Indeed, you do away with reverence
And hinder meditation before God.
The first round of speaking between Job and his friends is over. All three friends spoke and each one had something wrong with what he was saying. It sounded good, but there was always that one little bit that did not jive with scripture. That makes what has been said by Job’s friends so far out of tolerance spec to be truth. Truth is either 100% true or it is no truth at all. That is the spec.
Meanwhile, Eliphaz starts up again in chapter 15. He says that Job has done away with reverence (a type of fear usually directed at God) and is hindering meditation before God. Now, if Job were hindering the meditation of Eliphaz, then all Eliphaz has to do to restore it is leave which would be more comforting to Job than Eliphaz remaining and shooting off his mouth. What Eliphaz says describes a couple groups perfectly.
First, this describes the world. The world is not interested in fearing God and is absolutely not interesting in meditating before Him. The American world is definitely into fear. Halloween just passed and much of America goes topsy-turvy in an attempt to scare itself. Horror movies are often blockbusters and pranks filmed and posted online almost always involve scaring the daylights out of someone. America is not shy about fear, but being afraid of God is outside their ken. As for meditation (deep thought), the world has redefined the process to fit its own ends. Meditation, in the world’s estimation, is not thinking deeply on a single idea or set of related ideas but rather is emptying one’s mind. In both cases, a substitute has been provided.
Second, this describes (I am sad to admit) certain churches. There are churches claiming to be Christian but not teaching any of the doctrines that scare people — no Hell, no judgment, no accountability, no sin, nothing that might give us an inkling of fear before our Maker. There are also churches that leave no room for deep thought (meditation). The service is crammed so full of noise and movement that no one can think of much of anything. The praise slides into the teaching and the teaching slides back into praise and there is never that moment of silence in the middle of everything to stop and reflect.
There is a third culprit in all of this: the individual believer. I find that I do not fear God as I ought. When I was a child, I was afraid of my parents in the way that God wants me to fear Him. I did not do things that were against my parents rules in their presence because I was afraid of the punishment. The punishment and therefore the fear, of course, was associated with my parents, because I would receive no punishment if they did not catch me or chose not to administer discipline. God is present everywhere at all times, yet I find myself doing things without a worry that my Heavenly Father will see and discipline. This should not be. I need to keep fixed in my mind the reality of God’s presence and the immediacy of discipline. In addition, I do not take the time to be still and know that He is God as I ought. I do not take the time to meditate before Him; to think deeply on the things that He has communicated and commanded, to ponder the unsearchable depths of His love and mercy. Were I to take the time to stop the madness of life and to think deeply on the things of God, I might find myself keenly aware of His presence and equally keenly aware of the immediacy of discipline that will follow any wrongdoing if I am truly one of God’s children.
I need to take that time to meditate on the things of God. I suspect that meditation will lead me back around to the right kind of fear — the kind that makes me shun wrongdoing for fear I will injure He Who has loved me more than His own life.