Our power of discernment is called upon as we observe this argument between friends. What is divine truth? What is human passion? Every word of God is for our edification. We must traverse this ground as a part of the whole counsel of God. It provides powerful instruction with as much authority as the law and the prophets.
Eliphaz and Job Eliphaz interprets God's providence by a simple moralistic formula -- sin is the cause of any hardship or suffering. This is true in a general sense, and in some particulars. Eliphaz goes wrong by making it an across-the-board rule. He doesn't take into account the fact that God uses hardship for good for His people, and to increase their faith. God's ways are inscrutable. Eliphaz is too selective in the evidence he chooses, not taking into account the fact that sometimes the wicked prosper and the just suffer. He appeals to presonal experience and intuition. But we cannot write Eliphaz off entirely. We must discern the goodness and validity of some of his words as they agree with the rest of Scripture. But his overall argument is wrong. Job's response is sorrowful and poetic. This exchange reminds us that Christian friendship must be upheld by charity and compassion, which Eliphaz lacked. Mere men will fail us, but the LORD is always our faithful friend.