Job 5-17

Jason Barrett
Job and his friends all believe the world works on a reward-punishment system. If you do good you will be rewarded by God, and if you do bad you will be punished by God. Yet, Job pleads innocent to deserving punishment.

However, all three of Job’s friends agree that there must be sins that God is punishing and Job has to defend himself to his friends. With friends like Job’s, who needs enemies?

The first friend who talked, Eliphaz, even claims to have a prophetic word for Job as he accuses Job of having hidden sin.

We often see such claims of prophetic insight of guilt and shame brought forth during suffering. During the Covid outbreak, many believers started passing messages on social media that this was due to the sins of people, it was God’s judgment. Eliphaz should stand as a warning that such messages must be carefully considered and perhaps not accepted at face value.

In the case of Eliphaz, he is wrong about the message he claims to have received.

Between the accusations of Job’s friends and Job’s own searching in the dark for answers, we arrive at chapter 17 where Job declares,

“My spirit is broken.”

How many of us have been there?