Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results

Buy the book for this study on Amazon

©Kris Gerbrandt

Chapter 22:12-30 (ESV)

Posted on June 01, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 22:12-30 (ESV) - “Is not God high in the heavens?
    See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
But you say, ‘What does God know?
    Can he judge through the deep darkness?
Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,
    and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
Will you keep to the old way
    that wicked men have trod?
They were snatched away before their time;
    their foundation was washed away.
They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
    and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’
Yet he filled their houses with good things—
    but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
The righteous see it and are glad;
    the innocent one mocks at them,
saying, ‘Surely our adversaries are cut off,
    and what they left the fire has consumed.’

“Agree with God, and be at peace;
    thereby good will come to you.
Receive instruction from his mouth,
    and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
    if you remove injustice far from your tents,
if you lay gold in the dust,
    and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed,
then the Almighty will be your gold
    and your precious silver.
For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
    and lift up your face to God.
You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you,
    and you will pay your vows.
You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
    and light will shine on your ways.
For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’;
    but he saves the lowly.
He delivers even the one who is not innocent,
    who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.

Question to consider: What does it mean that God is transcendent?

On the surface, it seems like Eliphaz had a pretty good case against Job. Job had argued that in this life, suffering and prosperity have very little to do with someone’s wickedness or righteousness. In fact, he considered it evidence that there was something beyond death in which God’s judgments would be made manifest.

Eliphaz didn’t see that man had much value to God beyond this life. While he recognized that God showed mercy and prosperity even to the wicked, if someone experienced calamity, Eliphaz believed that it could only happen because someone had either committed an egregious sin or significantly failed to love a neighbor in need.

In his comments today, Eliphaz recognized the transcendence of God— that He is greater and higher than His creation. Along with this, he recognized that God is still intimately aware and involved in His creation. As a counter to Job’s argument that even if he died in calamity, he would be raised up from the dead and vindicated as a righteous man, Eliphaz referred to the wicked men of old who were “washed away”. I believe this was a reference to God’s judgment upon the world in the flood. This act was proof-positive that God brings judgment upon the wicked in this life and delivers the righteous.

If the Lord chose to fill the wicked person’s house with good things, Eliphaz was glad for that person's good fortune. Even if he did not agree with their views or lifestyle, he could rejoice that they had received God’s mercy. However, since Job was facing calamity, it was a sign to Eliphaz that he was beyond the mercy of God and worthy of judgment. Therefore, he called Job once again to repent and to be restored to a right relationship with God.

It is good that Eliphaz recognized God’s transcendence as well as God’s sovereign hand in the world. It is also good that Eliphaz recognized God’s grace toward the wicked and to those who repent and turn back to Him. However, it all comes back to his false judgment of Job. No matter how sound someone’s logical argument is, it must begin with correct presuppositions. If you are given directions to someone’s house, and you follow the directions to the letter, you will not end up at the correct place if the directions have a wrong starting point. 


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for showing grace to this world though none of us are deserving of it. We praise You during times of blessing and times of difficulty because we know that Your good will is coming to pass. Please help us to have a correct view of the world and compassion for our neighbor. Amen.