Job 4:1-11 – “Where Were The Righteous Cut Off?”

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Job 4:1-11 – Where Were The Righteous Cut Off?

Job 4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
Job 4:2 If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?
Job 4:3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.
Job 4:4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.
Job 4:5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.
Job 4:6 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?
Job 4:7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?
Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
Job 4:9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.
Job 4:10 The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken.
Job 4:11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad.
Introduction

There are three men who we are told “had made an appointment together to come mourn with him and to comfort” their friend, Job.

Job 2:11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

Eliphaz the Temanite is the first to ‘comfort’ his friend, Job. The best he can do is to accuse Job of apparently having committed some great secret sin, which Eliphaz and his friends ‘obviously’ have not committed since they are not suffering as Job is suffering.
Who, spiritually, are these three men, and why do they attack the very man they have come to comfort? There is a great spiritual lesson in this story telling us who and what we are.
As we pointed out earlier in our study on Job 2:11, these three men are all fellow Edomites, and the three cities from which they come are all cities of Edom. So these men are three, which means, for those who know what the number three signifies, that they are about to take it upon themselves to judge their brother, Job who, being of “the land of Uz”, is also a fellow Edomite, and therefore Job is being judged by his own flesh and blood.

Lam 4:21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.

So while these men speak for eight chapters, accusing their own brother of his sins, they are in the process of condemning themselves and “making themselves naked”. Their own words reveal their own self righteousness, which in God’s mind is “the greater sin”.

Eze 36:31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.

So these three men, represent each of us, with our own self righteous, carnal judgments of our brothers and sisters who are afflicted. They come as our comforters to mourn with us, even as they accuse us of being responsible for our own sins, just as we ourselves believe that we are responsible for our own sins. These men want to be comfort to their friend, but after a week of meditation, they all came to the same conclusion. Their conclusion is the same conclusion you and I just naturally conclude when we see evil and trials befall our brothers, our sisters and our friends and even ourselves, when we find ourselves in very dire straits. We all inevitably conclude that the trials of others or our own trials, are the result of some sin or they would be blessed instead of enduring this trial.
It is the “law… for the lawless”, which leads us to this conclusion.

1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

We have all been “the lawless” and in need of “the law… for the lawless”. Here is what the ‘law for the lawless’ tells us concerning how we can avoid being physically cursed:

Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Not only will “none of these diseases [ be put] upon thee”, but many blessings were also promised to those who “diligently listen to the voice of the Lord.”

Deu 7:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:
Deu 7:13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

Job had just lost all of his earthly possessions, including all ten of his children. It certainly did not appear that God was ‘loving, blessing or multiplying’ Job in the eyes of the natural man who was living under God’s “law for the lawless”. Yes, these are Edomites, who did not have the law of Moses, but they were “doing by nature the things contained in the law” and were thereby “under the law… a law unto themselves”.

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

So the “law unto themselves” which the Gentiles live under is just as natural a law and just as valid a ‘law’ as the “carnal” law of Moses, which God gave His carnal people.

Heb 7:16 Who [ Christ with His “law of the spirit”] is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

In practical application, the law of Moses had the very same effect as the law of the Gentiles, and you were blessed if you obeyed the law, and you were cursed if you disobeyed that law.
It is with this mindset that these three men come to mourn with and comfort their friend, Job.

Job 2:12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
Job 2:13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

They actually “lifted up their voices and wept” because this is their own flesh and blood brother. But after that week of meditation upon a “law for the lawless”, this is what begins to take place within these three men. This is what happens within you and me, at this stage of our own walk. The “law… for the lawless” forces us to judge according to appearances, and according to appearances Job must have done something very evil to deserve this kind of treatment at the hand of God. Eliphaz sets the tone for the other two ‘comforters’.

Job 4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
Job 4:2 If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?
Job 4:3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.
Job 4:4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.
Job 4:5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

“It is come upon you” refers to the judgment of God. “It touches you” refers to what Job has already acknowledged. Job has already acknowledged that it is the Lord ‘putting forth His hand’ and “touching” first all that Job owned, including all of his ten children. Then the Lord “put forth [ His] hand” and struck Job himself with boils from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, thus causing Job to receive evil “at the hand of the Lord”.

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

So these three men and Job are each of us. We accept the sovereign hand of God in our lives long before we come to see that we are all self righteous and well deserving of the afflictions we must all endure.
But before we proceed any further in this study, we need to answer this question: Are the words of these three men words which “proceed out of the mouth of God”? There are eight chapters in the book of Job which chronicle the condemnation of Job at the hands of his supposed comforters. We are plainly told that these three men “found no answer” to Job’s insistence that he did nothing to deserve the wrath of God being poured out upon himself.

Job 32:3 Also against his three friends was his [ Elihu’s] wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

How then are we to receive these words? Are the words of these three men which ‘find no answer’ to the problem of Job’s self righteousness, are these words to be considered as words which “proceed out of the mouth of God”? The answer, of course, is yes, they are words which ‘proceed from the mouth of God.’ God must tell us of Job’s self righteousness, and He must demonstrate for our admonition that Job’s equally self righteous friends use their law to justify their condemnation of Job. So the lies and misapplications of the law must be related to us if God is to communicate to His creation that it is He who has given us ‘an experience of evil to humble us’.

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

So the argument that relating to us all the lies of the adversary and all the lies and acts of violence of all those to whom the adversary is sent by God to afflict and to deceive, cannot “proceed out of the mouth of God” is the same as saying God cannot “give man an evil experience” and then tell us about what He is doing or why He is doing so. To tell others that all the parts of God’s Word where He relates to us how He has created an adversary to use as his agent to twist and misapply His Word cannot therefore be considered to be words which have “proceeded out of the mouth of God”, is a spiritually immature argument which the adversary uses to cause many to lose all respect and faith in the Bible as the Word of God. What childish spiritual naivety. God himself leaves no room for such childish reasonings by telling us plainly that it is He who is “working all things… creating evil… yes, even the wicked… after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11; Isa 45:7; Pro 16:4). Lord willing we will never again entertain such foolish ideas, and we will acknowledge that even these three false accusers, and all of their misapplying of their laws, are still words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God and are profitable for us to read and to see how we do with God’s Word exactly what these three men do. It is we who always see the speck of dust in our brother’s eye, even as we are blinded to the huge log that is in our own eye. All the while it is we, just as these three men and Job himself, who fail to see or understand that all things that occur, happen only because they were all caused to occur by the great Cause of all things, our own Creator. So it is one thing to acknowledge that we “receive evil” at the Lord’s hand”, but it is another thing entirely to acknowledge that we are created as sin, designed so by God to become sinners, over which sin in our flesh we have no control.

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Neither Job nor his friends, nor any of us, at first realize that sin is a law which we can understand by observing the law of gravity which naturally and inexorably bring us all down to the dust of this earth. James tells us “there is but one law giver who is able to save and to destroy”.

Jas 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

So what God wants us all to know is that He is God over light and darkness, over good and evil and over all the sins we commit. This is all for the purpose of humbling us all and demonstrating for us why “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”.

Gen 2:25 And they were both naked [ sinful], the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Isa 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

So while these men do not understand that God creates evil, and is the ultimate cause of all good and all evil, nevertheless the words of these men are words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God, to demonstrate for all of us that we are all naked and are not even aware of our own nakedness. These three men who are judging Job are just as sinful as Job is. But neither they nor Job recognize that the most insidious of sins is the sin of self righteousness, which justifies our condemnation of a God who would dare to give us an experience of evil to humble us.
We can now see that these men are not uttering bold faced lies, but they are rather judging Job by outward appearances, completely unaware that literally ‘all things are being worked according to God’s own will’ for the good of those He is bringing to Himself “each in his own order” (1Co 15:23).
Here are a few New Testament examples of how God is working “all things together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).

Luk 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
Luk 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luk 13:4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
Luk 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

So from Christ’s perspective all men are sinners worthy of death, except they all repent. There are no exceptions, “Ye shall all likewise perish… except ye repent”.
Here is another example of how we all judge others by outward appearances:

Joh 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

From Christ’s perspective, every healing He preforms is “the works of Him that sent me”, and those who need healing are placed before us by our Creator for the purpose of being healed, not for the purpose of condemning them for their sins, which may well be even less than our own, as is the case with Job and his accusers.
So let us now look at how we all, in our own ignorance, ‘in our own order’, do to ourselves and to others, what these three men do to Job.

Job 4:5 But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.
Job 4:6 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?
Job 4:7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?

Job’s fear of God was his confidence, his hope and the uprightness of his ways. Now God’s judgment is come upon Job, and Eliphaz thinks that this proves that Job is a much greater sinner than he and his friends who are still prospering and are not being judged of God at this time.
So do we reap what we sow or do we not? Is Job being judged or is he not being judged? Of course, we reap what we sow, and yes, Job is being judged for justifying himself while contending with and condemning his Creator. But as Christ made so clear, calamities are not something that is peculiar to those who are “sinners above all”, rather the very same event which is judgment to the righteous, at the very same time, makes the wicked exalt himself above those who are blessed with being judged now, and blinds the eyes of the wicked from seeing and repenting of his own wickedness.

Pro 1:32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

It is not our trials that destroy us and keep us from spiritual prosperity, rather it is our lack of trials and our physical prosperity which causes us to look down upon our less fortunate brothers and sisters as being the sinners which, in reality, we all are. It is our physical blessing absent any trials which snare us all, thereby postponing our own judgment, which we all must, in our own time, endure.

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

Just like the apostles wondering who sinned; the blind man or his parents, Eliphaz poses a similar question to poor suffering Job:

Job 4:7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?

Let’s see if we can answer that question and show with the scriptures who ever perished being innocent, and where the righteous have been cut off:

Luk 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
Luk 11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Luk 11:51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

An entire book could be written chronicling where the righteous have been cut off for their righteousness. The most valuable life being cut off was the life of our Savior Himself.
So being “hated of all men” is not necessarily, from a Biblical and spiritual perspective, a bad place in which to be.

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

It is their ‘end’ that best reveals what is God’s estimation of our brothers and sisters.

Ecc 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Heb 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Jas 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Patience to endure the times of doubt and lack of understanding is one of the great lessons of this book of Job.

Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Just like the book of Revelation, this is a book which shows us what we see when we “look behind” us and see and understand what has been taking place within our lives.

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

But neither Job nor his friends have yet been given this overall view of what was not intended to be seen or understood until after the coming of Jesus Christ. All they, and all Old Testament prophets were given was the natural ability to judge according to outward appearances.

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

The true lessons to be learned from Job and all of the Old Testament prophets, were not revealed to them, “but unto us”. These lessons are things they simply were not granted to see, and they are things that even “the angels desire to look into”. But not seeing these things, Job’s friend, Eliphas, continues his assault upon his friend.

Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
Job 4:9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.
Job 4:10 The roaring of the lion, and the voice of the fierce lion, and the teeth of the young lions, are broken.
Job 4:11 The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion’s whelps are scattered abroad.

Are these words true? What say the scriptures?

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

So what is wrong with Eliphaz’s analysis of “the blast of God” being upon Job? This is definitely a “blast of God”. As we have just shown Job himself acknowledges it as such. What is wrong is that Eliphaz is completely unaware that “the blast of God they perish” is the fate of “the first man Adam” in every man who has ever drawn breath, including himself and his two friends. That is what we also must learn from this story. God is “The Potter” and He is making “of the same lump” vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor, and the dishonorable vessel is “the first man Adam” who must die and be destroyed before “the last Adam” can bring forth the fruit of life.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

But Eliphaz within us knows nothing of dying with Christ. This is us at this stage of our own walk, and next week, Lord willing, we will see more of this revelation, as we turn to see how we have all, at our own time, been guilty of applying the wrath of God on anyone and on everyone but ourselves:

Job 4:12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.
Job 4:13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
Job 4:14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
Job 4:15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
Job 4:16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
Job 4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
Job 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
Job 4:20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
Job 4:21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

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