“. . . The Lord whose fire is in Zion,
Whose furnace is in Jerusalem.”
As Job confidently talks about his Living Redeemer who will be his vindicator when He comes to judge the world, Zophar, feeling indignant with Job, jumps in with his reply. He doesn’t even wait for Job to finish what he’s saying.
Zophar says that he has heard Job’s reproof putting him to shame, and his thoughts come so rapidly into his mind that he must speak. “Job, don’t you know that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless lasts but a moment?”
Zophar must have noticed the tone of victory in Job’s voice as, in the depths of suffering, he gets the revelation of the Redeemer. Zophar figures it is just a passing emotional high or something, nothing more than the “transient exultation of a godless man.”
Bildad had called the anguished pleading of Job the tearing of himself with anger, and now Zophar thinks the exultation of his spirit is nothing more than the emotional joy of the godless! Zophar said he was speaking out of his “understanding,” or, as we would say, he was using common sense! If Job was suffering for some hidden sin, then it was foolish to ignore the truth and to talk of seeing God at some future time!
You will hear those same words every time you take a step of faith that violates what, to many, seems to be the logical alternative. “You can’t give that money away . . . you can’t afford it!” “What do you mean ‘You’re healed?’ I can see you’re not!” “Why in the world would you ____________ (fill in the blank), that has to be the most foolish thing I’ve heard.” The list goes on, and I am sure you have heard many more like them.
We say those who are impractical in facing the facts of life are “living with their heads in the clouds.” Zophar seems to make this same charge against Job when he says the godless man may “rise up to the heavens and his head reach unto the clouds; yet he will perish forever.” Did he always think Job was a “visionary” in religious matters?
There is really no need to follow Zophar very carefully as he presents once again the “portion of the wicked man,” and the “heritage appointed to them by God.” It is a wearisome harping on the same theme introduced by Eliphaz, continued by Bildad, and now taken up again by Zophar.
Zophar’s main point that is important for us to see is that the wicked must have their portion in this present world. According to Zophar, the godless will be chased away like a vision in the night; his children will be oppressed; he might obtain wealth but he will lose it all; he will keep nothing that he rejoiced in; his prosperity will not endure; every man’s hand will be against him; terror will be on him; a fire not kindled by man will devour him; the very heavens will reveal his sin, and the earth rise up against him.
We get the picture.
If you are interested, you can download the whole study of Job.
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