Job 22:1-14 “Is It Any Pleasure to The Almighty That You Are Righteous?”

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Job 22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,

Job 22:2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?

Job 22:3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?

Job 22:4 Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?

Job 22:5 Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?

Job 22:6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing.

Job 22:7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.

Job 22:8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it.

Job 22:9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.

Job 22:10 Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;

Job 22:11 Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.

Job 22:12 Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

Job 22:13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?

Job 22:14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.

Introduction

It seems many times in this life that everything God had promised to Israel if they would obey Him, is exactly what many of the wicked receive in this life.

Here is what God promised Israel “if [ they would] hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD…, to observe and to do all his commandments…”.

Deu 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

Deu 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Deu 28:3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

Deu 28:4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Deu 28:5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Deu 28:6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

Yet seems that all of these promises are exactly what often come upon the wicked in this life. Last week we saw Job attempt to point out to Zophar, as well as Bildad and Eliphaz, that it is obvious to the most casual observer that God does not always dispense justice to the wicked in this life. It seems that, in this life, it is the wicked who are “set on high” while the righteous are despised and rejected.

Job 21:7 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?

Job 21:8 Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.

Job 21:9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.

Job 21:10 Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.

Job 21:11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.

Job 21:12 They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.

Job 21:13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.

Job lived before Moses, so he was not directly referring to these promises. Nevertheless it is abundantly clear from what Job and his friends say, that it was acknowledged, as Job told us in our last study, that God would repay the wicked for what they had done.

Job 21:31 Who shall declare his [ the wicked] way to his face? and who shall repay him what he hath done?

That being so, it was an unheard revelation given to Job to inform us that even if the wicked are apparently blessed in every way in this life, even if “the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power”, nevertheless the wicked are simply being ‘reserved to the day of destruction and will be brought forth to the day of wrath’. This is the first allusion in scripture to what Christ called the judgment of “Gehenna” and what John, in the book of Revelation, called “the great white throne judgment… the lake of fire.”

Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

This is the message of Christ’s parable of Lazarus and the rich man:

Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Luk 16:23 And in hell [ Greek, hades, the unseen or grave] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

“This flame” is the very same “fire” which the apostle Paul tells us will “try every man’s works of what sort they are”:

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation [ Christ verse 11] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

“This flame… [ and] the fire] are both one and the same thing. They are the word of God which is “fire”.

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Christ tells us plainly that this is what will try our works in that day:

Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

So judgment and fire are the same thing, and sure enough, that is what Christ tells us:

Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [ Greek – Gehenna] fire, [ the white throne judgment, the lake of fire].

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Let’s look at what Paul says in 1Co 3 and compare it to what John says here in Rev 20:

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Both are speaking of “every man” and “every man’s works”. Every man will be judged according to their works. What happens then in this “fire [ which] shall try every man’s works of what sort it is”? We are not left to speculate. We are plainly told what is the purpose for this “fire”, and it is the same throughout scripture. Fire is judgment by the Word of God, and here is what that judgment accomplishes:

1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

“But he himself shall be saved: yet so as by fire.” That is what the scriptures teach, and it is here in Job that this message is just beginning to be clarified. Job’s entire experience in the first forty- one chapters is a description of how these fiery words of God are used by God to burn up the works of our old, first man Adam. It is he and his works which we all “lose” and of which we all “suffer loss”. “But he himself” refers to our new man who is born at the expense of the loss of the life of our old man.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his [ old man’s] life shall lose it: and he that loseth his [ old man’s] life for my sake shall find it.

Eliphaz certainly is not given eyes to see this revelation God has given Job. Eliphaz, the type of us while we are deceived by the lies of Babylon, does not even attempt to address or deal with the obvious truth which Job has pointed out; that the wicked are often made to prosper in this life. He is so set on condemning Job that he simply ignores this obvious truth and does not let the facts confuse him. Though it is as obvious as the monstrosity of an eternal burning hell, Eliphaz is infuriated that Job would even dare suggest that the wicked prosper, and it is the righteous who are afflicted.

The resurrection of the wicked dead to his own destruction in the wrath of God, is a doctrine which is as new to Job’s generation as the doctrine of the death and resurrection of the Messiah for the sins of the world was to Christ’s generation. It was always right there in the scriptures for anyone to see or hear, but they had been blinded to that part of God’s Word.

Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

It seems that Eliphaz, while completely ignoring the plain and obvious truth that the wicked are not always judged or brought to justice in this age, is inflamed by Job’s observations concerning the way God deals with the wicked. Eliphaz, as the type of us while we are defending the lies of Babylon, does not let the facts stand in his way as he continues to slander his tormented friend.

In this, his last attempt to convince Job that he is a sinner above all men, Eliphaz pulls out all the stops and blatantly accuses Job of completely unfounded and slanderous injustices.

Job 22:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,

Job 22:2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?

Job 22:3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?

God is not affected in any way, neither in a positive nor in a negative way, by either our good works or our evil works. Elihu makes this same point:

Job 35:6 If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?

Job 35:7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?

Job 35:8 Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.

King David informs us of a vital truth:

Psa 16:2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” (ESV)

So our actions have absolutely no affect upon our Creator, who poses to us this question:

Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

It is in this same “earthen vessel” that we possess both our old and our new man:

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood [ these “earthen vessels] cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

“The Potter has power over the clay” and is in no danger of anything coming from that clay over which He has all power.

Job 22:4 Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?

It is natural for any man to subdue and attempt to subordinate anyone perceived to be a threat to himself or to his power. But God fears no man.

Job 22:5 Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite?

Job 22:6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing.

Job 22:7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry.

Job 22:8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it.

Job 22:9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.

Here is Job’s answer to all these false charges:

Job 29:12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.

Job 29:13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.

Job’s good name meant more to him than his possessions, and now he has lost all his possessions, and the very men who had come to comfort him in his anguish are now doing him a worse service than the Chaldeans and the Sabeans, by slandering his good character. When Eliphaz says, “But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it”, he is referring to the fact that Job had been a mighty man.

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

Job 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

Job 1:3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

The Hebrew word translated ‘mighty’ in verse 8 is ‘zeroa’, and it is more accurately translated as ‘arm’ which is indeed symbolic of power and might. Here is the KJC e- sword entry for this word:

H2220

/ / /

zero a / zero a h

Total KJV Occurrences: 91

arm, 59

Exo_6:6, Exo_15:16, Deu_4:34, Deu_5:15, Deu_7:19, Deu_9:29, Deu_11:2, Deu_26:8, Deu_33:20, 1Sa_2:31 (2), 2Sa_1:10, 1Ki_8:42, 2Ki_17:36, 2Ch_6:32, 2Ch_32:8, Job_26:2, Job_35:9, Job_38:15, Job_40:9, Psa_10:15, Psa_44:3 (2), Psa_77:15, Psa_89:10, Psa_89:13, Psa_89:21, Psa_98:1, Psa_136:12, Son_8:6, Isa_9:20, Isa_17:5, Isa_30:30, Isa_33:2, Isa_40:10-11 (2), Isa_48:14, Isa_51:5, Isa_52:9-10 (2), Isa_53:1, Isa_59:16, Isa_62:8, Isa_63:5, Isa_63:12, Jer_27:5 (3), Jer_32:17, Jer_48:25, Eze_4:7, Eze_20:33-34 (2), Eze_30:21, Eze_31:17, Dan_11:6 (2), Zec_11:17 (2)

arms, 24

Gen_49:24, Deu_33:27, Jdg_15:14, Jdg_16:12, 2Sa_22:35, 2Ki_9:24, Job_22:9, Psa_18:34, Pro_31:17 (2), Isa_44:12, Isa_51:5, Eze_13:20, Eze_30:22, Eze_30:24-25 (4), Dan_10:6, Dan_11:15, Dan_11:22, Dan_11:31, Hos_7:15, Hos_11:3

power, 3

Psa_79:11, Eze_17:9, Eze_22:6

shoulder, 2

Num_6:19, Deu_18:3

holpen, 1

Psa_83:8

mighty, 1

Job_22:8 (2)

strength, 1

Psa_71:18

Here are a few verses which demonstrate how this word ‘arm’ is associated with the concept of ‘power’.

Psa 10:15 Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.

Eze 30:21 Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword.

Psa 89:13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.

Psa 98:1 A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

It is a grievous sin to falsely accuse any man of any sin:

Deu 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

1Ti 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

There are no witnesses to any of these accusations against Job. As the Old Testament type of Christ and His Christ, Job is falsely accused and condemned by his own people against whom he has committed no offense. Based on nothing more than the fact that God is indeed judging Job first, these men suppose him to be a sinner above all men. Like Christ on the cross, they reason that if He were innocent He would not be there.

Mat 27:39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

Mat 27:40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Mat 27:41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

Mat 27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

Like our Lord, Job was given over to the power of the adversary. It takes the holy spirit to reveal the wisdom of experiencing such a plan and purpose to any man. The one thing Job knows is that he has not done the things of which he is being accused. Neither he nor his accusers know or understand that all of this is just a type and a shadow of what God is doing in the lives of His elect. They have no inkling of the need for you and I to understand that “judgment must begin at the house of God”. So with the mentality of the mob that cried out for our Lord’s crucifixion, all Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar can see is that God has turned His back on Job, and has turned him over to the power of the adversary. This, and this alone, proves to them that Job is a sinner above all men.

It is good for us to see ourselves as chief of sinners. It is a curse to think that this is true of anyone else.

Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Job 22:10 Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;

Job 22:11 Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.

“Therefore”, meaning because Eliphaz slanderously supposes “thy wickedness [ is] great, and thine iniquities [ are] infinite, … thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing… Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry… Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.”

Job 22:12 Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

Job 22:13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?

Job 22:14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.

Not only does Eliphaz presume to know exactly what sins Job has committed, he now presumes to know exactly what Job is thinking. He accuses Job of saying in his heart “thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud?” Eliphaz imputes these thoughts to Job. He accuses Job of thinking that God is in heaven so high and so far away that He is unaware of Job’s evil thoughts and actions against so many of his fellow men. He tells Job that because God is hidden from our view by “thick clouds” that therefore Job believes that God cannot see the evil Job has done.

Christ and His ways are “a cloud of darkness” to our natural man.

Exo 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

Exo 14:20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

So the thick clouds and darkness in which God is said to dwell are actually merely a matter of perspective. Those who do not know Christ and His Father are separated from them both by “dark clouds”.

2Sa 22:12 And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.

Psa 18:11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

The fact is that from a godly perspective light and darkness are both alike to Him.

Psa 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

Psa 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Psa 139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Psa 139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Psa 139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

Psa 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

“The darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day” tells us that light and darkness, in scriptural terms are both a matter of one’s spiritual perspective but are both the same from God’s perspective. Both are nothing more or less than instruments in God’s sovereign hands.

If indeed there is any truth to the principle of having a beam in our own eye while we try to remove speck of dust from the eye of our brother, this certainly does not speak well of us as we are typified by Eliphaz and his friends. It is the old Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, who are the symbol of our old man, imprisoned by all the lies of Babylon, whose doom is predestined, and who God hates and who He has determined “before the world began” to destroy, and through the agency of that destruction, bring…:

Jer 12:7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.

Jer 12:8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.

While it is true that there are those who will outwardly be in the lake of fire, it is also true that our old man must inwardly endure the fiery trials of this age and be destroyed. So while God loved the first Adam, the work of His hands, He intended all along to save Adam through his destruction of that “first man Adam” who is typified by all the rejected firstborn of scripture:

1Sa 16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau [“the first man…”] have I hated.

Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh [ our own fleshly ‘Adam’, typified by “the first” child of Abraham by the bondwoman, Hagar] persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Next week, if the Lord wills, we will hear the rest of Eliphaz’s presumptuous knowledge of all of Job’s sins and his sinful thoughts.

Job 22:15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?

Job 22:16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:

Job 22:17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Job 22:18 Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

Job 22:19 The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.

Job 22:20 Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth.

Job 22:21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

Job 22:22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.

Job 22:23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.

Job 22:24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.

Job 22:25 Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.

Job 22:26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.

Job 22:27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.

Job 22:28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.

Job 22:29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.

Job 22:30 He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.

 

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