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Job 4-5

Talks for Growing Christians

First Speech of Eliphaz to Job

Job 4-5

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Lesson Number 5

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The first speech of Eliphaz contains truth and error.

Practical Application

  1. Eliminate the Eliphaz’ mentality from your counseling!

Questions

  1. In this first speech of Eliphaz to Job, Eliphaz presents the main points of his counseling argument and draws a conclusion. What are his argument points and his conclusion?
  2. What was the main reason(s) for Job’s suffering and what is the biblical truth that refutes the primary point of Eliphaz’ argument?
  3. How do you explain the fact that there is truth and error recorded in the Bible and yet the Bible is God’s Word and is entirely true?
  4. Eliphaz makes several erroneous statements in his first speech to Job. Can you identify these errors in verses 4:7, 4:20-21 and 5:17-26?
  5. Even though Eliphaz makes errors in his arguments, he does make some statements that are biblically correct. Identify those statements in verses 4:17, 5:7 and 5:8-16.

Answers

  1. Eliphaz’ makes the argument that all suffering is the result of sin and that Job is suffering. His conclusion, therefore, is that Job has sinned.
  2. As we have seen in chapters 1 and 2, the main reason that Job was suffering was because it was a test of Job’s faith and it was God’s proof to Satan that Job was faithful. The rest of the Bible makes very clear that all personal suffering is not because of personal sin. In the account of the blind man who had his sight restored by Jesus, Jesus said that the blind man was born blind for the purpose of the glory of God, not because of personal sin (John 9).
  3. The Bible does not lie, but it contains the true record of some lies and inaccurate (erroneous) statements made by people in the Bible. Everything recorded in the book of Job is a true account of what took place, including the erroneous verbal statements made by Job’s three friends.
  4. Eliphaz was wrong when he stated that the innocent and upright do not suffer (v 4:7), that God did not take notice and was unconcerned with the death of mortals (v 4:20), that all people die without obtaining wisdom (v 4:21), and that God will take away all trouble and bring relief and healing to all those who submit to Him (vs 5:17-26).
  5. Eliphaz was correct when he said that mortal man is not righteous before God (v 4:17), that everyone who is born will have troubles (v 5:7), and that God is majestic, gracious and powerful and will thwart the schemes of the wicked (vs 5:17-26).

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss the sources that you and your group of believers have to gain knowledge and wisdom in the practice of personal counseling. Consider a process of accountability among Christian friends that will help keep you from drawing wrong conclusions about people you may have need to counsel.

Challenge

  1. Counseling others is a serious matter with many potential long-term ramifications, particularly when the counseling has to do with personal sin. Be sure that you are biblically informed and adequately experienced so that your conclusions and counsel will be right and true.

Key Verses

  • “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.” Job 5:17-18

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