Job 5:8-13 – “..He catches the wise in their own craftiness…”

“But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause— Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number. He gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields. He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety. He frustrates the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot carry out their plans. He catches the wise in their own craftiness, And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them.  – Job 5:8-13

These sound like very wise words from Eliphaz. But they are used to accuse Job of being sinful and bringing chastisement upon himself. Surely this is not a helpful way to encourage a friend who is under trial.

When we do not have the bigger picture of things, it is best not to make presumptions. The better way would be to simply pray with the friend under trial and seek God’s comfort because God is the one in control of all things.

Incidentally, the Apostle Paul quoted this verse in 1 Cor 3:18-23 to rebuke the wise who think they are smart and have all the philosophical answers to the world. The worldly wise is just like Eliphaz who thinks he knows why Job was suffering and even says that God “… catches the wise in their own craftiness…”. On the contrary, Eliphaz is “caught” by God in his own worldly wisdom in the end.

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