Summary: This is a look at the 11th chapter of Job.
Zophar is the third of Job’s friends to speak. Job has heard two points from his friends: man is sinful (Eliphaz), and God is just (Bildad). Zophar now finishes with the third point: God punishes sin and gives less than we really deserve.
1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said: 2 "Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be vindicated? 3 Should your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should no one rebuke you? 4 For you have said, ’My doctrine is pure, And I am clean in your eyes.’ Job 11:1-4 (NKJV)
ZOPHAR’S TURN TO SPEAK
Job is now told by Zophar that he talks too much and what he is saying is senseless.
Job has never stated that his doctrine is pure. In Job 9:21 we find that Job says he is innocent yet he says that he does not even know himself.
5 But oh, that God would speak, And open His lips against you, 6 That He would show you the secrets of wisdom! For they would double your prudence. Know therefore that God exacts from you Less than your iniquity deserves. Job 11:5-6 (NKJV)
ZOPHAR PRONOUNCES JUDGEMENT
Zophar seems to presume that he knows the thoughts of God. He is almost trying to speak on God’s behalf. “But if only God would speak and declare His case against you, He would show you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know then that God has chosen to overlook some of your sin.” Job 11:5-6 (HCSB) Be very careful Christian when we think we know the thoughts of God. He is so much more merciful and forgiving then we are. There are people that we would label as “unsaveable” that God is willing, able and ready to touch.
7 "Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? 8 They are higher than heaven--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know? 9 Their measure is longer than the earth And broader than the sea. Job 11:7-9 (NKJV)
ZOPHAR’S FOUR QESTIONS FOR JOB
Zophar does speak wisdom here by asking Job four questions. His doctrine is correct but his intent is wrong. He is trying to prove Job guilty. Correction must be done in love – it is God who convicts.
1. Can you search out the deep things of God?
2. Can you find the limits of the Almighty?
3. Does your understanding reach to the highest heaven?
4. Does your understanding reach to the depths of Sheol?
Jesus used this tactic of asking questions to help people search there own hearts. God used a question when He walked into the garden and asked; “Adam where are you?” Do we think that God did not know where Adam was? Surely He did. But did Adam know where he was? We can all be lost and not know it. Questions have a way of producing self evaluation.
“Lord, search me and try me. Ask me what you will – so that I may search the depths of my own soul.”
How big is the wisdom of God? It is bigger then we can measure and more then we can comprehend. 8 God is far higher than you can imagine, far deeper than you can comprehend, 9 Stretching farther than earth’s horizons, far wider than the endless ocean. Job 11:8-9 (MSG)
10 "If He passes by, imprisons, and gathers to judgment, Then who can hinder Him? 11 For He knows deceitful men; He sees wickedness also. Will He not then consider it? 12 For an empty-headed man will be wise, When a wild donkey’s colt is born a man. 13 "If you would prepare your heart, And stretch out your hands toward Him; 14 If iniquity were in your hand, and you put it far away, And would not let wickedness dwell in your tents; 15 Then surely you could lift up your face without spot; Yes, you could be steadfast, and not fear; 16 Because you would forget your misery, And remember it as waters that have passed away, 17 And your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like the morning. 18 And you would be secure, because there is hope; Yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety. 19 You would also lie down, and no one would make you afraid; Yes, many would court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they shall not escape, And their hope--loss of life!" Job 11:10-20 (NKJV)
ZOPHAR GIVES JOB ADVICE
Zophar has already considered Job as guilty and comes up with a formula so that Job can fix the situation.