Job Sees The Light - Twenty-first in a series
Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion
Job 20:1-3 NIV At the end of Chapter 19, Job threatened his friends with God's wrath and severe judgment should they continue to castigate him. Rather than considering this possibility, Zophar perceives he has been insulted.
Likewise, the Pharisees were insulted when they heard John the Baptist call them to repent. However, not all who heard the Baptist were wounded in vanity; some confessed their sins and were baptized.
Job 20:4-7 NIV Now comes a profane stream of bile intended to shame Job into confessing his wickedness. Thankfully, we do not hear from Zophar again, except for one last mention of his name in the final chapter of Job, as he is directed by God to repent of his evil words and to atone.
Job 20:8-9 NIV Zophar perceives that Job is evil and therefore destined for oblivion.
The Psalms teach what Zophar believes: A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. (Ps 37:10 ESV) However, the Bible does not teach that a reversal of fortunes is an indicator of God's wrath. Think of John the Baptist.
The Bible states, The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. (Isa 57:1 RSV) Yes, at times God rescues his children from calamities not yet in view, by taking them to heaven.
Job 20:10-11 NIV Zophar predicts the ill-gotten gains of the wicked will become debts his children must repay when his own youthful vigor departs. This is an especially cruel jab considering Job's children have all died.
Job 20:12-22 NIV Zophar is accusing Job of many sins: love of evil, perfidy, bitterness, greed, extortion or fleecing, miserliness, lack of compassion for the poor, opportunism, rapacious discontent. Job will answer each of these charges and refute them in his self-defense.
Job 20:23-29 NIV But now, the condemnation and vitriol crash and swirl in waves sure to overwhelm Job, pushing him under, suffocating him until he MUST gasp curses at the Lord.
But no, the man of God is not so much animated or affected by false accusations as by the separation he so keenly feels between himself and his God. To Job, the real tragedy is much deeper than his personal decimation. It is the loss of the center of his being. But that is only how he feels, that is, what he perceives. In truth, all is well, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deut 33:27)
And there is a closer walk he has yet to discover.