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Job 6-7

Talks for Growing Christians

Job’s First Response to Eliphaz

Job 6-7

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Lesson Number 6

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The first response of Job to Eliphaz contains disappointment and despair.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t be a wadi friend!

Questions

  1. In verses 1-9 Job admits that he has spoken ______ words, and is so despairing in his suffering that he wishes that he could ____. Is there any hint here of Job considering suicide?
  2. How does Job describe his friends in verses 14-21a?
  3. What is the challenge that Job puts before Eliphaz in verses 24-30?
  4. Is Job describing his condition in verse 5 of chapter 7 in literal terms?
  5. Who is Job speaking to in verses 7-21, and how would these words of Job be described?
  6. In chapter 7, did Job turn away from the Lord? Did he question God’s ways?

Answers

  1. In verses 1-9 Job admits that he has spoken rash words, and is so despairing in his suffering that he wishes he could die. There is no hint here of suicide or mercy killing because of the intense suffering. Job knows that this matter of taking life is in the hands of the Lord.
  2. Job describes his so-called friends as wadis, that is streams which were full in the rainy season but completely dried up in the midst of the summer heat when water was needed most.
  3. In verses 24-30 of chapter 6, Job challenges Eliphaz and the others to show him where he has gone wrong. He pleads with them to have an honest discussion with him, to stop treating his words like wind and to reconsider what they have said unjustly about his integrity.
  4. We believe that Job is describing his condition literally when he speaks of his flesh being caked with worms and his skin being cracked (v 5, chapter 7).
  5. In verses 7-21 of chapter 7, Job is speaking directly to the Lord, and his words form a prayer in the midst of his response to Eliphaz.
  6. It is significant that Job did not turn away from God in his intense suffering, an important lesson for us. Suffering should bring us closer to the Lord, even when we don’t understand why we are suffering.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss the characteristics of a good and loyal friend. Consider how these characteristics would compare or contrast with those of Eliphaz and his friends in their response to Job’s suffering. Identify those around you who demonstrate true and lasting friendship.

Challenge

  1. What kind of a friend are you? When your friends are in the midst of prolonged physical, emotional or spiritual suffering, do you slowly become tired of ministering to them and disappear as a companion? It is a true friend, a friend like Jesus, who never leaves the side of a long-suffering friend. Pray for perseverance, grace and compassion when you are befriending one who is suffering.

Key Verses

  • “My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook, like the streams of the brooks that pass away.” Job 6:15
  • "What have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have you set me as Your target, so that I am a burden to myself?" Job 7:20

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