In chapter five, Eliphaz continues speaking to Job, “1Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn? 2For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.” (5:1,2)
It is somewhat difficult to understand the meaning of verse one. In the Bible, God sometimes refers to those who believe in Him as saints. (See I Timothy 5:10 and Philemon verses 5 and 7) At other times it seems that the word “saint” in Scripture refers to a Heavenly being, such as an angel, and is distinguished from man (See Job 15:5). Either way, Eliphaz seems to be saying, “Job, you are in trouble and nobody is going to help you. When wrath comes on a foolish man, no one can stop it or turn it back. There is no help for you now.” Oh, what heartless words!
The book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs describe what a fool is in God’s eyes. The fool says there is no God (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). A fool does not understand spiritual things (Psalm 92:6). Fools think it is funny to do mischief and to harm people (Proverbs 10:23). A fool despises his father’s instruction (Proverbs 12:15). He has no delight in understanding (Proverbs 18:2); yet he is full of words (Ecclesiastes 10:14) and utters all that is on his mind (Proverbs 29:11).
God has all wisdom to decide whether or not a person is a fool. However, for a person to call his brother (including his brother in a spiritual sense) a fool is a very dangerous thing. Matthew 5:22 says that those who say to their brother, “Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Someone who calls another individual a fool must be very certain that the other individual meets God’s criteria for a fool. Otherwise he is treading on very dangerous ground. Calling someone a fool is a very serious thing.
Eliphaz was walking on slippery ground. Nevertheless, he continued on, “3I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation. 4His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them. 5Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance.” (Job 5:3-5)
How these words must have hurt Job’s heart! His children were crushed, crushed under their house in a whirlwind; but there was none to help them. Everyone was killed except one servant. The loss of ten children is very heartbreaking. However, Eliphaz showed no compassion. He only called Job a fool.
The Sabeans came and slew the servants who were plowing with the oxen and took all the oxen away. The sheep and the servants who cared for them were destroyed when the fire of God fell from heaven and burned them up. The Chaldeans made out three bands and carried away all the camels and killed the servants who cared for them. Job’s substance was destroyed, yet Eliphaz showed no pity. He only supposed God was punishing Job for his sins.
Eliphaz continues, “6Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; 7Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” (5:6,7)
There is much truth in these statements. Man is born with a sin nature. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Also, much of the pain, sorrow, and suffering in the world comes as a direct result of sins people commit.
However, sometimes God allows the trials of suffering and sorrow to come upon His most faithful children. These trials may be sent to strengthen a believer and draw that believer closer to God. Some people experience testings because God wants others to see their example of trust in Him. This is how it was in Job’s case. Satan accused Job of only trusting in God because of the way God took care of him. God allowed Satan to test Job so that Satan and others would see that Job trusted in God because God is enough. Trials that come upon God’s children are all designed to bring glory to Him.