A Word from the Lord?

May 27, 2019 at 3:36 PM 4 comments

Reading through Job is extremely insightful for a number of reasons. What is very stark is the fact that Job’s three friends were wrong on just about everything, yet were convinced that they were correct. Admittedly, while they offered a mix of truth and falsehoods, we must conclude that truth mixed with lies is not really truth and it is one of Satan’s favorite methods to deceive all people; Christians and non. The general idea from Job’s friends is that he must have been guilty of some huge sin and was unrepentant. This is their only explanation for the reason God had sent misery on top of misery Job’s way.

Overall, we learn that God was not at all pleased with the three men and their words to Job. In fact, God required that Job himself would need to pray that God would forgive his three friends before He would do so. Job does and all is forgiven, hopefully with the new knowledge that the three had been very quick to judge and they judged wrongly.

But what I find very interesting is what the Bible records for us in Job 4. Here, Eliphaz speaks and attempts to instruct Job. I find it fascinating that the dialogue here is much like what I experienced when I was involved in the Charismatic Movement in the 1970’s. Eliphaz doesn’t simply just offer advice or what he would’ve termed “wisdom.” He supports his words by saying he actually heard from a “spirit” whom, he says, imparted specific knowledge to him about God and how God works. This he says starting in verse 12 of Job 4.

12 “Now a word was brought to me stealthily;
my ear received the whisper of it.
13 Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
14 dread came upon me, and trembling,
which made all my bones shake.
15 A spirit glided past my face;
the hair of my flesh stood up.
16 It stood still,
but I could not discern its appearance.
A form was before my eyes;
there was silence, then I heard a voice: (ESV; emphasis added)

Fascinating, isn’t it? Eliphaz says a “word” was given to him “stealthily.” It was a whisper to his ears. He experienced “dread” in the middle of the night, then he began “trembling,” because he clearly became afraid. His hair stood on end and even though this “spirit” stood still, Eliphaz says he could not make out its appearance. He says a “form” was before his eyes, followed by silence, then a voice speaks to him.

What a build-up! My goodness, with this sort of introduction, who would dare say that Eliphaz wasn’t speaking on “good” authority. Before we get into what Eliphaz claims to have seen and heard, let’s look at this for a moment. Eliphaz is either 1) lying or 2) telling the truth of an experience he had. Nowhere does Eliphaz actually claim that this vision was from God, though I think it’s safe to assume that he wanted Job and the other two men to think that this was from God. Without saying it directly, Eliphaz was implying God spoke.

When God normally provided a vision or a word of knowledge to prophets of old, He usually identified Himself either directly, or through the messenger He sent who was to relay His message. This is not the case here. However, that does not mean that if Eliphaz had said the vision was from God, that it automatically would’ve been either.

When I was involved in the Charismatic Movement, this was normal as an experience professed by many. It still is today even though much of the Charismatic Movement has morphed into its latest and more extreme version as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Everything within the Charismatic Movement to the NAR movement of today is bolstered and undergirded by various experiences that are claimed to all be from God Himself. I find it fascinating that there really is nothing new under the sun and that these claims of experiencing God and receiving a “word” of knowledge from Him go back to the days of Job. On one hand, it makes more sense that these experiences would’ve occurred long ago, before the entirety of His Word was written and compiled.

But Eliphaz seems so convinced that what he experienced was of God that he shows no signs of hesitancy in proclaiming it to Job. Consider what Eliphaz said to Job.

17 ‘Can mortal man be in the right before God?
Can a man be pure before his Maker?
18 Even in his servants he puts no trust,
and his angels he charges with error;
19 how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like the moth.
20 Between morning and evening they are beaten to pieces;
they perish forever without anyone regarding it.
21 Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them,
do they not die, and that without wisdom?’ (ESV)

As we study Eliphaz’ words, taken in their entirety, it becomes clear that the content of the vision does not at all square with what God has revealed about Himself elsewhere in Scripture, except possibly in a very general way, nor does it really apply to Job based solely on Job chapter one. While Eliphaz did not have the entirety of Scripture as we do today, we know that Job was considered “righteous” and “perfect” in the way he walked before the Lord. How did he know how to do that? In fact, there must have been some method for discerning God’s will in the days before His written Word.

As Dr. Constable states, “God appears here as unconcerned with people. Evidently Eliphaz’s ‘spirit’ (v. 15) was not the Holy Spirit, and this Hebrew word never describes a disembodied spirit…what he heard from this spirit contained elements of truth: man cannot make himself pure before God, and man is mortal. Still Eliphaz was wrong in applying these words to Job as though Job was a willful sinner (cf. 1:1, 8; 2:3).” [1]

Ultimately, what Eliphaz is saying to Job is that he suffers because he was not righteous enough. That is Eliphaz’ main point, though Job 1 negates that accusation. Job lived righteously before God. Does that mean Job did not sin? Of course not. But it does mean that because of his righteous character before God (through faith, which allowed God to look ahead to the cross of Christ the same way He looks back to it from our point in time for us), when Job did sin, he took measures to correct things including sacrifices to God (cf Job 1).

Eliphaz continues his “counsel” to Job into Job 5. In it, he continually states that God will punish people for their sins before they die. This is not in agreement with Scripture (Luke 13:4). While Eliphaz’ words have some truth in them, he is wrong in trying to connect them to Job or all people as a blanket statement.

This is the big problem with people who believe themselves to have God’s ear wanting them to be counselors to others. The unfortunate part is that the people they counsel often take their counsel as complete truth and endeavor to follow their instructions to a “t” instead of going to Scripture and checking things for themselves.

In Job 13, he lets Eliphaz and the others have it and who can blame him? Job states:

4 As for you, you whitewash with lies;
worthless physicians are you all.
5 Oh that you would keep silent,
and it would be your wisdom! (ESV)

Job understood what they were peddling and he was having none of it. He called them on their lies and actually said the best wisdom they could offer would’ve been silence! They were acting like a doctor who came to heal but instead made things worse.

Had Job believed Eliphaz, there is a likelihood he would’ve sinned. Eliphaz was wrong and he was trying to lead Job down the wrong path even though Eliphaz was convinced he was correct in what he thought he knew.

Job knew better. He may not have understood why he was suffering as he was (and in fact, even by the end of the book of Job, it does not appear that Job had a greater understanding of why he had suffered), but he hadn’t sinned to somehow “earn” that suffering. Job knew that what he was hearing from the mouths of his friends was pretty much common knowledge though some of what they were offering was simply not true. The true parts were well known by Job and he says as much.

If someone comes to you and says they have a “word” from the Lord, my first inclination would be to doubt and reject it. If you are in relationship with God and you are “right” before Him (by that I mean you are not living a deliberately sinful lifestyle opposed to His will), then He is very capable of directing your steps! You don’t need people to come at you with a “word.”

This does not mean that you cannot or should not go to other Christians for advice and counsel! We should do this from time to time because iron sharpens iron and sometimes someone will be able to direct you to a portion of Scripture that opens your eyes to something you had not seen before. Even there though, it is still incumbent upon you to do due diligence. You cannot nor should you simply take their word and run with it.

In this day and age especially, it seems Satan will do whatever it takes to move us away from depending upon God’s Word and our direct relationship with Him. Don’t let Satan move you. Stand firm. Study His Word. Read it daily. Trust that He will guide you.

 

[1] Constable’s Notes on Job, Chapter 4

 

 

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Eastern Mysticism, Emotional virtue, new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism. Tags: , , , , , .

Prisons and Inmates Misunderstanding of God in Book of Job

4 Comments

  • 1. Robin  |  May 27, 2019 at 8:20 PM

    Vs.15 shows us there are spirits not from God, hovering around us. Thank you for the reminder to be very careful who we lend our ears to…whether it be ‘friends’ or popular current- day prophets.

    • 2. modres  |  May 27, 2019 at 8:53 PM

      Thank you, Robin.

  • 3. sderuvo  |  May 27, 2019 at 4:56 PM

    Great Blog 😊. So true! Satan will do anything to pull people away from the Word!
    Good job 👍🏻.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • 4. modres  |  May 27, 2019 at 6:03 PM

      👍🏼😎


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13,220 other followers

Our Books on Amazon

Study-Grow-Know Archives

Blog Stats

  • 964,255 hits

%d bloggers like this: