Zophar’s First Response to Job
Zophar criticizes Job for his complaining:
Then Zophar the Naamathite replied to Job:
Zophar wastes little time boring straight to the heart of the matter (as he interprets it). By comparison with Eliphaz and Bildad, he is almost brutal in his bluntness. “Should thy lies make men hold their peace? . . . But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee . . . God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth” (verses 3, 5-6). He appeals to God’s great wisdom and control, which dwarfs that of vain and ignorant men, and urges Job to return to God, where he will find both security and hope.
–Walk Thru the Bible Ministries
2 “Shouldn’t someone answer this torrent of words?
Is a person proved innocent just by a lot of talking?
3 Should I remain silent while you babble on?
When you mock God, shouldn’t someone make you ashamed?
4 You claim, ‘My beliefs are pure,’
and ‘I am clean in the sight of God.’
5 If only God would speak;
if only he would tell you what he thinks!
6 If only he would tell you the secrets of wisdom,
for true wisdom is not a simple matter.
Listen! God is doubtless punishing you
far less than you deserve!
7 “Can you solve the mysteries of God?
Can you discover everything about the Almighty?
8 Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—
and who are you?
It is deeper than the underworld—
what do you know?
9 It is broader than the earth
and wider than the sea.
10 If God comes and puts a person in prison
or calls the court to order, who can stop him?
11 For he knows those who are false,
and he takes note of all their sins.
12 An empty-headed person won’t become wise
any more than a wild donkey can bear a human child.
Zophar’s advice to Job:
13 “If only you would prepare your heart
and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
14 Get rid of your sins,
and leave all iniquity behind you.
15 Then your face will brighten with innocence.
You will be strong and free of fear.
It is arrogance on the part of Zophar to think that he knows why Job is suffering. We know from the prologue that it was not because Job had sinned. Job was called by God to join that grand company of innocent sufferers for the glory of the Lord. (The Reformation Bible)
1 Peter 4:13 (ESV)
But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
16 You will forget your misery;
it will be like water flowing away.
17 Your life will be brighter than the noonday.
Even darkness will be as bright as morning.
18 Having hope will give you courage.
You will be protected and will rest in safety.
19 You will lie down unafraid,
and many will look to you for help.
20 But the wicked will be blinded.
They will have no escape.
Their only hope is death.”
James tells us, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, and purify your thoughts.” In our suffering, too often I am guilty of just wanting it to stop! Enough already! But do I pause and ask God to perfect His purposes in me through the suffering? HERE is a Lenten hymn to help us “purify our thoughts” and draw closer to Christ. Isaac Watts’ “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed” is sung by the Sharon Singers of the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute in Pennsylvania. The tune they use is unfamiliar to me but fits the hymn quite well, I think.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.