This is Episode #155 and today we’ll read Job chapters 11-13 together. Okay, things are getting heated now. It’s Zophar’s turn to confront Job and Job is having none of it.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #155 and today we’ll read Job chapters 11-13 together. Okay, things are getting heated now. It’s Zophar’s turn to confront Job and Job is having none of it.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Job Chapter 11
Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
Should this abundance of words go unanswered
and such a talker be acquitted?
Should your babbling put others to silence,
so that you can keep on ridiculing
with no one to humiliate you?
You have said, “My teaching is sound,
and I am pure in your sight.”
But if only God would speak
and open his lips 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 iniquity.
Can you fathom the depths of God
or discover the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than the heavens — what can you do?
They are deeper than Sheol — what can you know?
Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.
If he passes by and throws someone in prison
or convenes a court, who can stop him?
Surely he knows which people are worthless.
If he sees iniquity, will he not take note of it?
But a stupid person will gain understanding
as soon as a wild donkey is born a human!
As for you, if you redirect your heart
and spread out your hands to him in prayer —
if there is iniquity in your hand, remove it,
and don’t allow injustice to dwell in your tents —
then you will hold your head high, free from fault.
You Will Forget Your Suffering
You will be firmly established and unafraid.
For you will forget your suffering,
recalling it only as water that has flowed by.
Your life will be brighter than noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.
You will be confident, because there is hope.
You will look carefully about and lie down in safety.
You will lie down with no one to frighten you,
and many will seek your favor.
But the sight of the wicked will fail.
Their way of escape will be cut off,
and their only hope is their last breath.
Job Chapter 12
Job’s Reply to Zophar
Then Job answered:
No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you!
But I also have a mind like you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who doesn’t know the things you are talking about?
I am a laughingstock to my friends,
by calling on God, who answers me.
The righteous and blameless man is a laughingstock.
The one who is at ease holds calamity in contempt
and thinks it is prepared for those whose feet are slipping.
The tents of robbers are safe,
and those who trouble God are secure;
God holds them in his hands.
But ask the animals, and they will instruct you;
ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and it will instruct you;
let the fish of the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
The life of every living thing is in his hand,
as well as the breath of all humanity.
Doesn’t the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
Wisdom is found with the elderly,
and understanding comes with long life.
Wisdom and strength belong to God;
counsel and understanding are his.
Whatever he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
whoever he imprisons cannot be released.
When he withholds water, everything dries up,
and when he releases it, it destroys the land.
True wisdom and power belong to him.
The deceived and the deceiver are his.
He leads counselors away barefoot
and makes judges go mad.
Darkness Without Light
He releases the bonds put on by kings
and fastens a belt around their waists.
He leads priests away barefoot
and overthrows established leaders.
He deprives trusted advisers of speech
and takes away the elders’ good judgment.
He pours out contempt on nobles
and disarms the strong.
He reveals mysteries from the darkness
and brings the deepest darkness into the light.
He makes nations great, then destroys them;
he enlarges nations, then leads them away.
He deprives the world’s leaders of reason,
and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland.
They grope around in darkness without light;
he makes them stagger like a drunkard.
Job Chapter 13
Look, my eyes have seen all this;
my ears have heard and understood it.
Everything you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
Yet I prefer to speak to the Almighty
and argue my case before God.
You use lies like plaster;
you are all worthless healers.
If only you would shut up
and let that be your wisdom!
Hear now my argument,
and listen to my defense.
Would you testify unjustly on God’s behalf
or speak deceitfully for him?
Would you show partiality to him
or argue the case in his defense?
Would it go well if he examined you?
Could you deceive him as you would deceive a man?
Surely he would rebuke you
if you secretly showed partiality.
Would God’s majesty not terrify you?
Would his dread not fall on you?
Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ash;
your defenses are made of clay.
Be quiet, and I will speak.
Let whatever comes happen to me.
I will put myself at risk
and take my life in my own hands.
Even if he kills me, I will hope in him.
I will still defend my ways before him.
Yes, this will result in my deliverance,
for no godless person can appear before him.
Pay close attention to my words;
let my declaration ring in your ears.
Now then, I have prepared my case;
I know that I am right.
Can anyone indict me?
If so, I will be silent and die.
Only grant these two things to me, God,
so that I will not have to hide from your presence:
remove your hand from me,
and do not let your terror frighten me.
Then call, and I will answer,
or I will speak, and you can respond to me.
How many iniquities and sins have I committed?
Reveal to me my transgression and sin.
Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?
Will you frighten a wind-driven leaf?
Will you chase after dry straw?
For you record bitter accusations against me
and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
You put my feet in the stocks
and stand watch over all my paths,
setting a limit for the soles of my feet.
A person wears out like something rotten,
like a moth-eaten garment.
Wow. Zophar adds some condescension to his first speech to Job. Kind of like a father shaming a willful child. Job is so frustrated because he knows he doesn’t have any secret, unconfessed sin. When he began, I was reminded of the 37th chapter of Psalms. David also struggled because it seemed to him that the bad guys get away with sin and even prosper. Job takes it a step further by saying he’s a laughingstock for believing there is a God. I’ve felt that way, have you? A person of “superior intelligence” will give a little tolerant smirk as if to say, “Joy, you’re so cute for believing this fairytale.” I haven’t checked my brain at the door!
Job really gets offensive when he tells his consoling friend that it’s better to be thought a fool than to open his mouth and remove all doubt! I shouldn’t laugh at his lack of tact and self-control, but I certainly understand where it comes from. There’s a lot more to say about the breakdown here, but I’d like to know what you see. Share your thoughts with me at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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