Sunday, July 29, 2012

Job 11

Today's reading in our daily plan is Job 11. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Today we read the words of Job’s friend, Zophar the Naamathite.
  • Zophar is most direct of the three companions so far. He straight up calls Job a liar to his face. Zophar even corrects Job for “making fun of God.” Clearly, Zophar felt like Job was getting less than he deserved.
  • Zophar’s words were designed to suggest to Job the enormity of his sins.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Zophar (and the others as well) sound wise when they talk about God being greater and wiser than humans. However, upon closer examination, it’s clear they believe God is aloof at best. Zophar’s words try to reduce human suffering down to a formula; every pain has a sin behind it. If this is true then we can guarantee a life free from struggles if we live right before God. However, we know from reading the Bible that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Job wasn’t being punished for some unseen sin. Job was being a pillar of righteous living and perseverance in God; he just didn’t know it.
  • On a side note: Zophar’s “formula” is a common error many well-meaning Christians still make when they fail to distinguish between God’s forgiveness of sin and the natural consequences our actions can have.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • We can be forgiven of our sins and therefore bear no punishment from God yet still reap natural consequences our sins have. We can also go through tough times without any sin having been committed. All of this simply because we live in a world that is fallen and broken. This is why it’s so important for us to remember Jesus’ promise to return and right all that is wrong in creation.