I will state here and not keep repeating it that chapter and verse breaks were inserted by man. They are generally most helpful in helping us locate passages of scripture.
Job 5:1 ¶ Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?
Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
Job 5:3 I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation.
Job 5:4 His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them.
Eliphaz proceeds with his own thoughts after reporting the words of the spirit that appeared to him. He seems to be saying that Job could not expect anyone to intercede for him before God, certainly not one of God’s angels (from the Hebrew for “saints”).
He seems to be comparing Job to a foolish man that had sinned. Yes, he knew that Job had established roots, establishing a home and gaining great possessions, but then he was suddenly cursed. Even his children had been destroyed—implied, God had not delivered them.
Job 5:5 Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance.
Job 5:6 ¶ Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;
Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
He goes on to add that Job had been robbed of all that he owned. Such trouble does not come upon a man for no reason. The truth is that man is born to experience trouble as surely as the sparks fly up out of a fire.
Eliphaz seems to think tough love is more important for Job right now than to hear words of comfort and encouragement. It seems that during those seven days of sitting quietly with Job, he had concluded, bolstered by the vision of the spirit, that Job was guilty of some sin that merited God’s judgment and that the best thing for him to do would be to face the facts and admit it.
It’s interesting to me that he easily applies the principle stated in verse 7 to Job without thought as to how it might apply to him in the future.
Job 5:8 I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:
Job 5:9 Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:
Job 5:10 Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields:
Job 5:11 To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety.
Eliphaz states that if he were in Job’s place, he would seek God and present his case to Him (based on his righteousness is implied). Also implied is that he doesn't think Job has done that.
To seek God is great advice; however, we should seek His help in accordance with His will and not our own. Jesus, His one and only Son, set the example for us as He prayed in Gethsemane.
Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
Eliphaz continued—We know that God does so many great and wonderful things that they cannot be counted. He gives rain and provides water for our crops. He lifts up the depressed and provides deliverance for those that mourn.
This is all true, but sometimes His deliverance is different from what we hope or expect.
Job 5:12 He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
Job 5:13 He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.
Job 5:14 They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night.
He goes on to declare that God intervenes to thwart the plans of the wicked. He frustrates their carefully laid plans, proving them not as smart as they think they are. Their plans will fail whether made in the light of day or under the cover of night. In other words, man can hide nothing from God.
Again, Eliphaz tells the truth but with the implication that such is always the case, and that is not true. It is true that God can and will bring to nought the plans of the wicked in accordance with His own purposes. Often, however, the wicked are allowed to succeed; after all, Satan is recognized as the “god of this world” and “the prince of the power of the air” for the time being.
2 Corinthians 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not….”
Ephesians 2:1–2 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”
I liked this quote from the NIV Commentary: “Great truths misapplied only hurt more those who are already hurting.”
Job 5:15 But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.
Job 5:16 So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.
Eliphaz notes that God defends the poor, needy man from the abusive words of the wicked and from those that would terrorize them. The poor can have hope that God will stop the wicked.
Job 5:17 ¶ Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
Job 5:18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
Eliphaz boldly states that it is a happy man whom God corrects, so Job should not despise His chastening. If that causes pain or sorrow, He will also bring healing. If it is necessary for Him to wound you, He will also make you whole again. In other words, He will do what is necessary to bring you back into fellowship with Him.
These verses declare a true principle that is repeated in scripture.
Psalms 94:12 “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;”
Proverbs 3:11–12 “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”
Hebrews 12:7&11 “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?....Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
The truth is, however, that Job is not suffering because God is chastening him. It is also true that Job will eventually be chastened in his spirit once he is made to recognize how awesome His God truly is. He will wonder how he could ever have questioned Him.
Job 5:19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.
Job 5:20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.
Job 5:21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
Job 5:22 At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.
Job 5:23 For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.
Job 5:24 And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.
Job 5:25 Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth.
Job 5:26 Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.
Job 5:27 Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.
In this section, Eliphaz seems to be counting all the blessings of the man who endures God’s chastening. He will watch out for you and deliver you from all evil. He will not allow you to die from lack of food and will protect you from death in war. You won’t have to fear the words of wicked men or suffer violence at their hands. You will not have to fear wild animals; they will leave you alone. Your home and possessions will be safe and secure. You will be blessed with many children. You will live life to a good old age and not die before your time.
He closes his speech with a bold declaration that he knows he is telling the truth because this is what their (evidently including his two friends) research proves. He recommends that Job heed what he has told him.
Eliphaz is certainly lacking in sympathy for his friend in my book. How could he make such a statement about the blessing of children, knowing that all of Job’s children are dead? God would eventually give Job more children, but Eliphaz could not know that; and they certainly would not replace the ones he lost.
Once again, there is much truth in what Eliphaz says, but history is replete with accounts of the suffering of God’s children at the hands of evil men and wild beasts (e.g., in the Colosseum). Sometimes, as with Job, God’s purposes are best served through the suffering of His people. Deliverance is sure, but sometimes that deliverance comes after much suffering and/or through death. Frankly, that is one of the hardest truths to understand as a child of God and to explain to those that are not believers.