Job’s eschatology is much better than Eliphaz’s!

Dr. Kim Riddlebarger continues his commentary on Job, Chapter 16:

As we see in verses 9-14, Job feels like God has turned against him.

God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me; my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes. Men open their mouths to jeer at me; they strike my cheek in scorn and unite together against me. God has turned me over to evil men and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked. All was well with me, but he shattered me; he seized me by the neck and crushed me. He has made me his target; his archers surround me. Without pity, he pierces my kidneys and spills my gall on the ground. Again and again he bursts upon me; he rushes at me like a warrior.”

While this is not the case–we know this to be true from the heavenly scene in the prologue (Job 1 and 2)–we can understand why Job feels the way he does. He’s lost everything. He is sick and miserable. He is an outcast. His friends are now accusing him of something he did not do.

Yet, despite all appearances to the contrary, God is for Job. And Job still hopes for vindication. In Job 16:18:-17:3, we see not only the glowing embers of faith, but the beginning of hope.

O earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest! Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend. `Only a few years will pass before I go on the journey of no return. My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me. Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility. `Give me, O God, the pledge you demand. Who else will put up security for me?’”

Job now starts to realize that both his answer to the question, “why?” and his ultimate vindication might not come until his own death. Job will get his answer and he will be vindicated, if not in this life, certainly in the next! Job’s eschatology is much better than Eliphaz’s!

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