Job is now talking to God, and Job says in Job 10:11-15, “Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee. If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity. If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;” In verses 11 through 13 Job is simply stating that he knows that God has given him life. The implication is that since God has given life to Job, then why does Job have to suffer so much? In verses 14 and 15 Job is stating that he understands the principle of reaping what we sow. Of course, the problem is that “reaping what we sow” does not explain every situation in life. Job has not really figured this out yet, and so he says in verse 15, “I am full of confusion.”
Job continues talking to God, and Job says in Job 10:16-17, “For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me. Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.” Job’s affliction was still increasing, and there was no escape. Job thought that his life was like a animal that had no escape from a lion. Job was easy pray and he could do nothing to stop the calamities that had come upon him. All of our lives are very fragile. Without many blessings from God every day, all of our lives would fall apart. The “witnesses” against Job were his supposed friends who came and who could not resist blaming everything on Job. Job makes an interesting statement about what has happened to him at the end of verse 17: “changes and war are against me.” Life is full of changes. Whatever you are experiencing now, it will change. Job’s changes were all negative. Job also said that “war” was against him. One way of looking at life is that life is a war or a battle. Paul wrote in First Corinthians 16:9, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” Paul also reminded Christians about the spiritual warfare and how to be prepared for it in Ephesians chapter 6. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Christians can win the spiritual war because of all the great teachings in the New Testament to tell us how to stay close to the Lord Jesus and use the spiritual strength that is available to us.
Job says to God in Job 10:18-22, “Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me! I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave. Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” At this point in Job’s life he is not able to see anything that is positive. This is a good lesson for us. We must not allow ourselves to fall into this kind of thinking when things go wrong. We must take Jesus’ advice: “Have faith in God.” We must remember God’s promises. We must put into practice the admonition to Christians found in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Job had become so negative that whereas before he was hoping to die, now he is seeing death negatively too, calling death “A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” Christians are told to live life to the fullest for Christ, but to look forward to the time of their rest and joy of entering into heaven. That is why Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
The third of Job’s “friends” has his turn to speak against Job. It says in Job 11:1-4, “Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.” Zophar has been listening to what Job had to say, and in verse two Zophar condemns Job just for speaking. Instead of giving Job his right to say what Job wants to say, Zophar told Job that Job talks too much. And then in verse three Zophar accuses Job of lying and of mocking the three “friends.” Zophar makes a mistake that is often made by those who disagree with someone else. Because Zophar disagrees with Job, Zophar accuses Job of lying. People have different perspectives. Just because someone disagrees with you, does not mean that they are lying. Also, you might be wrong. Zophar thought he was correct, but actually Zophar was wrong. Job was right: Job did not deserve the sufferings that came his way.
Zophar said in Job 11:5-6, “But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;  And that he would show thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.” Zophar makes another common mistake. Zophar thinks that God is on his side, but not on Job’s side. God is on everyone’s side. If God were to speak about the sinfulness of man, everyone would be condemned. God has spoken about the sinfulness of man, and God says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Zophar thinks that he has all the answers about the nature of God and the mind of God. And so in verse six Zophar speaks of “the secrets of wisdom,” thinking that only Zophar and God know what is happening and why, but Job does not know. Many people who are involved in religion make the mistake of claiming that they know more than they really do. That is definitely true of everyone who is involved in false religion, and it is also true of many people who are true believers. No one knows the full mind of God. Just because you believe in Jesus does not mean that you now everything else that there is to know, especially why God is doing what He is doing in someone else’s life.
Zophar seems to acknowledge the point that I just made above, but of course, Zophar is only applying it to Job but not to himself. Zophar said in Job 11:7-12, “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him? For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider it? For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.” Zophar asks two questions in verse 7, one in verse 8, one in verse 10 and one in verse 11. Zophar is implying that the answer to all five questions is “no.” Zophar is saying that Job cannot find out God by searching. Is that true? No, it is not true. Jesus said, “Seek and ye shall find.” No matter what is troubling you, God has the answer. Seek the answer from God and you will find it.
It is true that God is great: the infinite and almighty God is higher than heaven and deeper than hell, and so what is man compared to that? But such an idea just shows the miracle of salvation, and it shows the marvelous grace of God wherein He does manifest Himself to mere mortals. One of the reasons that Jesus became a man is so that we can know God. We are men, but we can know a man, and therefore we can know the manifestation of God that is in Christ.
Once again in verse 11 Zophar mentions that God sees wickedness. Yes, God does see all wickedness, but that is not the reason that Job was suffering. Zophar was implying that Job was suffering because of Job’s sins. That was not true. If God was going about punishing people for their sins, we would all perish. The judgment is coming, but this is not the time of judgment. This is the time of God’s grace. God is proving His love and mercy to the human race. God is not going around and punishing people the moment that they sin. God gives time to repent, and sometimes a very long time.
Zophar said in Job 11:13-20, “If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away: And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety. Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee. But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.” Once again Zophar says something that is generally true, but just does not apply to Job. Zophar is talking about someone who needs to repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Of course, Zophar is assuming that Job’s troubles are the result of Job’s sins. Zophar is telling Job that if Job turned from his sins and turned to the Lord, that Job’s problems would be over. As Zophar says in verse 19, “Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid…” Is this really true? When you accept Christ as Savior, are all your problems really solved? Some problems get solved, but you will have other new problems such as persecutions and spiritual opposition.
In verse 20 Zophar said, “But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost.” Is this true? It will be true at the judgment, but as far as this life is concerned, it depends. Sometimes the wicked prosper for years, but ultimately they will suffer. Zophar is indicating that Job must be suffering because that is what happens to the wicked. The wicked suffer because of their sins, therefore since Job is suffering, it must be because Job has committed wickedness. God is love. God loves us with an eternal and lasting love. Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Whatever happens, God has His purposes. Whatever God allows even when we suffer, it does not mean that God is punishing us. By the grace of God, we can continue on in the knowledge that God’s love is greater than the pain we now feel. God’s love is there, even if we do not understand all that has taken place, and even if we wish that things had been different. God knows all, and God loves us. The primary motivation of God in this life is not to punish us, that will come soon enough at the judgment for some, but God wants to show us His love and teach us to love Him.
Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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