Daily Devotional Friday 27th August 2021

by William Moody

Job 11

Zophar Speaks: You Deserve Worse

11:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:

  “Should a multitude of words go unanswered,
    and a man full of talk be judged right?
  Should your babble silence men,
    and when you mock, shall no one shame you?
  For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure,
    and I am clean in God’s1 eyes.’
  But 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.2
  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 heaven3—what can you do?
    Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
  Its measure is longer than the earth
    and broader than the sea.
10   If he passes through and imprisons
    and summons the court, who can turn him back?
11   For he knows worthless men;
    when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12   But a stupid man will get understanding
    when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man!
13   “If you prepare your heart,
    you will stretch out your hands toward him.
14   If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
    and let not injustice dwell in your tents.
15   Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
    you will be secure and will not fear.
16   You will forget your misery;
    you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
17   And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
    its darkness will be like the morning.
18   And you will feel secure, because there is hope;
    you will look around and take your rest in security.
19   You will lie down, and none will make you afraid;
    many will court your favor.
20   But the eyes of the wicked will fail;
    all way of escape will be lost to them,
    and their hope is to breathe their last.”


[1] 11:4 Hebrew your
[2] 11:6 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[3] 11:8 Hebrew The heights of heaven


Zophar now speaks for the first time and his words will certainly not ease Job’s situation. His basic argument is that Job would be getting much worse suffering if he got what he deserved (v6).

There is of course truth here, because all our sin means we deserve an eternal hell. This should cause us to fear sin. But Zophar’s words do not answer why Job who was in a right standing with God was experiencing more suffering than many who totally rejected God.

Zophar, to support his argument, highlights the glory and majesty of the God who judges (v7-11). Verse 12 speaks of how a stupid man will gain understanding when a wild donkey gives birth to a man, in other words never. Zophar is basically saying Job is a fool who will never gain understanding. His sensitivity to Job and his suffering does not exist.

Zophar’s answer to Job’s situation is for Job to seek the Lord in repentance and God will raise him up (v13-20). Like the others Zophar is assuming that Job’s suffering is down to his sin.

We need to be careful that we don’t deliver pious and fine sounding words without have true knowledge and love for those we’re speaking to.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.