Eliphaz answered – he accuses Job of being a windbag, arguing in unprofitable talk, words that do no good. He accuses that Job is doing away with the fear of God, and hindering meditation before God, and that Job’s guilt teaches his mouth and crafty tongue. He accuses Job’s mouth as condemning him. He asks multiple questions – are you the first man born? Have you listened to God’s council? Do you limit wisdom yourself? What do you know that we don’t know? Are God’s comforts too small for you? Why does your heart carry you away and your eyes flash that you turn your spirit against God? What is man, that he can be pure? Behold, God puts no trust in man’s holy ones, and the heavens aren’t pure in his sight; how much less one who is abominable and corrupt, a man who drinks injustice like water! He says he will show Job – “hear me, and what I’ve seen I’ll declare…The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless. Dreadful sounds are in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him. He doesn’t believe that he will return out of darkness, and he is marked for the sword. He wanders for bread asking, ‘where is it?’ Distress and anguish terrify him; they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.” He concludes it’s because Job has stretched out his hand against God and defies the Almighty – a glutton, lived in empty cities, and houses ready to be destroyed. He accuses that the wealth of the rich won’t endure. He won’t depart from darkness. He departs by his own breath. He exhorts Job not to trust in emptiness, deceiving himself, because emptiness will be his payment. And that the company of the godless is barren, that they give birth to evil, and their womb prepares deceit.
Again and again Job’s friends have accused him of being full of wind. They have accused him of rejecting God, and only exacerbate his pain. O God, help us to encourage our believing friends who suffer to trust in You. Help us to not be a discouragement, and help us to weep with them. God, help us to listen well, and give us wisdom and understanding so that when we open our mouths we can counsel and encourage with our hope in Christ. Help us to encourage them to hope in the truly innocent one – Jesus Christ – who was wracked with your punishment for our sake. Christ is our hope. Help us.