Saturday, September 1, 2012

Job 20

Today's reading in our daily plan is Job 20. 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?)
  • In this chapter, Zophar responds again to Job... and, again, his words aren’t so comforting. What’s with these guys?
  • Apparently, Zophar took to heart the closing words Job made in the last chapter; he says he “I hear rebuke that dishonors me.” Maybe if Zophar and his companions had chosen love over a judgmental attitude, he wouldn’t have gotten such bitter responses from Job.
  • This entire chapter is just another one of his friend's poems about the ghastly fate of the wicked.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Zophar revealed the stain on his heart in this chapter. Zophar left no room for repentance and put all his stress on material possessions. A stark contrast to Job, who at this point was increasingly concerned with his relationship with God despite what happened to his possessions.
  • Some of the things found in this poem are interesting. Zophar is essentially defending a moral universe governed by principles of justice. The problem with this “truth” is that he fails miserably when he tries to apply it to Job. Just because humankind desires a moral universe governed by justice it doesn’t mean that everything can fit within that construct. Job is a perfect example of this. If we really do “reap” everything we “sow” here on earth then Job’s friends are right, Job must have been guilty. But we all know that just isn’t true. How many good people do you know who suffer greatly? Or wicked people whose prosperity seemingly knows no end? The fact of the matter is that we live in a broken and fallen world where things just aren’t always right.

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

  • Who is someone in your life that is going through a hard time? Take time today to pray for them. And, if it's appropriate, send them a text to let them know you are praying for them.