Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blogging the Bible: Zophar

Zophar step to the stage next, and his response is basically, “Stop your boasting! You say you’re innocent, but you don’t understand God. You have no idea of the sins God sees when he looks at you. It’s your choice: repent and be restored, or share the fate of the wicked.

Notice, to Zophar, it sounds like Job is saying he’s sinless, “you say, 'My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God's eyes.'”. He rightly says, "no one is sinless". But again, he only sees part of the picture.

Notice that he wants God to shut job up as one proved guilty. He says “Oh, that God would speak and open his lips to you, and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in understanding.

Notice that he gets God’s greatness. He says, Job doesn’t understand, which is not true, but he does see God’s greatness. He sees a little of God's depth, God's might, God's power, declaring “Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves. "Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know?  Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.  If he passes through and imprisons and summons the court, who can turn him back? For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?” Furthermore, he says, God knows all, and he’s certain that God cannot be fooled. Once again, a friend gets God, and doesn’t get Him. All he really has is a doctrine of sovereignty, paired with a mechanical understanding of God’s justice. He too cannot fathom an innocent suffering. It must be sin. It almost has to be for his worldview to maintain coherence.

Notice finally that Zophar calls Job an idiot, a donkey’s colt, and then begs with him to repent.
There is no comfort in this speech. Though there are generalities about God’s goodness, wisdom, and justice, this is yet one more cruel charge of hidden sin. He’s warned at the end, turn or burn “the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last."

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