By Heaven’s Knight
I would like to know that basing from Job 42:7, can we really say with certainty that there is absolutely nothing right in what Eliphaz said in the entire book of Job?
Hi Mr. Soliman!
I found out you are interested in studying some points in this matter, let me share you some important Biblical points of views to consider.
First, it was established that the credibility of Eliphaz is questionable because God’s wrath ignited against him together with his two friends. He didn’t speak right things about God.
Therefore, when we listen to Eliphaz, we must already put in our mind that he may mislead us in what he says – deliberately or not. He, for sure, was not sent by God to preach His word. God said, “My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” (Job 42:7)
So, if we put our trust to Eliphaz, or if we will base our faith unto him, our life will be put on risk.
The proof, he accused the old path was walked by wicked men. (Job 22:15) It is already a direct contrary against God’s word to believe that the old path was trodden by wicked men. (Jeremiah 6:16).
How can we then rely on Eliphaz’ words? Our witness against Eliphaz and his words is God. Who will then back up Eliphaz to malign the old path?
But, granting Eliphaz also has said right things, does that follow that we can now then rely to his words? If we will then rely on Eliphaz words in spite that he was not authorized by God, then we will fall on this kind of faith. (Mark 7:7-8)
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Thank you for your response. I really appreciate it.
I have a different understanding of Job 42:7. I don’t think this verse covers everythng what Eliphaz said in the entire book of Job. You said:
[How can we then rely on Eliphaz’ words? Our witness against Eliphaz and his words is God.]
I find this comment of your quite disturbing. You see the apostle Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 3:19:
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”.
That last sentence was quoted from Eliphaz in Job 5:13:
He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away.
Paul relied on Eliphaz’s words. How do you explain that?
Good hour Mr. Soliman!
Thanks for your follow up question, I believe that you are also open minded when it comes to discussing certainty of a matter, just like most of my friends. We already anticipated the question for it was not the first time it was asked.
Let me clarify this first. You said that Paul relied on Eliphaz’ words when he quoted what he said. Honestly, it doesn’t follow that when you quote one’s word, you already relied on him. Jumping to that conclusion will fall someone to simple non sequitur. “This is a fallacy which arises when the arguer draws a conclusion from a premise without any attempt to show the connection between the cause and the effect.” (The Art of Argumentation and Debate by Africa, Fallacies, page 107).
Illustration: Paul quoted Eliphaz’ words; therefore, Paul relies on Eliphaz.
Hence, the fallacy.
Let me give you an example.
Paul, an apostle of God, uses the words of a Cretian prophet – a prophet not belonging to the Christian Church, a prophet not of their own, a prophet not of God – to borrow his remarks against the people of Crete. (Titus 1:12)
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
It doesn’t follow that because Paul quoted the Cretians prophet’s words, he already relied on him. There could be other reasons why Paul quoted the words of the prophet of Crete. The same as Eliphaz’ case.
It is true that Paul usually quotes from scriptures as reference to give way for what he is teaching like when he discussed the danger of doing idolatry (I Corinthians 10:11; 6). But, there are instances that Paul uses other’s belief to have a point of agreement.
For example, when Paul went to Athens, in order to convince Athenians, he borrows the word of their own poets to have a point of agreement. Let us read in (Acts 17:28)
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
But, that doesn’t follow Paul relies to the poets of Athens. He just used their words to start a point of agreement. Just like the saying, “When you are in Rome, speak like Romans.” Paul did this because he wants to save all men by all means. (I Corinthians 9:20-21)
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Why do we believe then that Paul doesn’t rely on men’s words every time he preaches the gospel? Let us read what Paul wrote. (Galatians 1:11-12)
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
According to St. Paul himself, the gospel he preached was not after man; he neither received it from man nor was it taught to him. He received the gospel by the revelation of Jesus Christ, not of Eliphaz.
Now it is clear that it doesn’t follow that Paul relied on Eliphaz when he quoted what he said, let us now go to the issue.
Granting that what Eliphaz said is true, he said it without bad intention, he said it with good faith, does it follow we must now rely on his words? Where should we base then our Christian faith? Let us read. (1 Thesalonians 2:13)
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
The words of God must be our basis in our Christian faith. St. Paul said that when we received the word of God, we received it not as the word of men. If there are words of men, no matter how they were said, even if those seem true, or even if they were said with good faith but contradict God’s word, we must not rely on those. Let us have an example from a servant himself, Job. (Job 2:10)
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job asked, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”
We agree for sure that Job is a just man. But there was a time that he spoke of something against the characteristic of God. Take note of this phrase, “…shall we not receive evil?” Job, out of his innocence, believes that we can receive evil from God. But let us compare what our Lord Jesus Christ taught. (Matthew 7:9-11)
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Let me emphasize this, Jesus said “how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
Through this principle, we can conclude that God will not give evil things. He is the provider of all good things. Let us have a proof in James 1:17.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Every good gift and every perfect give came down from Father above. But, Job believes that we can receive evil from God. Who then shall we believe: Job, a just man, or Jesus Christ, an authority of Christian faith?
How much more we then rely on Eliphaz’ words who was scolded by God? Another thing, he is not an authority of Christian faith.
That is what I’m saying, the most reliable basis of Christian faith is God’s word. Here, we can have a clue whose preacher in our time s really sent by God to preach His words. A preacher sent by God speaks God’s word. It is the best quality of a messenger of God that we must find from preachers. (John 3:34)
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
It is therefore important to observe the teachings of different pastors, ministers, evangelists, preachers in our time. The teaching is our basis then to discern if a preacher is of God or not. (John 7:17-18)
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
A preacher sent by God teaches doctrines coming from God, he doesn’t speak of himself. For this, we can guarantee that what we follow is the commandment of God, not of men.
Another thing to consider, even if Paul quoted Eliphaz’ words, that doesn’t follow that what Eliphaz alleged became true. It was already impugned through God’s word (Jeremiah 6:16 vs Job 22:15); we must search the old path, we must walk therein, in there, we can find rest of our souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
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