And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against you…
Job is first dealt with; when he has Been brought to a right state of mind, God turns to the three friends. They have been permitted to play their Part without any interference on the part of God, and perhaps they have regarded his silence as a mark of acquiescence. Now their time has come.
I. THEY WHO ACCUSE OTHERS LAY THEMSELVES OUT TO BE ACCUSED. Even when they act innocently this is the case. The censor should be above reproach. His action shows that he is awake to moral considerations, that he is not unable to perceive them, that he sets a high value on them. Then he should apply them to himself. "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things" (Romans 2:1). Further, the habit of censoriousness provokes accusations. It shows an unkind and a proud spirit. There is not the motive of compassion to lead us to pass lightly over his faults in the case of a censorious person, which influences us when we have to do with one of a modest and kindly disposition (Matthew 7:1-7).
II. GOD IS ANGRY WITH THOSE WHO ADVOCATE HIS CAUSE UNRIGHTEOUSLY. This was the great fault of the three friends. They represented themselves as God's champions, and professed to speak for God when they arraigned Job. Yet they spoke what was not right. God cannot but be angry when he is thus misrepresented. He does not seek the low-toned homage of the courtier who cares only to propitiate his Master, regardless of right and truth. Some of the people who think themselves God's best friends will have a great deal to answer for when their just and righteous Lord calls them to account. No falsehood can please God, and least of all can one please him that professes to be uttered for his benefit. This is not a case in which the end justifies the means. It is most grievous in the sight of God, because it dishonours his Name. We cannot depend on unjust actions By representing them as beneficial to the cause of religion. A false theology is not redeemed by the pretext that it glorifies God.
III. THE TRUE REVENGE IS TO "HEAP COALS OF FIRE" ON MEN BY DEEDS OF KINDNESS. Job is fully and gloriously avenged. Not only is his innocence of the gross charges brought against him by his friends made clear, not only are they condemned by God, but Job is called upon to intercede for their pardon. Thus in the first place they are thoroughly humiliated, as Haman was when he was condemned to lead the horse of Mordecai Esther 6:9, 10). But Job is far too magnanimous to triumph over their defeat, Even when he is interceding for them, we may be sure that his action betrays no pride. For has he not been repenting himself in dust and ashes (ver. 6)? Assuredly Job's intercession was generous and heartfelt. He could afford to forgive when he had himself been graciously accepted by God. The best vengeance we can have on those who ill-treat us is to pray for them, not in hypocritical self-righteousness, but in true-hearted, unaffected kindness. This is Christ's method. He subdues his enemies by dying for them. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
WEB: It was so, that after Yahweh had spoken these words to Job, Yahweh said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has.