Job 15:20-26 (NIV) 20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment, the ruthless through all the years stored up for him. 21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears; when all seems well, marauders attack him. 22 He despairs of escaping the darkness; he is marked for the sword. 23 He wanders about–food for vultures; he knows the day of darkness is at hand. 24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror; they overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack, 25 because he shakes his fist at God and vaunts himself against the Almighty, 26 defiantly charging against him with a thick, strong shield.
On verses 17-35: Here Eliphaz, harking back to what he claims to have seen in the past and heard from other wise men (v17-19), tries to paint a picture for Job with his words. Eliphaz describes a “wicked man” (v20) who “suffers torment” (v20), who is haunted by terrifying sounds (v21), who has been attacked (v21b), who lives in great fear (v22), who wanders without purpose or hope (v23), and who is filled with distress (v24) all “because he shakes his fist at God” (v25). What is Eliphaz doing? This is Eliphaz’s indirect but not so subtle way of telling Job, “Job, the reason why you are now living in torment, terror and hopelessness is because you have rebelled against God. You will never be prosperous again (v27-29) but you will be destroyed (v30-33). This is the fate of those who are godless and lovers of money (v34-35).” This was probably Eliphaz’s way of trying to scare Job into repentance. However, once again Eliphaz’s error was that he incorrectly assumed that Job was suffering because Job had sinned. Eliphaz gave a correct statement but the wrong answer.
What can we learn from this?
If taken totally out of context, Eliphaz’s words in verses 17-35 are an accurate description of what ultimately happens to those who reject God. Eliphaz’s words here remind us that the worst, most misery-inducing decision we could make is to reject the Lord.
Despite Eliphaz making a correct statement about those who reject the Lord, Eliphaz was wrong to assume that this statement applied to Job. What we learn from Eliphaz’s error is that wisdom is not just about being able to make correct statements. Wisdom is more importantly about knowing which correct statement to apply to a complicated real life situation.Wisdom is more about EQ than IQ.It’s about knowing how to deal with people well and effectively.It’s less about knowing a lot and more about exercising good judgment. It’s about knowing how to give an apt reply that speaks to the heart of the situation rather than just regurgitating correct statements that do not help the situation. Unfortunately, Eliphaz was high in IQ but low in EQ, high in intelligence but low in wisdom. You will find that your success in life and relationships will depend more on your EQ than your IQ, more on how much wisdom you show than how intelligent you are.
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me that wisdom and intelligence are not the same thing. Even more than intelligence and a high IQ, I pray for wisdom and a high EQ. Please help me to handle people and real life situations with wisdom, good judgment and effectiveness. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!