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Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Job 22

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-30

Chapter 22

So Eliphaz takes up the argument now. And the same old story: he accuses Job of being wicked and he actually makes many bad accusations. He said,

Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable to himself? Is there any pleasure to the Almighty, that you are righteous? or is it any gain to him, that you make your ways perfect? Will he reprove thee for the fear of thee? or will he enter into thee with judgment? ( Job 22:2-4 )

In other words, "Job, do you think that you're adding anything to God? Is it anything to God if you are good? If you justify yourself? It's no gain to God." But,

Is not thy wickedness great? and your iniquities infinite? For you have taken a pledge from the brother for nothing, you've stripped the naked of their clothing. You have not given water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry. But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honorable man dwelt in it. Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken ( Job 22:5-9 ).

So these are accusations now that he is making against Job. They're not proved. He is assuming these things now, but there is absolutely no proof to them at all, and Job doesn't answer them immediately, but in a couple of chapters Job will answer these accusations. When we get to chapter 29, he answers the accusations that are made against him, or chapter 30.

But it's interesting how that hospitality was considered really a... well, not to be hospitable was actually a great wickedness. In other words, if you didn't give a cup of water, if you didn't give bread, if you didn't seek to help the poor, the widows, the fatherless and all, then that was considered a great wickedness. I think that one of the tragic things about our culture today is that we are so much into ourselves that we really aren't even aware of the needs of those around us. I have great difficulty with people who can spend lavish amounts of money for their own luxuries and their own pleasure but do not take any concern or any care for the poor. They think nothing at all of spending fabulous sums to adorn their own bodies, and yet, if someone comes up who is really destitute, they are annoyed. "Go away, go ask someone else." It was considered a great wickedness in the time of the Bible, and I think that it is still a great wickedness. I do not believe that we can justify a luxurious lifestyle for ourselves when people are hurting, when people are hungry, when people are in great need. I think that we need to become more sensitive to the needs of others around us. There is a movement in England of what they are calling communal-type living. I do not agree with it, because I think that they are exerting too much pressure. But they are encouraging the people who have, say, a $15,000 car to sell it and to buy a $2,000 car and give the $13,000 to the poor. If you're living in a $50,000 house and you only need a $20,000 house, sell your house and give the remainder to the poor. And it is quite a movement in England right now. John Stout is involved in this, or was at least a while back. I don't know if they still are or not. But, as I say, I don't necessarily agree with it, but yet, I do feel very strongly that if God has blessed us, it isn't that we would use the financial blessings to heap up unto ourselves gold and silver while others are around us in real need, hungering and hurting.

James said, "Go to now, ye rich, weep and howl for the miseries that have come upon you. Because you have laid up your gold and silver for the last days, but it's going to corrupt. It's going to be rotten, and the laborer that you have defrauded is crying out for his pay and all" ( James 5:1-4 ). Jesus said, "How hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven; easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than a rich man" ( Matthew 19:24 ). Why? Because they that are rich fall into different, many different temptations which damn men's souls. If God has blessed us, it is that we might use those blessings of God to share with others that are in need. And if we close up our hearts, if we close up ourselves to the needy world around us, to the needy brothers and sisters in Christ while we are just spending foolishly for ourselves in luxuries that really are just nothing, then surely God will judge us.

They're accusing Job of these kind of things. As far as they are concerned, they are horrible accusations declaring the wickedness of Job. And because you have done these things, he declares, verse Job 22:10 :

Snares are round about you, sudden fear troubles you; Darkness, that you cannot see; waters are covering you. Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are! And you say, How does God know? how can he judge through the dark cloud? ( Job 22:10-13 )

He is now falsely accusing Job, he is saying, "Job, you're saying how can God see you when it is a cloudy day?" You know, God's up there in heaven, He can't see through the clouds. Job didn't say that, but this guy is just really laying one on Job. You say that,

Thick clouds are a covering, then he can't see through them; and he walks in the circuit of heaven. Have you marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood: Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them? 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 laugh them to scorn. Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumes. [Now Job,] acquaint yourself with God, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto you. Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart ( Job 22:14-22 ).

So his advice to Job is, "Just get right. Find God, Job. Just find God. And be at peace. Listen to His words. Follow Him."

And then thou shalt lay up gold as the dust, of the gold of Ophir, as the stones of brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be your defense, and you will have plenty of silver. For then shall you have the delight in the Almighty, and you will lift up your face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he will hear you, and you shall pay your vows ( Job 22:24-27 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 22". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-22.html. 2014.
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