“Is not this thy fear, they confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?” (verse 6) Eliphaz knew that Job had done many good things before all these trials came upon him. He had thought Job was a wonderful man. Now, he began to question Job’s motives. Maybe he did all these things to impress others. Perhaps Job was a hypocrite.
However, Job knew that he had not done all these good things in his own strength. He had done them out of a heart of love for his God. It was Satan’s desire to prove Job a hypocrite. A visit to Job from his friends fit right into Satan’s design. Here was the opportunity he had been waiting for. He would put doubting thoughts into their minds and have them accuse Job and tempt him to declare himself a hypocrite. Then Satan could condemn him out of his own mouth. But Job never gave in to this temptation. With God’s help, he remained strong to the end.
“Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent?” (verse 7) “Look around you Job,” Eliphaz was saying. “Think about all that you have observed over the years. Did you ever see the righteous perish as you are? Were they cut off early in their years?
It is true that no righteous person who truly believes in the Lord will be cut off eternally. They will never suffer eternal destruction. Only those who reject God will perish eternally.
However, even before Job’s time, there were those whose lives were cut off early, even though they were righteous. Abel offered a blood sacrifice to God out of an upright and obedient heart. Yet Cain was angry with him. God had accepted Abel’s offering, but he had not accepted Cain’s offering. Cain was jealous. Therefore he killed Abel. Abel was one of those who “perished being innocent.” (See Genesis 4:3-8)
“8Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. 9By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.“ (Job 4:8,9)
Here Eliphaz refers to the principle of sowing and reaping. In his life, he had seen man sow a wicked seed and reap a harvest of ruin and grief. Now he had seen sorrow and destruction come upon Job. Surely, he concluded, Job’s profession of religion was all pretense. He pretended to be doing right while all the time he was sowing iniquity. Eliphaz looked at the troubles in Job’s life and concluded, “Now God is showing us his true character. All the time he looked so good, but secretly he was doing wickedness. God is punishing him. Job is reaping his harvest.
“So carefully you have plowed in your evil acts and planned out your wicked scheme,” Eliphaz accuses, “But God blew it all away with one breath of His nostrils. You are consumed in His wrath and wither away in your agony,”
Oh, how careful we must be when we look upon others in their hardships! We do not know their hearts, or the reasons God has for their trials. We must pray for them and love them and lift them up. Satan may be trying to make them look bad, while God is commending them and using them to bring glory to Himself.