"And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 'My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.' So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD commanded them; for the LORD had accepted Job" (Job 42:7-9).
Some commentators believe that Job sinned with his lips during some of his speeches. Perhaps they are correct, but I am reluctant to accept this conclusion for the following reasons:
Without question, Job is an outstanding example for us today. He illustrates someone who has hit rock bottom and still holds on. Some today use their trials as an excuse for committing sin, but Job lost everything and remained steadfast in spite of it all.
God likely addressed Eliphaz in 42:7 since he was the oldest of the three friends. The speeches of the three friends have made God out to be an inflexible and predictable dictator. It is important to note that God was willing to grant these friends mercy in spite of the fact that they were unwilling to offer the same to Job.
The last sentence of 42:8 exposes a delightful irony - "For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." In the course of their speeches, the friends never considered themselves to be in error, but now they find themselves in need of repentance; the very thing they had been preaching to Job!
God's two instructions to the friends were simple enough:
The friends, despite uttering some foolish words, were wise enough to obey God in this matter!
We will conclude our textual study of the book of Job in our next lesson.