Online Bible Commentary
Walking in Wisdom
Job 5:1 "Call if you will, but who will answer you? To which of the holy ones will you turn? 2 Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple. 3 I myself have seen a fool taking root, but suddenly his house was cursed. 4 His children are far from safety, crushed in court without a defender. 5 The hungry consume his harvest, taking it even from among thorns, and the thirsty pant after his wealth. 6 For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. 7 Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. 8 "But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. 9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. (NIV)
Previously, Satan was allowed by God to test Job’s faithfulness on two occasions (chapters 1-2). First, Satan engineered the deaths of all ten of Job’s children and the loss of all of Job’s great financial wealth. Next Satan inflicted upon Job painful and scarring sores all over Job’s body. Satan had claimed to God that Job was a hypocrite, and that these hardships would destroy Job’s faith in God, resulting in him cursing God. But, throughout it all, Job remained faithful.
Then Job’s three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, heard about Job’s troubles and traveled to visit him, in an effort to comfort him in his grief. They hardly recognized Job because of the effects of the sores and the grieving upon his broken body. They first listened to Job’s grief, as he first wished that he would never had been born and then he wished he could just die and rest from his troubles (chapter 3).
All three of Job’s friends mistakenly believed that Job was being punished for his sin. Eliphaz was the first to speak and he reasoned that Job had often advised others in their grief and that he should now take his own advice. He accused Job of being punished because of his self righteousness, which was not true. He then told of a revelation that he had during his sleep regarding the fallibility of men, as if to encourage Job that his sin was justified because all men are sinful. (Chapter 4).
In this passage, Eliphaz continues to counsel Job that we cannot blame God for our problems, because we bring them upon ourselves through sin. Eliphaz is correct in the case of some people, but he is incorrect in the case of Job, personally. God was allowing hardship to come upon Job to test him. God loves all his children. He sometimes allows hardship to correct them from their sin, and other times to test them, refine them, for a task that He has in store for them. In Job’s case it was the latter.
Eliphaz states that neither Angels, nor God, will answer his pleas because he brought this upon himself through sin (v.1). He refers to such people as “fools”, those who pay no attention to God’s rules as they walk through life (v.2). He says that these “fools” bring a curse upon their houses (v.3). Their children are not safe and their wealth can be lost (vv 4-5). When we allow sin to come into our homes, we can actually curse the house we live in. This is why many Christians will walk every area of a house, praying over it, before they move into it.
Eliphaz contends that hardship does not just happen in our lives for no reason (v.6). He says that hardship comes from sin, which everyone is born into because we are all descendants of Adam and Eve (v.7). Eliphaz states that if “it were I”, he would go to God and lay his troubles at the feet of God because God can do all things (vv.8-9).
Eliphaz was correct as to what our response should be in the face of hardship. We should always take our hardships to God in prayer. We should lay them at the feet of God, giving our burdens to Him. When we do that He gives us peace concerning those hardships. We can only control our actions. We cannot control the results. We should do all we can to fix our problems, but then we must leave the results up to God. When we try to control results, we open ourselves up to stress. God wants us to leave the results to Him, so that we can have peace in our lives.
We will never be without some hardships in life. But we can limit the hardships that come from sin in our lives by limiting our sin. If we walk in obedience to God’s word, the Bible, we will save ourselves the hardships that come as a result of sin. God loves us and wants us to remain faithful, like Job, because it gives us the best results from life. We then walk in wisdom, and not as “fools”.