job to make a bargain with God: confess your sins, and God will restore all that you have lost.   

 

II.                Job’s Response (Job 6-7)

A.                Job’s appeal to his friends (Job 6)

  1. Only Eliphaz had spoken thus far, but Job could tell that Bildad and Zophar agreed with him.  Not one of Job’s friends identified with what Job was going through physically and emotionally.
  2. To begin with, they didn’t feel the heaviness of his suffering (6:1-3).  No wonder Job spoke so impetuously!  His friends would have done the same thing if they carried the load he carried.
  3. Nor did his friends understand the bitterness of his suffering (6:4-7).  Job felt like a target at which God was shooting poison arrows, and the poison was making Job’s spirit bitter.  What Job needed were words of encouragement that would feed his spirit and give him strength; but all his friends fed him were words that were useless and tasteless.
  4. Job tried to get them to feel the hopelessness of his situation (6:8-13).  Prolonged and intense suffering can make a person feel powerless to handle life, and this can lead to hopelessness. 
  5. Hopelessness can lead to a feeling of uselessness; and when you feel useless, you don’t want to live.  This explains why Job wanted God to take his life (3:20-23; 6:8-9; 7:15-16; 10:18-19; 14:13).  Job didn’t attempt this himself, for he knew that suicide was wrong; but he prayed that God might take him out of his misery.  Job’s strength was gone, and he felt useless (6:12-13).
  6. Courageously, Job pointed out the ineffectiveness of their ministry to him (6:14-30).  They didn’t pity him or try to meet his needs.  They were like a dry brook in the desert that disappoints thirsty travelers.
  7. Job made two requests of his friends: “Teach me” (v.24) and “Look upon me” (v.28).  He didn’t need accusation, he needed illumination! 

B.                 Job’s appeal to the Lord (Job 7)

  1. Job used several vivid pictures to describe the futility of life.  He felt like a man who had been drafted into the army against his will (v.1a), and like a laborer (v.1b) or a hired man waiting for sunset and his daily wages (v.2).  At least these men had something to look forward to, but Job’s future was hopeless. 
  2. Job then focused on the brevity of life.  Time was passing swiftly; so if God were going to do anything, He had better hurry!  Job saw his life as a breath or a cloud, here for a brief time and then gone forever, never to return (Job 7:7-10; James 4:14).  God was treating him like a dangerous monster that had to be watched every minute (7:11-12).  There was no way Job could escape God, the “watcher of men” (v.20).  why would God pay so much attention to one man? (vv.17-18) 
  3. Job closes his appeal with a request for forgiveness (7:20-21).  It was not a confession of sin, for Job still maintained his integrity; but it was an opportunity for God to deal with areas in Job’s life that he knew nothing about.
  4. Then Job was silent.  He had vented his pain and frustration and appealed to his friends for understanding and encouragement.
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