I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
The scholarly thought is that since he’s the third to speak he is probably the youngest of the three friends. Meaning, the less experienced.
But he has no problem speaking, as young adults tend to no matter what time period in history.
Zophar tells Job that God is too vast to understand. That there’s no limit to the Almighty.
Zophar gets this right, but that’s about all he gets correct.
While Zophar tells Job that God can never be figured out, he then goes on to tell Job that if he repents, he’ll have a better life.
God – who can’t be figured out – can be placated by man’s repentance?
Zophar is basically promoting a works-righteousness kind of faith.
If you do something, God will be happy and bless you.
This is exactly what Satan accused Job of dong! Satan’s accusation in Job 1 and Job 2 was that Job only feared God because God had given him so much stuff. Then when all the stuff – and his very children – were taken away, Satan accused Job of fearing God because he still had his health. When that was taken away, Satan seems to slink away.
But what really happened was that Satan was now going to use these three “friends” to battle against Job!
Zophar says, “If you prepare your heart … stretch out your hands to [God] … then … you will be secure and will not fear” (Job 11:13, 15).
He says that if Job does all these things his “life will be brighter” and he “will feel secure” and “many will court” his favor.
Now, I’m all for having a cheery outlook and a positive attitude in life. No doubt such an outlook and attitude can be a part of a good life.
But that isn’t what makes a good life. It is a result of God’s mercy and grace!
Zophar wants Job to repent of some sin that he must certainly have committed – why else would he have suffered so much.
But we know better. Job is not suffering because of any specific sin.
What we’re to learn from Job’s life is the why of our faith.
Why do we believe in (fear) God? Because he gives us stuff or because God is our God?
Job believes (fears) God because God is his God!
And that is exactly how it should be for us.
Here’s another way of looking at it:
We don’t love God in order to get God to love us.
We don’t love others and live a good life in order to get God to love us.
We do good things and live a good life (by the power of God’s Word and Sacraments) because Jesus takes our sins away through his death and resurrection.
We love God because he first loved us.
Satan is trying to get Job – and us – to put our faith in ourselves, in our faith.
But Job is having none of it from Satan or Zophar.
And neither should we!
©2017 True Men Ministries