Chapters 4-5. Eliphaz replies to Job Why are you so discouraged Job? You have often helped and given advice to others in similar distress, so why not take your own advice?, If you are as righteous as you maintain then you know that God will not cause a blameless and pious man like you to perish. But don’t blame God, you infer that He is guilty and you are innocent; I had a dream last night and this ghost-like spirit spoke to me saying “Can a mortal man be more righteous than God?” If God finds error in his angels, how much more those who live in houses of clay, who can be here one day and gone the next. If you don’t get wise, Job, you will be like that. You can call as much as you like, pray to every saint there is, but you’ll get nowhere. Such resentment that you show is that of a fool. I have seen such people before trying to maintain a settled and prosperous life, but you have to face the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect life. A man is born to trouble as sparks fly upwards. Resentfulness will eat you away if you continue like this. The best thing you can do is call upon God. He is a God of wonders and miracles. He lifts up those who are lowly and who mourn. He thwarts the crafty plans of evil men and brings disaster upon them and their plans He defends the poor against the powerful, and brings justice for the poor. What is happening to you now is a correction direct from God. Do not despise this correction from the Lord, for it is a blessing to have such discipline. For God may wound but he will bind up and heal. He may send many calamities but he will not destroy you. They are for a purpose to prove his faithfulness and protection. Then you can overcome and understand all the troubles of life. So if you respond to this discipline and call upon God , then he will change the situation and your prosperity will return and many children will be born to you, and they will stand around your death bed and grave like sheaves at harvest time. What we are telling you Job is true, so do what we tell you.
Chapter 6 - 7. Job’s second speech. If my suffering could be weighed so that you could measure it, you would see it as the sands on the seashore. You might think that I have been speaking out of turn. Is it any wonder that I feel the way I do? It is as though God has shot a poisoned arrow into me and the poison is sinking slowly into my body. He has a whole army of terrors arrayed against me. It is all pointless suffering to me. If a donkey brays, and he gets what he wants, then he stops braying. Is it too much to ask for death, then I will stop moaning. There is no quality in this kind of life. There is as much quality in a life of suffering as there is flavour in the white of an egg. If God were to slay me at least I would die happy in the knowledge that I had not denied him or his words. How long can I go on like this, am I made of stone. I don’t think I have such strength, and I have no worthwhile friends who can strengthen me either. They remind me of streams that turn off and on like a tap, but they turn off just the time you need a drink. They are like the streams in the mountains which flow with plenty in the winter when the snows melt, but in the summer which is just the time that the weary caravan traveller turns up to the mountains to find a refreshing drink, they are all dried up. Have I ever asked a penny off any of you before? Now that I need you, you’re unwilling to give. Show me where I have gone wrong. Your arguments don’t prove that I have done wrong. Can’t you accept my testimony as true? Your arguments prove nothing. You don’t even listen to me. You are a heartless lot. You might as well throw a dice to decide my fate or deserved judgement. Look me straight in the eye. Would I lie to your face. My honesty is at stake here. I haven’t much left, so don’t rob me of that please. Don’t you think that I know what it is to speak maliciously towards God? Is there any wickedness in what I am saying? You cannot deny that man has a raw deal at times from God. He is like a boss, I am but his labourer. The labourer is completely at the mercy of the boss. He needs the money so he can’t get out of whatever burden he is told to carry. But at least he knows that he will knock off at the appointed time. I am just the same, but all I am asking is that the clock would come round to the knocking off time from this burden carrying he has given to me, then I will get some rest. I’m not saying that he hasn’t the right to put it upon me, just saying that he ought to let me knock off work quickly. I lie awake at night my skin is full of festering sores and cuts. Every movement feels as though my skin is cracking from me. The short relief that daylight brings is soon gone, for daytime passes like a weavers shuttle and the long slow nights of pain come again. O God hear me, Look at me. I am but a breath from death. That breath is like a vapour, it can soon disappear never to be seen again. I could be gone from this awful scene. You wouldn’t have to look down upon it any more. I would be then be gone, out of your sight, never to return. I cannot keep silent. Life is not worth living like this. Even when I sleep I suffer, with nightmares. I’d prefer to be strangled. What do you find so fascinating about man? Why do you watch me all the time? If I have sinned, then why don’t you tell me? What have you seen in me that you disapprove of? Why are you getting at me like this? If I’m a pain in the neck to you, or you just can’t stand the sight of me, then I am sorry. Why not forgive me, then let me die and you will have done with me and then you wouldn’t see me even if you looked?