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AVOIDING MISERY

September 5, 2016

Monday

 

Job 11:16

 

“For you would forget your trouble, As waters that have passed by, you would remember it.

 

LESSON

 

Zophar believed Job deserved much worse punishment than God was giving him. Now whereas Eliphaz has set Job’s suffering in the context of his wholelife ,his suffering is just a temporary pinprick, and Bildad has set it in the text of the fate of his family,the children are dead, Job is not, Zophar perceives no such context for Job’s pain. The fact is, he would say, that Job is suffering, and suffering is inevitably the product of sin. To contextualize Job’s suffering and try to set it in proportion is ultimately to trivialize it. Zophar is for principle rather than proportion; the bottom line is that Job is a sinner suffering hard at this moment for his sin.

Even the lowly and humble are liable to over-estimate their own goodness, and the more so if roused to self-justification. All imperfect human judgments, given as Job’s were, under the influence of deep feeling, are liable to be colored, to be overdrawn and extravagant. Job’s long speech in his own justification is likened by Zophar to a torrent. Zophar, like his companions, may judge Job harshly, wherein lies his error and theirs; but his words have a vein of truth in them. He is right in condemning the self-complacent, who can prate freely of his own goodness, whether he is judging Job rightly or wrongly.

 

Memory Verse: Romans 3:16

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