Job 20 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin
Zophar’s speech ends the second cycle of speeches found in chapters fifteen to twenty, and it also concludes any attempt by Zophar to convince Job of his sin, for he does not participate in the third round. He seems to be personally offended by Job’s comments and simply wants to have the last word, for there is no renewed call for repentance. Zophar is no longer seeking to help Job but only to judge him by calling forth the condemnation of God upon the wicked. His assumption is still the same: Job is a wicked man and rightly deserves all that has come upon him.
In his exposition on the fall of the wicked in this world, Zophar states that although they may boast and rejoice in their wickedness for a time, their exultation will quickly come to an end in this life. The wicked man will perish suddenly from the earth and his children will suffer greatly in his absence having to beg for bread from the poor. Though he revels in evil thoughts, that evil will eat away at his soul killing him from the inside out. He will never know the fruit of his labor, and he will never enjoy the blessings of this earth. He will know only distress, terror and misery under the hot anger of God who will pursue him relentlessly like a warrior until he finally comes to his end in a place of utter darkness and everlasting fire. On that day, the heavens will expose all of his sin and the earth itself will rise up against him in judgment. This is the inheritance and the portion of the wicked.
It’s amazing to me that any “wise” man could actually believe that this is the normal pattern for the wicked in this life, for it is painfully obvious to any who are observant that there are numerous exceptions to this way of thinking. Nevertheless, I find myself at times wishing that Zophar’s teaching were true. All of us at one time or another have felt the sting of injustice in this world and have stood face to face with evil men who appear to have no accountability and no fear of repercussions for their evil deeds.
But rather than live in a dream world, it forces us to pray each day, “Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” These vast inconsistencies between what we see in this world and what we know to be true in God’s Word can only be resolved by faith in the Christ who sits on his holy throne in heaven and who one day soon will come with all his angels in glory to bring the terror of his fury upon all of his and our enemies and to finally usher us into the Promised Land of peace and rest where wickedness cannot dwell. Until then, we pray for God’s mercy in the land of shadows and beg for temporary displays of justice for the sake of His name and for the comfort of his people. But if we do not see God’s hand at work to bring a speedy relief, we do not throw up our hands in despair, nor do we begin to waver in our faith, but we pray to the Lord for strength and defer to his wisdom and timing in the righting of all wrongs. May the Lord so quicken our spirits that we might trust in this way even today.