Without hesitation, Job admitted that he had uttered words he did not understand. Just like the psalmist said, “Lord, you hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:5-6; Job 42:3).
Job told Zophar that he was not inferior to him, he knew just as much as Zophar. Now he sees that he was not willing to be thought ignorant by his friends, much less to be taught by them what they considered they knew about God.
Job remembers how he had actually been tempted to show his would-be teachers that he knew as much as they did! Now he realizes that he could accept whatever came and worship Him, regardless of the pain, but he could not take the low place before his friends and accept their assessments of his condition. He could not let them treat him like an ignorant, presumptuous man, much less like a hypocrite that was hiding his secret sins.
In his heart, I really believe that Job honestly wanted to be humble, and not to “Lord” his position over his servants, or his friends. It was one thing to be humble like that, and another to be willing to be considered ignorant of the things of God by those whose knowledge of Him was less than his own.
That was my greatest struggle when we first moved to Ann Arbor. It was so hard for me to accept being “just another cog in the wheel” when I was used to being part of the hub. It was difficult to allow someone else to try to help me, when I already knew all the words he was saying before they were spoken. It was so hard to place myself under someone else’s instruction when I was used to being the instructor.
Now Job and I could understand Elihu’s words about the Lord withdrawing His children from their work, to “hide pride” from them, and to save them from greater sorrow in the world to come.
In shame, Job (and I) looked up to the Lord. Is the Lord going to let him speak one more time?
If you are interested, you can download the whole study of Job.
Other Bible Studies and Commentary are available at Doulos Studies.