Eliphaz and his friends often got things wrong with what they said to Job in their speeches. They would say a lot of true things, but they did not adequately understand the entire situation and we therefore unable to realize what was truly going on with Job and his situation. As well, like us, they had a limited view of God. Even so, Eliphaz wasn’t always wrong. He had some wisdom to share.
When I read Job 15:2, I couldn’t help but chuckle. He said, “A wise man wouldn’t answer with such empty talk! You are nothing but a windbag.” When I heard that, I considered how we are all windbags from time to time. A windbag is someone who finds the need to use useless words or to ramble on for no reason, saying something that could not possibly result in any good.
We each can name a time when we used words when we should have been silent, when we ran our mouth when we should have spoke less. As we move forward, let us consider our words. Are they positive? Are they encouraging? Are they truthful? Are they beneficial? Are they good words? There’s no need to be a windbag. Let us choose our battles and our words carefully.
“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.” – Job 15:1-6 [NIV]