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Summary: Zophar’s answer to Job’s situation is to tell Job to pick up his performance - work harder and all will be well. But this is not a correct portrayal of God.

Message

“The Answer of Zophar – It Could Be Worse”

We live in a very performance based society.

Example:-

QCS and OP (university entrance score)

Expand:- Everyone is ranked

Example:-

Quoting for a job

Expand:- Best value at lowest price

In one way or another everyone gets what they deserve, and they deserve what they get.

That is the world we live in.

That also the world that Job lives in. And now Zophar, the third of Job’s “friends” to speak, takes that philosophy and applies it to Job’s situation.

Read Job 20:4-19 (quickview) .

Wicked people have shorter lives.

Wicked people are not fulfilled.

Wicked people will see their efforts come to nothing.

If they don’t change God will make it worse for them.

That is Zophar’s philosophy. And he is pointing straight at Job and saying ... Job God is going to make it worse for you if you keep going down this wicked path.

In one way I want to relate to Zophar.

If people step out of line I want God to make their life miserable.

Expand:- Driver hooning in suburban streets.

Blow up his car God.

Expand:- Madeleine Pulver – fake bomb strapped to her.

God strike down that man.

Expand:- Bashar al-Assad – killing own people

God strike down that man.

Everyone gets what they deserve and deserves what they get. We can relate to that can’t we. It’s a good mathematical ... logical ... formula.

Except

Well Job sees this argument for what it really is.

Read Job 21:7-16 (quickview) 

Wicked people don’t necessarily have shorter lives.

Japan has the highest average life expectancy of any country in the world.

Only about 1% of Japanese people call themselves Christians.

Wicked people do find fulfilment.

The people of Denmark are the world’s happiest people.

Only about 5% of the people there are Christians.

Wicked people have accomplished great achievements.

Maybe you have heard of the 7 Wonders of the World.

The Egyptian Pyramids are one of those wonders.

Ancient Egyptians were not followers of Job’s God.

The life of the wicked is not necessarily made worse by God.

It just doesn’t work like that does it?

We might like it to work like that.

Everyone gets what they deserve and deserves what they get.

Zophar’s God is a performance-based ... results-driven deity.

Believing in a performance-based, results-driven deity will lead to confusion.

Expand=> relating the story of Rick and Kaili who have been faithful missionaries for 20 years ... yet who have nothing.

It’s a great performance which is going unrecognised.

That could be confusing couldn’t it.

Believing in a performance-based, results-driven deity will lead to constant regret.

Expand=> we will live our lives constantly looking for a cause-and-effect ... being worried that our past decisions have brought about a terrible outcome.

We will get stuck in the past.

And regret it all.

Believing in a performance-based, results-driven deity will make us judgemental.

Expand=> sometimes finding ourselves thinking ... this is a great sermon--for that person.

We start to compare our performances.

All of the sudden a lot of people start to fall short.

That is Zophar’s God. You don’t want a God like that.


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