Zophar Speaks: You Deserve Worse
11 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
“Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
and a man full of talk be judged right?
Should your babble silence men,
and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure,
and I am clean in God’s eyes.’
But oh, that God would speak
and open his lips to you,
and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!
For he is manifold in understanding.
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
“Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
It is higher than heaven—what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth
and broader than the sea.
If he passes through and imprisons
and summons the court, who can turn him back?
For he knows worthless men;
when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
But a stupid man will get understanding
when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man!
“If you prepare your heart,
you will stretch out your hands toward him.
If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
and let not injustice dwell in your tents.
Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
you will be secure and will not fear.
You will forget your misery;
you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.
And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
you will look around and take your rest in security.
You will lie down, and none will make you afraid;
many will court your favor.
But the eyes of the wicked will fail;
all way of escape will be lost to them,
and their hope is to breathe their last.”
Job 11 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The third friend of Job finally responds and boy – it’s a doozy. Although Zophar only has a few places he’s found talking to Job, he makes up for it in venom. His anger drives him right out the gate as he unleashed on Job that he deserved more punishment than less. He basis this completely on his mind already being made up to his perception Job is lying. He takes an even stronger stand of their being sin in his life that has caused the problem.
Of the 3, Zophar is the most arrogant. He is a complete know-it-all and has an answer for everything. He is absolutely insensitive to the pain Job is enduring.
Let’s just focus on these traits here.
Does your doctrine get in the way of your compassion?
I’m sure our immediate answer is absolutely not! But let the question settle in upon you. Does your belief in God, the doctrine you cling to about who God is even, affect how you are responding to needs around you? Do you celebrate with those who are joyful? Do you weep with those who are saddened? Do you have the Father Heart of God in the situations you observe and are drawn into?
And what about those who are so lost in sin? Those who have gone as the Prodigal Son and are currently living in the Far Land who if they died today would be lost in eternity? What of the words you spout in regards to these situations and the prayers you offer for these individuals? Are they with venom or pleading for grace of Jesus to find them? Do they reflect for these who have lost their way to be driven to God through whatever it takes or lean more toward “give them what they deserve”?
- Zophar was completely arrogant in his beliefs about God and His ways. He also was completely wrong. Sure he had a few points that had strains of truth, but for the most part, he was so heartless and so set in his ways he missed the mark.
- Zophar was a complete know-it-all. He had God wrapped up in a nice package as to how He operated and was absolutely clueless to the backstory of why Job was enduring what He was. How many times have we failed to recognize the history of someone who acts out or those who are floundering based on stories of their lives or a hidden story even that has driven them to be who they are at the moment?
- Zophar was insensitive to Job. Our insensitivity to things regarding others is a deep spiritual flaw. We operate strictly on doctrine when we have our mind made up about a person. When we believe we have all the answers, we will react in complete insensitivity to needs.
What I’m not saying is to wink at sin. I’m not saying we are to give a pass to those who have willfully walked away from God. This is not what I’m saying. But what I am stating is our calling as human agents of Jesus Christ are to be moved in compassion, and yes speak hard words at times (but must be absolutely sure our doctrine is sound) yet they must be driven by a heart of compassion because they’re lost or struggling.
Father God – give us your heart. Break our hearts for the things that break Yours. Stir within us a compassion that models your own given to us. Teach us to measure our words and speak the truths you have revealed to us but also stir within a deep desire to be the Agent of Jesus to the lost and hurting around us. We need compassion. Lord God, we need wisdom and discernment. Help us to get our own opinions out of the way and pour out your thinking so that when we do speak it is not ourselves who give words but You. Oh God, break our hearts for the things that break Yours.
Job 11 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
I think Zophar is right on one thing; he understands the wisdom of God. It actually feels like he is trying to “impress” Job with his knowledge about God’s wisdom. Of course, his delivery makes him sound like an arrogant know-it-all.
Eliphaz focused more on the mysterious and supernatural. Bildad was all about tradition. Zophar focuses on sound doctrine based on the wisdom and the sovereignty of God. He reasons, like the others, that Job has no right to conclude he is innocent because he surely has a hidden sin that has caused this punishment. In the world of Zophar, everything is black and white. Those who suffer always deserve it.
Zophar is all truth and no grace, but there’s another part of his doctrine that is concerning. He aligns himself with Satan’s theology. If you remember back to Chapter 1, Satan accused Job of having “fair-weather faith.” He contested that the only reason Job loved God was because his life was so great.
Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”Job 1:9-11 NASB
According to Zophar, if you seek God, your life will be great, but when you go down the wrong path, He will make your life miserable. That may be true, but it’s not always true. With Zophar’s simple theology, Job must be in the wrong. Job had everything he wanted before, and now he has nothing. Zophar has successfully put God in a box. He has Him completely figured out. With friends like Zophar, there are no mysteries left to discover; he knows them all.
The irony of Zophar’s speech is that he glorifies God’s wisdom, knowledge, and power but then speaks to Job as if God is only a genie in a bottle waiting for him to correct his sins in order to grant him wealth and prosperity.
Zophar knew a lot about God but Job was beginning to really know God.
Job was experiencing the fiery furnace of God’s refining fire. He was developing trust, faith, and spiritual maturity. It was both the best and worst experience of his life. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Zophar’s in the church today. They know all about God, but have never been on a life-changing journey with Him. Zophar proves that when we limit God to a simple math equation, we produce a lot of spiritually-immature disciples.