Saturday, January 14, 2012

Job 20 - Zophar Slams Job Again

LINK: Job 20

BACKGROUND

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.

REFLECTION

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?"
This is a true statement regarding their final end. There may be temporary gain, but God's justice will prevail in the end.

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!

APPLICATION

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.

PRAYER
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)
Lord, thank You for teaching us everyday through Your Word. Help us to handle Your truth in a way that brings glory to You and not dishonor by the way we mishandle it. Keep us sensitive to the Holy Spirit's promptings every minute of every day. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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