Job's Lament (Job 3) Now in the private company of his friends, Job lets out his grief. His first words are wistful lament over his very existence, and he concludes that he would have been better off unborn. Without enjoyment, Job reasons, there is little point in mere survival. Perhaps this is an overstatement that is, in light of his condition, understandable if not excusable. But it surely leads us to affirm the point that the value of life consists not in our happiness but in the calling to glorify God. In this calling there is true joy that gives reason to life rather than mere happiness that comes and goes.
The Opening Argument (Job 4) Eliphaz begins by reminding Job that he had once given counsel and comfort to the suffering, and now that he suffers he should remember his own counsel. While not a bad exhortation, its wording and timing could have been better. Eliphaz makes the naive assertion that the law of retribution operates immediately within God's providence, therefore every hardship is correlated to some sin and every blessing is correlated to some virtue. This simplistic view of providence leads to a misrepresentation of God and many misjudgments about our fellow men. From the words of Job and Eliphaz, we already begin to see how unwise it is to extrapolate from our limited view of providence.