Vs. 7, “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?” Job’s three friends came to comfort him in his time of trial…but end up being critical towards him instead. Eliphaz speaks up and reminds Job of all the good things he once had and he must have done something terribly wrong to bring such calamity. But Eliphaz’s understanding of God was wrong, because he assumed that Godly people would never endure hardships. If that were true…Jesus would have been a sinner since he endured the hardship of being forsaken and died on the cross for us. Eliphaz was essentilly embracing “karma” = “you reap what you sow” (vs. 8)…”what comes around goes around”.
Regarding application…Discouragement. While Eliphaz intended to comfort Job, he ended up discouraging him. Question: I wonder how often we do the same with others? We are so quick to try to “fix” someone else’s problems we don’t realize that it’s actually discouraging them. I have found this to be very true in my own life as I am too eager to find a solution. It takes time, prayer, and wisdom to properly discern someone’s struggles to encourage them properly. Question: How can we encourge better? Know God’s word! That was Eliphaz’s folly as he did not understand God’s ways. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom” (I Corinthians 1:25). Encouragement will be something we can exercise everyday of our lives. The more we know God, the better friends we’ll be!