Job 4

* Eliphaz reproves Job. (1-6) And maintains that God's judgments

are for the wicked. (7-11) The vision of Eliphaz. (12-21)

1-6 Satan undertook to prove Job a hypocrite by afflicting him;

and his friends concluded him to be one because he was so

afflicted, and showed impatience. This we must keep in mind if

we would understand what passed. Eliphaz speaks of Job, and his

afflicted condition, with tenderness; but charges him with

weakness and faint-heartedness. Men make few allowances for

those who have taught others. Even pious friends will count that

only a touch which we feel as a wound. Learn from hence to draw

off the mind of a sufferer from brooding over the affliction, to

look at the God of mercies in the affliction. And how can this

be done so well as by looking to Christ Jesus, in whose

unequalled sorrows every child of God soonest learns to forget

his own?
7-11 Eliphaz argues, 1. That good men were never thus ruined.

But there is one event both to the righteous and to the wicked,

#Ec 9:2|, both in life and death; the great and certain

difference is after death. Our worst mistakes are occasioned by

drawing wrong views from undeniable truths. 2. That wicked men

were often thus ruined: for the proof of this, Eliphaz vouches

his own observation. We may see the same every day.
12-21 Eliphaz relates a vision. When we are communing with our

own hearts, and are still, #Ps 4:4|, then is a time for the Holy

Spirit to commune with us. This vision put him into very great

fear. Ever since man sinned, it has been terrible to him to

receive communications from Heaven, conscious that he can expect

no good tidings thence. Sinful man! shall he pretend to be more

just, more pure, than God, who being his Maker, is his Lord and

Owner? How dreadful, then, the pride and presumption of man! How

great the patience of God! Look upon man in his life. The very

foundation of that cottage of clay in which man dwells, is in

the dust, and it will sink with its own weight. We stand but

upon the dust. Some have a higher heap of dust to stand upon

than others but still it is the earth that stays us up, and will

shortly swallow us up. Man is soon crushed; or if some lingering

distemper, which consumes like a moth, be sent to destroy him,

he cannot resist it. Shall such a creature pretend to blame the

appointments of God? Look upon man in his death. Life is short,

and in a little time men are cut off. Beauty, strength,

learning, not only cannot secure them from death, but these

things die with them; nor shall their pomp, their wealth, or

power, continue after them. Shall a weak, sinful, dying

creature, pretend to be more just than God, and more pure than

his Maker? No: instead of quarrelling with his afflictions, let

him wonder that he is out of hell. Can a man be cleansed without

his Maker? Will God justify sinful mortals, and clear them from

guilt? or will he do so without their having an interest in the

righteousness and gracious help of their promised Redeemer, when

angels, once ministering spirits before his throne, receive the

just recompence of their sins? Notwithstanding the seeming

impunity of men for a short time, though living without God in

the world, their doom is as certain as that of the fallen

angels, and is continually overtaking them. Yet careless sinners

note it so little, that they expect not the change, nor are wise

to consider their latter end.

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