Eliphaz shows that a man's goodness profits not God. (1-4) Job
accused of oppression. (5-14) The world before the flood.
(15-20) Eliphaz exhorts Job to repentance. (21-30)
Eliphaz considers that, because Job complained so much of
his afflictions, he thought God was unjust in afflicting him;
but Job was far from thinking so. What Eliphaz says, is unjustly
applied to Job, but it is very true, that when God does us good
it is not because he is indebted to us. Man's piety is no profit
to God, no gain. The gains of religion to men are infinitely
greater than the losses of it. God is a Sovereign, who gives no
account of his conduct; but he is perfectly wise, just,
faithful, good, and merciful. He approves the likeness of his
own holiness, and delights in the fruits of his Spirit; he
accepts the thankful services of the humble believer, while he
rejects the proud claim of the self-confident.
Eliphaz brought heavy charges against Job, without reason
for his accusations, except that Job was visited as he supposed
God always visited every wicked man. He charges him with
oppression, and that he did harm with his wealth and power in
the time of his prosperity.
Eliphaz would have Job mark the old way that wicked men
have trodden, and see what the end of their way was. It is good
for us to mark it, that we may not walk therein. But if others
are consumed, and we are not, instead of blaming them, and
lifting up ourselves, as Eliphaz does here, we ought to be
thankful to God, and take it for a warning.
The answer of Eliphaz wrongly implied that Job had
hitherto not known God, and that prosperity in this life would
follow his sincere conversion. The counsel Eliphaz here gives is
good, though, as to Job, it was built upon a false supposition
that he was a stranger and enemy to God. Let us beware of
slandering our brethren; and if it be our lot to suffer in this
manner, let us remember how Job was treated; yea, how Jesus was
reviled, that we may be patient. Let us examine whether there
may not be some colour for the slander, and walk watchfully, so
as to be clear of all appearances of evil.