Job 19:28

 

Job said in Job 19:28-29, “But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?[29] Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.” Instead of condemning Job, his friends should say to themselves: “Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?” In other words, they are sinners just like Job, and so there is no reason to condemn him or they would be condemning themselves also. As Job says in verse 29 Job’s friends (just like ourselves) need to be concerned about the coming “judgment.” If you do not know Jesus as Savior, you will be judged for your sins to determine how great your punishments will be in hell. If you do know Jesus as Savior, you will be judged for your Christian life to determine what rewards (if any) you will receive in heaven. Be mindful of the judgment that is to come. Get prepared for it. Get serious. Change your ways. Serve the Lord faithfully.

 

The Bible says in Job 20:1-5, “Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,[2] Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste.[3] I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.[4] Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,[5] That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?” In these conversations between Job and his “friends” Job was correct and the “friends” were wrong. The friends could have learned from Job, but they did not learn anything. Once they came to their initial conclusions, they did not change. Many people are like that. They come to some invalid conclusions about faith, about Jesus, and about heaven and hell; and no truth ever changes them. They are stuck in their false ideas. They are held fast by error. And so basically Zophar says in verse five that everyone knows the wicked people and the hypocrites get punished for their sons. According to Zophar, because Job is suffering, it must be because Job is wicked and Job is a hypocrite. According to Zophar, there can be no other explanation.

 

Zophar continues talking and says in Job 20:6-11, “Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;[7] Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?[8] He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.[9] The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him.[10] His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods.[11] His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.” Zophar is continuing his description of what happens to those who are wicked. Zophar is emphasizing that people reap what they sow. This is true from a general standpoint, but the problem is that Zophar is not God. Zophar does not know when this principle is applied, or to whom, or why. The same mistake is made in our day when our country suffers some great disaster or catastrophe. There is always someone who will say that the disaster is God’s judgment upon us. But they do not know. If God’s judgment truly came upon us, we would all be destroyed. I think that the primary principle that is involved in the day in which we live is God’s grace. God is gracious to all of us every day in many ways. This is the age of grace. This is the time when God withholds His judgment and offers us His mercy through faith in Christ. In verse eleven Zophar speaks of “the sin of his youth.” If seems that all that Zophar can think about is sin and the consequences of sin. No wonder he was negative and condemning. Let’s think about, and enjoy, and reap the benefits of forgiveness. That is what Jesus’ life and death on the cross was all about.

 

Zophar continues talking and says in Job 20:12-23, “Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;[13] Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth:[14] Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.[15] He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.[16] He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him.[17] He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter.[18] That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein.[19] Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;[20] Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired.[21] There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods.[22] In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand of the wicked shall come upon him.[23] When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.” Zophar mentions God twice in these verses. Just because someone talks about God does not mean that they know what they are talking about. False teachers do this all the time. Job’s friends are on this theme that evil people suffer, and therefore because Job is suffering, Job must be evil. Some friends there are. Their logic is ridiculous. Take verse 19 as an example. Zopar is saying that if Job lost his house, it must be because Job did something dishonest to get his house in the first place. Zophar said, “because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not.” In verse 23 when Zophar said, “God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him,” the “him” of course, refers to Job. A lot of people have a similar attitude about their own relationship with God. If something bad happens to them, they think it must be because God is angry with them or is punishing them. But that cannot be because God is love. God is motivated by love in the things that He does. It only shows that we do not know very much about what God does what He does. One thing is for sure. Whatever happens, God can make it turn out for good. That is why Christians are told on Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and to them that are the called according to His purpose

 

Zophar continues talking and says in Job 20:24-29, “He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.[25] It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him.[26] All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.[27] The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him.[28] The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.[29] This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.” Look at all the negative words that Zophar uses against Job in just these few verses: “He shall flee,” “steel shall strike him,” “terrors are upon him,” “shall consume him,” “ill with him,” “his iniquity,” “against him,” “the day of his wrath,” “a wicked man.” And then Zophar concludes all this negativity in verse 29 by once again claiming that this is God punishing Job. The word “gospel” means “good news.” You are not preaching the gospel of Christ unless you are bringing good news to people. 

 

The Bible says in Job 21:1-12, “But Job answered and said,[2] Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.[3] Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.[4] As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?[5] Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.[6] Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.[7] Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?[8] Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.[9] Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.[10] Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.[11] They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.[12] They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.” As we have seen, much of the book of Job is a conversation between Job and his friends. Job speaks and then one of his friends speaks. Back and forth they go. But Job realizes that they do not hear a word that he is saying. And that is why Job says to his “friends” in verse three, “after that I have spoken, mock on.” And then Job says in verse four, “As for me, is my complaint to man?” In other words, Job knows that God is the One that Job is really conversing with. Job needs God to hear what Job is saying. Job needs an answer form God, not from these men.

 

In verses seven through twelve Job refutes what his friends have been saying by pointing out that often the wicked do prosper in this life. It is not like his friends say that they wicked always suffer in this life: not materially speaking. In verse says Job points out that the wicked “become old.” A wicked person just might live longer than a Christian. One reason for this is because might want to give someone extra time to turn to Jesus. Also, the wicked can become “mighty in power.” The wicked are given opportunities to rule and be in positions of authority. Often the children of the wicked turn out just fine from a human standpoint anyway: “Their seed is established.” They go to the best universities, they get the best jobs, and they are rich too. Job says in verse 9, “Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.” God does not strike them down with a bolt of lightning. Maybe God is trying to win them by His love. The point that Job is making is that the wicked often prosper in this life. This fact totally refutes what Job’s friends have been saying about Job. In verse twelve Job states that the wicked are not like Job at all. Job is in great sorrow and mourning because of all that he has suffered and lost. But the wicked have singing, and music, and dancing. They are having a great time. Job says in verse 12, “They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.”

 

What Job said above is true about the wicked in this life, but Job knows the true spiritual condition of the wicked. Someone’s spiritual condition is what is really important. Job says in Job 21:13-15, “They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.[14] Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.[15] What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?” Most rich people do not get saved and do not go to heaven. Jesus made that very clear when Jesus said in Mark 10:25, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Even though the rich live in luxury in their few days upon the earth, they are the same as a poor person in several ways. In one way they are the same is the fact that they are just one heartbeat away from the end of their life and the start of their eternal existence. No one has a promise of tomorrow. God will decide when you leave this earth, and it might be today. Job put it this way in verse 13, “in a moment go down to the grave.” It says in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment

 

In Job 21:14-15 Job says why the rich people turn away from God: they have prospered without turning to Him, and therefore, they do not see any reason or any benefit to turn to God for help. In verse 14 Job states very clearly that rich people use their free will to reject God. A rich person often says in their heart to God, “Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.” Everyone will choose to either turn to Christ or to turn away from Him. Rich people are strongly tempted to turn away from Christ because they have their money to trust in, and they do not see a reason to seek God’s help. Rich people think in their hearts just as Job wrote in verse 15, “What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?” But everyone does have many reasons to turn to God: the fact that we are sinners and we need to be forgiven, the fact that we will all die and maybe soon and face eternity, the fact that the judgment is coming and we will stand before the Father and Christ to be judged. It will not go well at the judgment without Jesus as our Savior. Turn to Jesus today and call upon Him while you have time. It says in Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The name of the Lord is Jesus.     

 

 

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Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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