Vs. 1, “Then Zophar the Naamathite replied…” We now get to hear from Job’s third friend, Zophar. Sadly, what he has to share is not very uplifting…in fact, it is quite rude. He presents God as one who punishes the unrighteous and surely Job must have been very unrighteous. In a way, Zophar approached God and his understanding in a very legalistic way. Basically…if this happened to you, then you did something to bring it upon you. Nothing more, nothing less. It didn’t help that Job continued to maintain ignorance as to why such calamity came upon him. Zophar surely assumed that Job was hiding something, which is why Zophar was so harsh in his response.
Regarding application…Insensitive. Vs. 6, “and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.” Zophar was a bit arrogant and in this verse he was basically telling Job that he’s fortunate that it wasn’t any worse. Wow…that’s a very hurtful statement to make! Job lost his possessions, all his children and now is suffering from painful sores that he thinks are leading to his death….and Zophar tells Job that it could be worse? A very insensitive statement to say the least. In the spring of 1996, I drove out to Oregon with a dream of going to Bible college. However, two days later I got a call from my brother that my father had passed away from fighting colon cancer. I flew back to attend my father’s funeral. One of my friends made a passing comment, “I guess it’s not that big of deal since he wasn’t really your father and you were not close to him.” What he said was true but how he said it was very hurtful and insensitive. He was my adopted father and our relationship was not a good one, but I made a resoltuion to visit him several times before his death and extended forgiveness. But my friend didn’t realize this and in his efforts to encoruage, he actually was hurtful. Let us be brothers & sisters who who have the sensitivity and compassion to our friends when they need us the most.