Job 5

* Eliphaz urges that the sin of sinners in their ruin. (1-5) God

is to be regarded in affliction. (6-16) The happy end of God's

correction. (17-27)

1-5 Eliphaz here calls upon Job to answer his arguments. Were

any of the saints or servants of God visited with such Divine

judgments as Job, or did they ever behave like him under their

sufferings? The term, "saints," holy, or more strictly,

consecrated ones, seems in all ages to have been applied to the

people of God, through the Sacrifice slain in the covenant of

their reconciliation. Eliphaz doubts not that the sin of sinners

directly tends to their ruin. They kill themselves by some lust

or other; therefore, no doubt, Job has done some foolish thing,

by which he has brought himself into this condition. The

allusion was plain to Job's former prosperity; but there was no

evidence of Job's wickedness, and the application to him was

unfair and severe.
6-16 Eliphaz reminds Job, that no affliction comes by chance,

nor is to be placed to second causes. The difference between

prosperity and adversity is not so exactly observed, as that

between day and night, summer and winter; but it is according to

the will and counsel of God. We must not attribute our

afflictions to fortune, for they are from God; nor our sins to

fate, for they are from ourselves. Man is born in sin, and

therefore born to trouble. There is nothing in this world we are

born to, and can truly call our own, but sin and trouble. Actual

transgressions are sparks that fly out of the furnace of

original corruption. Such is the frailty of our bodies, and the

vanity of all our enjoyments, that our troubles arise thence as

the sparks fly upward; so many are they, and so fast does one

follow another. Eliphaz reproves Job for not seeking God,

instead of quarrelling with him. Is any afflicted? let him pray.

It is heart's ease, a salve for every sore. Eliphaz speaks of

rain, which we are apt to look upon as a little thing; but if we

consider how it is produced, and what is produced by it, we

shall see it to be a great work of power and goodness. Too often

the great Author of all our comforts, and the manner in which

they are conveyed to us, are not noticed, because they are

received as things of course. In the ways of Providence, the

experiences of some are encouragements to others, to hope the

best in the worst of times; for it is the glory of God to send

help to the helpless, and hope to the hopeless. And daring

sinners are confounded, and forced to acknowledge the justice of

God's proceedings.
17-27 Eliphaz gives to Job a word of caution and exhortation:

Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Call it a

chastening, which comes from the Father's love, and is for the

child's good; and notice it as a messenger from Heaven. Eliphaz

also encourages Job to submit to his condition. A good man is

happy though he be afflicted, for he has not lost his enjoyment

of God, nor his title to heaven; nay, he is happy because he is

afflicted. Correction mortifies his corruptions, weans his heart

from the world, draws him nearer to God, brings him to his

Bible, brings him to his knees. Though God wounds, yet he

supports his people under afflictions, and in due time delivers

them. Making a wound is sometimes part of a cure. Eliphaz gives

Job precious promises of what God would do for him, if he

humbled himself. Whatever troubles good men may be in, they

shall do them no real harm. Being kept from sin, they are kept

from the evil of trouble. And if the servants of Christ are not

delivered from outward troubles, they are delivered by them, and

while overcome by one trouble, they conquer all. Whatever is

maliciously said against them shall not hurt them. They shall

have wisdom and grace to manage their concerns. The greatest

blessing, both in our employments and in our enjoyments, is to

be kept from sin. They shall finish their course with joy and

honour. That man lives long enough who has done his work, and is

fit for another world. It is a mercy to die seasonably, as the

corn is cut and housed when fully ripe; not till then, but then

not suffered to stand any longer. Our times are in God's hands;

it is well they are so. Believers are not to expect great

wealth, long life, or to be free from trials. But all will be

ordered for the best. And remark from Job's history, that

steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest

attainments of faith. There is little exercise for faith when

all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy

to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our

prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot

trace him, this is the patience of the saints. Blessed Saviour!

how sweet it is to look unto thee, the Author and Finisher of

faith, in such moments!

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