This is Zophar's second round of rebuke. Did I say rebuke? Zophar is providing "comfort," and Job is the one who is giving rebuke; at least according to Zophar (20:3). Zophar is a pathetic comforter. He pontificates upon the fate God allots to the wicked (20:29), and he assumes that Job's hardships prove he is wicked. Sadly, he still uses generalizations that do not apply to Job's unique situation.
One of the original Bible Book Club members and I met and talked about what we were learning from the book of Job. She brought up something really important: some of the things that the comforters say are true even though they do not apply to Job's situation. What do you do with that?
Much of what the comforters say is accurate, biblical truth. In fact, Paul even quotes Eliphaz from Job 5:13 in 1 Corinthians 3:19. This is the only time Job is quoted in the New Testament.
In this chapter, Zophar is wrong for rebuking Job, but he is correct in 20:6, 7 when he speaks of the end of the wicked and godless:
Though his pride reaches to the heavens and his head touches the clouds, he will perish forever, like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, "Where is he?"
We cannot always assume that what the comforters say is not truth. It is just not truth for Job's situation! What a cautionary tale for our own lives to not thump people over the head with the Bible before listening to their heart first!
We can be "puffed up" with the knowledge of the truth, but we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in when we should apply that truth. Pray that God will help you to be sensitive and not jump to the wrong conclusions about people.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)