Jobs comforters

Aug 27, 2008
Jobs comforters

"Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than
his Maker? Behold, He put no trust in His servants; and His angels He
charged with folly. How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose
foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth ." Job 4:17-19.
"What is man that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman,
that he should be righteous? Behold, He putteth no trust in His saints; yea,
the heavens are not clean in His sight. How much more abominable and
filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water ?"Job 15:14-16.
"How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is
born of woman? Behold, even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea the stars
are not pure in His sight. How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of
man, that is a worm." Job 15:4-6.
One great mistake which many make in reading the Bible, especially in the
hit-and-miss way of reading, is, not discerning three things: First, who is
speaking or writing; second, to whom is the person speaking or writing;
third, about what the person is speaking or writing.
In answering these questions in the above quotations, we have much light
thrown upon the subject.
We say we believe the Bible from cover to cover. We say that the Bible is
the word of God. This is true. The Bible is the true word of God, It is a
true record; an inspired record. Whenever it records any circumstance we
can rely upon its truthfulness, no matter whether it is the record of some
good deed of a good person, or of a bad deed of some bad person; whether
it is the record of some true statement of a true person, or a false
statement from a false person. It is a faithful record of whatever it
undertakes to tell. There are some statements in the Bible which are not
true, because they are made by false people. The record of them, however,
is true, but it is the record of somebody’s false assertion. For example,
notice this statement in 1 Kings 13:18: "He said unto him, I am a prophet
saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread
and drink water." Now, was this statement of the man true or false? Did
an angel tell him that or not? If the angel did not tell him that, then he lied,
and the Bible would be giving a true record of an untrue statement. let us
see if the man told the truth. In the very next line are these words: "But he
lied unto him." He made a false statement, but the Bible gives a true record
of said lie. Thus we see that all assertions in the Bible may not be true. It
depends upon where the assertion comes from. Observe, then, the
importance of keeping in mind the above mentioned three points.
We will now consider the statements in the three texts under
consideration. The first two we notice, by the heading of the chapters,
were spoken by Eliphaz, the Temanite, and the last by Bildad, the
Shuhite. These were Job’s comforters. "Miserable comforters are ye all,"
he adds, in the sixteenth chapter and second verse.
In the first text is the statement that God puts no trust in His servants,
and charges His angels with folly; and then, basing his argument upon this
premise, he puts Job at tremendous disadvantage. He confesses that he
obtained his information from a spirit in a vision in the night. Evidently he
had not tried the spirit whether it was of God (1 John 4:1), for the whole
tenor of Scripture is, that He does put trust in His servants, and some day
He will say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." That He charged
His angels with folly we have never found in the record, unless it was
Satan and his host, but that would be a strange structure upon which to
base an argument against Job or any one else.
The argument in the second text is, that He put no trust in His saints, and
the heavens are not clean in His sight, sandwiching this in between two
slurs concerning Job’s piety.
Where Eliphaz got this information he does not say; perhaps that same
spirit was still instructing him. At any rate, we fail to find any in
inspiration to that effect. We cannot understand how the heavens can be
unclean, when He made them. Why should He make unclean things or
places? Heaven is His abode; does He dwell in an unclean place? We have
always regarded heaven as a holy place. Is this not Bible truth? Can
anything be holy, and yet unclean? Eliphaz, we believe your statements
are far fetched; they will not stand the test.
also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord,
We have the assertion in the third text that the moon does not shine, and
the stars are not pure in His sight.
These are the words of Bildad, the Shuhite. He likewise slurs the
possibility of man being clean. He seems to have copied it from Eliphaz,
for the language is similar. We do not know where he got his information;
possibly from the spirit that helped Eliphaz out. If he meant that the
moon could not shine of itself, he was right; if he meant that no light came
from the moon, he must have been blind. That the stars are not pure, we
question his knowledge. God made them, and unless they are inhabited by
sinners, we cannot understand how they can be impure. Bildad, our
judgment is that you are worse "off" than Job, whom you are trying to
make out such a hard case.
We would not feel so free to criticize these "comforters" if we did not
have positive proof of the fact that they were worthy of criticism.
God said that Job was perfect, which is positive proof that he was not a
liar; for a liar is certainly not a perfect man. Then, if he is perfect, and not
a liar, we can well believe his testimony concerning these "miserable
What is your testimony, Job, concerning these men? Now hear him:
"But ye are forgers of lies; ye are all physicians of no value."
(Chapter 13:4.)
They had been diagnosticating Job’s case, and mankind in general, and,
according to Job’s statement, they had proved themselves very poor
doctors. Hear him again:
"How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there
remaineth falsehood." (Chapter 21:34.)
Now, if Job told the truth, then certainly they did not at all times. They
were trying to convince Job that he was not right with God; that his
afflictions were a result of his sinfulness, and hence they were led
But beyond the prima facie evidence of the falsity of the statements of
these "comforters," and the truth of Job’s testimony concerning them, we
have the plain word of God himself. Hear the word of the Lord:
"And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto
Job, the Lord said unto Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled
against thee, and against thy two friends; for ye have not spoken of
me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath." (Chapter 42:7.)
And again:
"And my servant Job shall pray for you; for him will I accept; lest
I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me
the thing which is right, like my servant Job." (Chapter 42:8.)
Me thinks I see Job erect a mourners’ bench on the spot, so they could
literally humble themselves in the dust and ashes (where Job had been
sitting in his afflictions). Mounting it like an old-time campmeeting
exhorter, he calls for penitents, and then sings:
"Come ye sinners, poor and needy."
Eliphaz hangs his head; Bildad turns both eyes toward the end of his nose;
Zophar looks askance. Another verse is sung:
"If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all."
This brings them to time, and one after another quietly and humbly bows
in the ashes at the mourners’ bench. Job leads in prayer; hearts are broken;
tears of penitence flow; confession and restitution are made; God forgives,
and so does Job, and the burden rolls away. The smiles of acceptance
beam out through their tear-bedimmed eyes as they rise to give in their
testimonies. Job shouts "Glory to God!" shakes their hands, and sings:
"Hallelujah, ‘tis done," etc.,
And exhorts them not to stop, but "go on unto perfection," and not lay
again "the foundation of repentance."
After bidding them a final farewell, we see them leaving for their respective
districts, inwardly resolving to get up a district camp-meeting at once, and
hoping to secure Evangelist Job to conduct the services.
Meanwhile the opening heavens are pouring upon Job a blessing he can
scarcely contain. This is the record:
"And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his
friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before."
(Chapter 42:10.)
What flocks of sheep, and herds of oxen, and droves of camels and asses!
Sons and daughters are born unto him. Fairer daughters are not to be found
in the land. Job lives an hundred and forty years more, and dandles the
fourth generation on his knees. "So Job died, being old and full of years."
Many people do not understand Job. They are apt to take sides with
those "comforters," and even with Satan. If these people who thus
criticize him had to undergo the tithe of his suffering in the various ways
in which he suffered, we fear they would not come through as Job said he
would: "When He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold." (Chapter
23:10.) God was putting him through deeper experiences than he had ever
gone through before. Though He said Job was perfect, yet there were
heights and depths which he had not reached; experiences which he had
not yet learned; a knowledge of himself which he had hitherto not known.
All of this was brought about through suffering. In a word, he had his
holiness perfected through suffering.
So there are in us, after we are sanctified, many things to get rid of; things
to learn; deeper depths to be sounded. There are many things in us which
are not sinful per se, but are not of God. So God has post-purity
processes for us in the way of suffering in many ways to bring us more
and more into the matured life of Christian manhood. "Perfecting holiness
in the fear of God" will be our experience if we stand and endure.
"So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than the beginning." And
thus will He do with the sanctified today if they will only let Him have
His way.
evidently to use those extravagant expressions to sustain their argument.