Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied: “Would a wise person answer with empty notions or fill their belly with the hot east wind? Would they argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value? But you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God. Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty. Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you. “Are you the first man ever born? Were you brought forth before the hills? Do you listen in on God’s council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom? What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have? The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, men even older than your father. Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you? Why has your heart carried you away, and why do your eyes flash, so that you vent your rage against God and pour out such words from your mouth? “What are mortals, that they could be pure, or those born of woman, that they could be righteous? If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes, how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt, who drink up evil like water! – Job 15:1-16
Job’s friend Eliphaz is hard at work attempting to encourage Job. Once again the question comes up…what can we know? The accusing finger pointing at himself…I am not sure I understand what Eliphaz is getting at when he says “If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes”. What or who is Eliphaz talking about here? How does he know that the heavens are not pure in God’s eyes?
I suppose there is an argument that could be made that all of creation fell with Adam and Eve and in that sense even the heavens are not pure in God’s eyes. I have typically thought of the heavens as being part of the heavenly realm and thus not subject to “the fall”…perhaps I do not understand the dynamic going on in the spiritual realm.
In his science fiction book “out of a silent planet” C.S. Lewis is kidnapped and taken on a journey through space to Malacandria (mars). When he awakens in a space ship travelling through the “void” of space he finds that the view of space from the silent planet (earth) is bent or distorted. Instead of a cold dead place the “heavens” are alive with spiritual inhabitants. The planets are places where this spiritual reality becomes muddy and difficult to discern, especially on earth because of it’s status as a planet under siege….fallen to the control of the dark one.
If creation and earth are truly fallen and under the control of the dark one then our earthly bodies would in fact ” drink up evil like water”. As inhabitants of earth our bodies could not help but be ” vile and corrupt” — it is in our earthly DNA. What I think Eliphaz is missing here is that we are spiritual beings and as such have our feet planted in both worlds. At the moment Job’s earthly reality is shattered and broken….what remains to be seen is whether his spirit can endure. I think this is the fundamental question of all those who seek God with their souls. Can our souls endure the trials of the bodily journey of our life on earth? Will our souls get sick drinking up evil like water?
Prayer: God protect our souls from the steady diet of evil our bodies ingest.