My father used to tell me, “You reap what you sow.” I didn’t know he was telling me a biblical principle. I thought maybe it was an African proverb or something he made up. He would explain that when a farmer plants corn, he doesn’t grow a crop of strawberries—he grows corn. He told me that when I sowed stupidity or a lack of common sense, I would grow a harvest of calamity. It made sense to him, but it didn’t make any sense to me.Read More
Job fires back. “I’m as good as you are, better even” (vs 1-2). But that doesn’t seem to do Job any good at all. He is still in deep trouble. People have nothing but contempt for him.
We rarely get ourselves out of trouble by claiming that we are better than others—or even by being better than others.Read More authority, sovereignty
“Look, I’ve heard enough from you guys: you’re hopeless, useless and wrong. And I’m not going to waste any more words on you.”
“There is someone I want to talk to, though; and that’s God. So give me a chance; you guys shut up. And let me speak to God.”
That’s Job in a nutshell.Read More arguing, conversations, pleading, questions
This reads like total cynicism and complete despair. Like a treatise on the hopelessness of being a human being. One could almost imagine this as a pre-suicide note in a television police drama. And it is Job who is talking: Job, our biblical hero.
What does it mean to be a human being? A birth, a troubled and short life, and a death. A temporary pain to oneself and to others. “Life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short,” wrote Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century. And this chapter seems to echo those sentiments.Read More despair, pessimism
Okay, the gloves are coming off now. The language is rude and crude.
This is the second round in a prize fight. In the first round, Eliphaz managed a compliment or two, a nice waltz around the ring, little jabs of affirmation. But now Eliphaz comes out swinging, wild punches of devastating insult, a complete moral destruction, a merciless character assassination of his friend/enemy, Job.Read More arrogance, insensitivity
After such a devastating attack it is amazing that Job can even lift his head for a response, can even open his mouth to defend himself.
But often the best defence is to go on the attack. So, yes, Eliphaz, you are a miserable comforter, a bag of wind yourself. And if I were in your shoes I too would find it just as easy to mount the attack, to gather the insults, to punch and pound an opponent.Read More blame, death, despair