Job 4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered: 2 “If one ventures a word with you, will you be offended? But who can keep from speaking? 3 See, you have instructed many; you have strengthened the weak hands. 4 Your words have supported those who were stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees. 5 But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed. 6 Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope? 7 “Think now, who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? 8 As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. 9 By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
Job has suffered greatly in the first three chapters of this book. He has lost all 10 of his children and now suffers terribly in his own body. Here his frend Eliphaz offers this not-so-helpful interpretation of recent events. He makes two points here:
First, Eliphaz suggests it’s high time Job follows his own advice (v.4-5). He’s supported others in their despair but seems unable to stand in his own time of need.
Second, v.7-8 place the blame for his tragedy squarely on Job. If God offers good things to good people and bad things to bad people – then Job must have been bad indeed.
Lord save us from those who want to heap guilt on us when we endure hardships. Amen.