Take Your Own Medicine?

Job 4:1 – Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,

Job 4:2 – If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?

Job 4:3 – Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.

Job 4:4 – Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

Job 4:5 – But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

Job 4:6 – Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?

Hello readers, new blog today. The situation is that Job has been beaten down by Satan yet is somehow holding onto his integrity. His friends have come to help out (well that is their intention anyway right?), and they sit down with him and he’s sitting there in very great grief. When the mind gets to going on the whys and hows… it really does drive us mad. When we have time to think but cannot reason our way out of things. It’s why we need God, because we can’t solve our problems. We like to have things in our control… but God is going to take things out of our control and ability. So we will learn to trust in Him with all our heart and lean not unto our own understanding, so that in all our ways we will acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.

I doubt we’d do as well as Job did… he was covered in boils head to toe, and he was living in the reality of dead children, a scorning wife, dead servants, a completely wasted business and life’s work, and it was pretty humbling also to go from the greatest man in the east to someone that others would sneer and turn their noses at as a wasted nobody. Humans gauge success by financial prosperity and health and through all sorts of vain gauges. Even though Job’s real success was this part of his life. Interesting huh. We under appreciate Job’s position in this story… because it would’ve appeared to everyone else that Job had wronged God, and that this was a well deserved divine stroke against him. Remember when Paul survived the shipwreck only for a viper to bite him… the island inhabitants thought surely he was a murderer to escape a shipwreck only for a snake to kill him. Our natural understanding needs spiritual enlightening otherwise we will come to all the wrong conclusions. We need God’s wisdom and understanding… ours falls down. And so then in chapter 3 Job cursed his birth, he cursed being alive. His friends may have been anticipating a confession of sin, because they had already figured out what was going on… so they thought. So when Job cursed his day and longed for death as it were better than to be alive, Eliphaz felt the need to speak up. Job absolved himself from responsibility. So Eliphaz would stick up for God! He’d stick up for what was right! He’d make sure Job knew it was his fault.

And this is how he began (quoted above). You know what he’s saying here? It’s quite an opening series of statements. We know that Job was a great man, he did right, he had been faithful to God in his life. He had been there for other people instructing them, strengthening them, upholding them. He had seemingly known what to say and do in the lives of others. Yet now Job had a rough trot and Eliphaz is essentially saying… take your own medicine Job. You were so good at helping and giving advice to others in trouble and in need, and now look how you’re acting Job, look at what you’re saying. Take your own advice Job. Eliphaz had a very wrong assumption in what he said to Job… he assumed that good happens to the good and bad happens to the bad. But that’s not so, (ultimately it is so in the context of eternity), but in this life the wicked can do well while the righteous suffer. Jesus said in this world we would have tribulation, and Peter spoke of the fiery trial that is to try us. This life can be very tough, but by God’s grace we will make it through just as Job came through the darkest hour of his life. Remember that burning bush which did not burn because God was in it. Why did God show Moses that? Because Moses had tried and burnt out, he fled Egypt… if he went back he’d need to know that he’d only succeed and not burn out because God was in it.

Eliphaz’s response was natural. But he wasn’t quite as smart as he thought he was. He probably should’ve kept his mouth shut. What started off as best intentions… oh we need to make sure our best intentions don’t end up digging a pit for those we should be a help and comfort to. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and is the Comforter. We should be able to minister the Spirit to others… and that will be truth and comfort… but these friends were devoid of that. The truth is often we don’t know how to comfort those in need… and we often don’t know what to say. And even though his friends were aged, and wise, and had life experience, and had even had supernatural experiences (see later in the chapter!)… they didn’t say that was right by Job. Maybe your life experience has taught you something that is not Biblically true? The world is full of those. The Bible says to try the spirits, whether they be of God… because not every spirit is the Holy Spirit. So Eliphaz essentially told Job to take his own medicine. He told Job… why can’t you put all your wisdom and truth you expect others to follow into practice in your own life? That didn’t help Job though did it. Maybe we should learn about these friends so we can not be these friends, but people that can actually help others going through Job like experiences.

Hey Job, you expect those you’re helping to hear you, why don’t you also do what you’ve told others? But Eliphaz didn’t stop there. Check out what he says in verse 6, it’s actually a biting comment … isn’t this proof of where you’re really at? Isn’t this proof of what your faith and life is really worth? Isn’t this what your fear of God is worth? Job you’re a joke. You shouldn’t be cursing life, you should be getting right because God is holy and you’re the reason this has happened. Guess Eliphaz didn’t know of the truth of Ecclesiastes 8:11 – Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. People do wrong and get by, maybe even a lifetime. God is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He gave Cain a lot longer than Abel got.

Job’s friends had already judged that Job deserved what he got. As we discussed in the previous blog… they knew him not. This isn’t the guy we knew! This would never happen to us. They distanced themselves from him rather than identifying with him. Rather than coming to where he was. Rather than realizing if this was so deserved, then they could easily have this happen to them. The Bible says they didn’t know Job, but that wasn’t Job’s fault, that was theirs. Remember that Jesus came to where we were, he was born into this world fully human, he can have compassion on us because he knows what we go through. Jesus went through rejection and injustice and sorrow and pain, he hung on the cross for us with people railing on him and mocking him. Job’s friends came to see him and where their intention was to comfort and mourn, when they saw him, it changed to let’s get Job to see that this is his fault, and proof he is not right with God and just rubbish his life. We can look on the outside and get it all wrong. Eliphaz thought he was elevating God, but God said at the end that he didn’t say that was right. Eliphaz misrepresented God to Job. How many people today misrepresent who God truly is and have no idea how to apply “God” to situations of life.

We love to conform God to our minds. But God isn’t like us. Why do we have the audacity to shape God to our thinking, our ways, our thoughts when his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways not our ways. Look at man’s thinking and choice! Man’s choice looked on Saul and said yep, he’s the king of Israel. Head and shoulders above everyone else. But he was an abject failure of a leader. God’s choice was very different… that little shepherd boy out in the wilderness, the youngest of the brothers. Jesus said that there are many that are first that shall be last, and the last shall be first. Job’s friends had their lives and estate in order, and so that gave them the authority to talk down to Job. Watch that you don’t seize on someone’s misfortune to elevate yourself. That’s what they really were doing. What did Edom (the descendants of Esau, brother of Jacob) do when the Babylonians came in and destroyed Judah? They HELPED the Babylonians sack Jerusalem, the Bible says they stood in the crossway and cut off those that escaped. They rejoiced in Judah’s destruction, and they assisted in it. How low can you get towards your brother? Read Obadiah, all the “thou shouldest not have”s… because God saw what happened that day. We should love our brothers, not dig a pit for them. Unfortunately, Eliphaz got it all wrong … he didn’t know nearly as much as the thought, and he wasn’t a help, but a hindrance. Job take your own medicine! God was angry with Job’s friends because of what they said to Job, but Job prayed for them so they didn’t end being the actual ones taking their medicine. It truly is best to look at ourselves first.


Joseph View All →

Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)

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