EP 165: When Your Friends Think They Are More Spiritual Than You: Job Part 6

Diana WinklerDomestic Violence

Zophar is Job’s third friend and he is more arrogant and judgmental than his other two friends. Job holds strong in his innocence and even fights the fiery darts of spiritual abuse. Why are his friends so mean? What do we learn during the tough times? Join us in Part 6 on this series of Job.

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[00:00:00] Just when you think that couldn’t get any worse, you’ve had your two friends jump on you during your worst days ever. You have a third friend that joins in to call you a sinner, tell you to repent. So, we are going to talk about Zophar, Rotten Friend number three, on our series on the book of Job. And, I finally have our private podcast group, so that is next on the Wounds of the Faithful podcast. Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast, brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer, songwriter, speaker, and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:59] Now, [00:01:00] here is Diana.

[00:01:06] Hey folks! How are ya? Glad that you are here. We are going to start this episode, with The news that I finally got the Private Facebook Group up and running. So now you can search for it to join. It’s called the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast Private Facebook Group. Thanks to Mark for being the first one to join in.

[00:01:32] So, I have several posts on there to start off with. I will continue to add posts on a regular basis. And what am I going to put on there? Well, some clips of the podcast itself, different episodes, some topics of conversation, I might do a book recommendation, uh, I may put some music on there, my own music.

[00:01:56] And we’re just getting started, so it’s [00:02:00] going to take a while to get people to sign up and get the conversations going. So, I really am looking forward to getting to know everybody, the listeners on the show, and probably goes without saying, since I mentioned it was a private group, that it is just for the listeners of the podcast.

[00:02:19] It’s just for us to get to know each other, to support one another. This is where you can come and ask questions. you know, I’ll be putting when my Mending the Soul group is up next, which that will be in July, yeah, so join me. I am looking forward to it.

[00:02:35] Well, I want to thank you guys for hanging in there with me with this series on Job. The middle of the book of Job is really tough to read and study because his friends aren’t very nice. Job is an innocent man, and these guys are just coming in and giving him everything they have. They are not supporting [00:03:00] him at all, except for the first seven days when they showed up.

[00:03:05] That was their only claim to fame that they did right. Zophar, who is friend number three. He only has two chapters. But I’m going to just do his one chapter, and then Job, he talks, I think, for two chapters. He gives his response. Uh, so we’ll see how far we get, but we’re in the middle of this thing, in the thick of it.

[00:03:31] It will get better, I promise you. There is a happy ending, if you haven’t already read the Book of Job, and again, if you have not. If you haven’t listened to previous episodes, please do that first before listening to this one.

[00:03:48] They’re only 30 minutes long. They’re in short, bite sized pieces, so it’s not overwhelming to get these lessons. And this is a trauma [00:04:00] informed Bible study, because a lot of you have asked for Bible studies. You want some of the meat, you just don’t want to hear about being a mother or a parent or, you know, how to raise kids.

[00:04:14] You want The meat of the word. So that’s what I’m attempting to give to you, doing my best. A lot of you say, I don’t have time to read the Bible. I don’t have time to do Bible study. Well, I’m going to challenge you on that because I’m extremely busy. If you know me at all, my day starts at quarter to five.

[00:04:36] I have a 10 hour workday outside the home, I have the garden, that’s another job. I do the podcast, I take care of a, sick husband, and I’m recovering from surgery, so

[00:04:47] I’m still on the, the ends of that. And it’s the holiday season, so, yeah, which it makes it more busy than usual. And I [00:05:00] find time

[00:05:01] to study the Bible. It is important. Just start with something small. I’m giving you a catalyst for studying the Bible. Hopefully this makes you more interested, that you go in there and look for yourself to see what it says.

[00:05:18] What I’m saying is you can read the Bible. You can start small by reading for 10 minutes. 15 minutes. I predominantly do my Bible reading and my praying, at breakfast. You know why? Because it’s quiet. It’s very, very early in the morning, but it’s quiet. Maybe your mornings aren’t quiet.

[00:05:39] Maybe the kid’s nap time is quiet for you. Maybe at night before you go to bed is quiet. Find a time that’s quiet. You don’t have to do an hour of reading or Bible study, just do little bites, the one I’m doing now. Find something in there that you can take with you throughout the day.

[00:05:58] Hey God, is there [00:06:00] something in here you want me to learn today? Something that could encourage me, something that I can apply to my life. It’s that simple. So we are going to start in chapter 11, in Job this week. And this is about Zophar far as we mentioned. So I’m going to get started by.

[00:06:19] Just a little, very little information we know about Zofar. Who is this character, Zofar? He’s from a region in Arabia called Nayama.

[00:06:30] Which is a gentile city. Well, what’s a gentile? Anybody that’s not Jewish is a Gentile in the Bible. And apparently they had a, a trading outpost of some sorts there in that city.

[00:06:42] This was a Sabian tribe known as they name it.

[00:06:46] And we mentioned before, that’s how news got around, and Zophar heard, like the rest of them, what happened to Job. So he is here to join in. And pretty much, [00:07:00] Zophar starts out with, You deserve worse, Job. That’s what you get. So, let’s, let’s read, chapter 11, verses 1 through 6.

[00:07:10] Then Zophar the Nehematite answered and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be vindicated? Should your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should no one rebuke you? For you have said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in your eyes. But oh, that God would speak and open his lips against you, that he would show you the secrets of wisdom, for they would double your prudence.

[00:07:40] Know therefore that God exacts from you less than your iniquity deserves. How’s that for openers? Just take a 2×4 and just hit him upside the head, right? Now of his friends so far, Zophar talks the least. He’s only got [00:08:00] Two chapters, we’re just going to go through one of them today. And right off, you’re going to see he is so judgmental, so arrogant, and he’s tired and impatient with Jim, Job’s claims of innocence.

[00:08:14] Job has maintained his innocence so far, and he refuses. To admit to any sin. So, things are heating up, folks. It is not going to get any better with these friends. And again, they didn’t bring any tangible proof of anything. There was no, I saw you cheating on your wife, Job Or, you did some shady business dealings with that guy last week.

[00:08:41] Or, you refused to help that poor family that came to you for help. Nothing. They didn’t offer any food for him, they didn’t offer a warm blanket, no animal gifts, no prayers or encouraging words at all. It was just verbal and spiritual abuse. Well, that’s one of the [00:09:00] reasons why I wanted to do this book, because I don’t hear very many sermons that call it that, at least not where I came from.

[00:09:08] And so far, Job’s reactions are normal. He hasn’t done anything sinful, reacting to his friends, trying to stand up for himself. That is okay to stand up for yourself when someone’s accusing you of doing something wrong, but they can’t tell you what it is. So far as considering his words, babble. Empty words.

[00:09:32] Useless words. you’re not getting what you deserve, Job.

[00:09:36] And to be clear, folks. None of us really get what we deserve when we are doing something wrong against God’s will. That is God’s grace upon us. And a lot of people point out to the Old Testament that, you know, he destroys this and he destroys that and,

[00:09:53] uh, quote unquote the fire and brimstone of God in the Old Testament. But I’ve read through the Old [00:10:00] Testament many times. The most recent time that I went through with my church, I noticed how many times the Lord is gracious, waiting for people to repent of their sin. He waits a long time. He gives them chance after chance to repent.

[00:10:16] He begs and pleads for them to stop sinning, which is, for the most part, it was idolatry.

[00:10:23] So it’s not that he isn’t isn’t merciful and full of grace in the Old Testament. He is. You just have to look for it.

[00:10:29] But if you look back on your life, I’m sure that you can recall some instances where God gave you grace in a situation. Yeah, I could sit here and name some things that I was doing wrong that I didn’t get punished for, you know, I never got caught. I always used to hang around kids in high school that were absolutely rotten, they were no good.

[00:10:50] I would sneak out of the house and we would just hang out on the golf course and, you know, they would do drugs and stuff. I never, never did drugs, but if I would have [00:11:00] continued to hang out with those guys, probably would have wound up in jail or on drugs like they wound up. I did get caught sneaking out of the house.

[00:11:09] I think one of my friend’s parents saw us. And called my parents and told them so the gig was up. Anyway, that was a really way too long of a Example, but God gives us grace. But Job’s situation, He has not done anything wrong to deserve any of this.

[00:11:26] So verses 7 through 12 Let’s read some more, shall we? So far is going to teach Job some theology. Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven. What can you do? Deeper than Sheol, what can you know? measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.

[00:11:50] If he passes by in prisons and gathers to judgment, Then who can hinder him? For he knows deceitful men. He sees wickedness [00:12:00] also. He will not, then consider it? For an empty headed man will be wise, when a wild’s donkey colt is born a man. Sounds like Zophar’s doing some pontificating. That’s some deep theology right there.

[00:12:15] And that’s what abusive people do. is they give you all this flowery theological stuff, use some big words, throw a bunch of insults in there, and gaslight you into thinking that you have done something wrong. They want to sound smarter than you, make you feel smaller. You’re wrong to question God. When it’s not wrong to ask God questions.

[00:12:38] It’s not so far as pretty much saying Hey, just accept your punishment and be done with it job. You stupid donkey Yeah, that phrase Wells donkeys quote is born a man. That’s that’s just something that’s impossible And uh, that’s a way to insult somebody verses

[00:12:55] 13 through 19 So, here, Zophar [00:13:00] is calling on Job to repent, just like his other friends. If you would prepare your heart, and stretch out your hands toward him, if iniquity were in your hand, and you put it far away, and it would not let wickedness dwell in your tents, then surely you could lift up your face without spot, yes, you could be steadfast and not fear.

[00:13:22] Because you would forget your misery and remember it as waters that have passed away, and your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like the morning, and you would be secure because there is hope. Yes, you would dig around you and take your rest in safety. You would also lie down and no one would make you afraid.

[00:13:44] Yes, many would court your favor. Forget your misery and remember it as the waters have passed away. So, yeah, pretty simple there. Job, just, just hurry up and repent, then everything will be fine.

[00:13:57] So, there are some good [00:14:00] things to admire about Zophar’s theology and philosophy. You know, they do believe in God’s power and his absolute righteousness, right? They also believe that God would forgive a sinner and take him back into favor if the sinner responds correctly to God’s punishment. But his friends were so wrong.

[00:14:22] So let’s look at Job’s response. That’s chapter 12. And, you need to understand this is very sarcastic language here. He’s about, he’s about had it with this guy. So this is chapter 12, let’s start in verses 1 through 3.

[00:14:41] Job answered and said, No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you, but I have understanding as well as you. I’m not inferior to you, and I’m going to point out that Job says this to his friends. Not once, but twice, that he is not [00:15:00] inferior to him, to them. Indeed, who does not know such things as these?

[00:15:05] So what he’s saying here is, you think you guys are the only ones who know this stuff? I’m not stupid. And the things you’re talking about, they’re common knowledge. You don’t have any special revelation, and let’s continue on here verses four through six.

[00:15:22] I am one mocked by his friends, who called on God, and he answered him, the just and blameless who is ridiculed. A lamp is despised in the thought of one who is at ease. It is made ready for those whose feet slip. The tents of robbers prosper, and those who provoke God are secure in what God provides by his hand.

[00:15:44] I mean, Job’s complaining of his friends who are mocking and ridiculing him.

[00:15:49] You know, he is in good company. He does not know Jesus yet,

[00:15:53] but Jesus was mocked and ridiculed, wasn’t he? The religious leaders in his day, his own [00:16:00] neighbors in Nazareth, his disciples, his own family. And of course, during his trial and his flogging. His appearance before Pilate and, of course, being hung on the cross.

[00:16:13] They ridiculed him and mocked him till the day he died on that cross. So, Jesus can definitely

[00:16:20] understand what we’re going through. He has been through some ridicule and mockery 20 times over. So, Job’s life is definitely turned upside down. He just has to give up his previous understanding of God. We have this imagery of what God is supposed to be without looking into the scriptures. We think we have God all figured out.

[00:16:45] Uh, learning the Bible and learning about God is a lifetime and Job still has much to learn about God. He is at this time in his 70s.

[00:16:56] So you can change your understanding of who God [00:17:00] is without changing your beliefs and leaving God.

[00:17:04] I have changed my personal theology since leaving my abuser and the abuse of churches that I was a part of. Now, my basic theology has not changed, which would probably constitute, you know, I believe in God and Jesus is the Son of God. He died on the cross for my sins. I believe that I’m a sinner saved by grace.

[00:17:29] You know, when we die, we spend eternity with him. Um, believe in the virgin birth, and Jesus rose again from the grave. He’s coming back again to set everything right

[00:17:42] and we will reign with him. The Apostles Creed. That’s pretty much the basics of the Christian faith. None of that has changed, but all, maybe some of the not black and white things I have changed,

[00:17:55] which are, were all legalistic stuff, you know, about women don’t wear [00:18:00] pants. That’s definitely changed the kind of music I listen to.

[00:18:03] Anyway, I still have my faith in God and my basic theology is still the same But I’m learning about more about God every day. He can’t be put into a box he won’t be defined in absolutes because he Pretty much can do what he wants. He is the creator of the universe, creator of us. You don’t want to hear that.

[00:18:27] He can do whatever he wants, but he can,

[00:18:31] but and spiritual laws that normally apply in this situation, but we know that this situation is special.

[00:18:38] So let’s read further in verses 7 to 12. Hey, even animals know the power of God, but now ask the beasts and they will teach you and the birds of the air and they will tell you. Or speak to the earth and it will teach you. And the fish of the sea will explain to you, who among all these does not know, that the [00:19:00] hand of the Lord has done this, and whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

[00:19:09] Does not they, does not the ear test words, and the mouth taste its food? Wisdom is with aged men, and with length of days understanding. Well, you animal lovers out there, you all know that animals teach us things,

[00:19:25] but this is basically saying that the tongue and the ear can recognize and test common things in our world. Let’s go on to verses 13 to 25. He describes the great power of God with him, our wisdom and strength. He has counsel and understanding. If he breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt. If he imprisons a man, there can be no release.

[00:19:49] If he withholds, if he withholds the waters, they dry up. If he sends them out, they overwhelm the earth. With him are strength and prudence. The deceived [00:20:00] and the deceiver are his. He leads counselors away plundered, and makes fools of the judges. He loosens the bonds of kings and binds their waist with a belt.

[00:20:12] He leads princes away plundered. and overthrows the mighty. He deprives the trusted ones of speech and takes away discernment of the elders. He pours contempt on princes and disarms the mighty. He uncovers deep things out of darkness and brings the shadow of death to light. He makes nations great and destroys them.

[00:20:35] He enlarges nations and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth , and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grew up in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man. So, like I said, Job is thinking about the great power that God has.

[00:20:58] He can do whatever [00:21:00] he wants to do. There is a little bit of a mention of

[00:21:03] the great flood of Noah, and you’re like, how does that work? Well, Noah’s flood was before the time of Job.

[00:21:11] He withholds the waters and they dry up. If he sends them out, they overwhelm the earth. That has happened already. The great waters did overwhelm the earth. before Job was born. So, we’re not going to go into that,

[00:21:24] but Zophar criticizes Job for not knowing God and likened him to a empty headed man. But Job is showing that he did know God was great in wisdom and in strength. Hey, I know who God is. I know how great he is, you guys.

[00:21:43] No power, skill, or cunning of man can annihilate even the smallest particle of matter.

[00:21:49] Everything that we have is dependent upon God. So God has the ability to take away things from great men.

[00:21:58] I think that the [00:22:00] reason why his friends are so hard on him is because they were probably in the same stature, as far as financials go. They probably were wealthy on their own, and they have been around a long time, so

[00:22:15] they’re probably thinking, well, if Job was punished, if Job lost everything, God took all the stuff away from him, then I’m in danger of losing this stuff.

[00:22:25] But we actually see that Job is probably describing himself.

[00:22:31] He’s, he’s groping around. Staggering like a drunken man at this point because, he has nothing. He is hopeless, he,

[00:22:39] he’s frustrated, he has no idea what’s going on, and then Job just let him have it here. Verses, oh, we’re in chapter 13 now. We’re gonna do verses 1 through 12. Behold! My eye has seen all this my ear has heard and understood it what you know I also know I am [00:23:00] NOT inferior to you. So there he goes He says that again for the second time, but I would speak to the Almighty

[00:23:06] So here Job developed a theme that would end with a demand that God makes sense of his suffering But when his friends chimed in made things much worse So we continue here, and I desire to reason with God, but you forgers of lies. You are all worthless Physicians. You may have heard this before, but you can heal people with your words, folks.

[00:23:34] Or you can make them sick. Job doesn’t know the book of James in the New Testament, but James talks about taming your tongue. It can do a lot of damage. When not bridled, they use the word bridled like a horse. You need to have control over what you say, because you can hurt somebody very badly. That’s why they call, Jim calls them worthless physicians.

[00:23:57] So he continues, Oh that you would [00:24:00] be silent now, and it would be your wisdom. Now hear my reasoning, and heed the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak wickedly for God and talk deceitfully for Him? Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God? Will it be well when He searches you out? Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man?

[00:24:21] He will surely rebuke you if you secretly show partiality. Will not His excellence make you afraid and the dread of Him fall upon you? Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes. Your defenses are like clay. Your defenses are defenses of clay.

[00:24:40] So Job is kind of standing up for God and pushing him, pushing them. You know, are you representing God? You had better be honest because God would judge you for deceit.

[00:24:52] But Job keeps his confidence in God and Let’s read verses [00:25:00] 13 through 19. Hold your peace with me and let me speak. It sounds like they were interrupting him here, for sure. Let me come on me what may. Why do I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hands, though he slay me? Yet I will trust in him.

[00:25:18] I wanted to mention that there’s a song with this, these very words And I always thought it was strange that people would think that would be a good verse for a song. It goes Though he slew me, yet I will trust in him And, um, I said that was odd.

[00:25:39] And this is poetical language again. I mean, he’s already at the bottom Here, folks, he is definitely at the bottom, but he’s basically saying, no matter what happens, I’m going to trust in him. I mean, God specifically said to Satan that he was not allowed to [00:26:00] kill him. He’s, he’s not gonna kill Job. He can’t kill Job.

[00:26:05] So, don’t let that, though he slay me, um, gum up the works in your brain. It’s a, it’s poetical language.

[00:26:12] And I don’t think it’s a great verse for a song, although it sounded very flowery. Even so, I will defend my own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation, for a hypocrite could not come before him. Listen carefully to my speech and to my declaration with your ears. See now, I have prepared my case. I know that I shall be vindicated.

[00:26:37] Who is he who will contend with me? If now I hold my tongue, I perish. Uh, he’s ready to go to court with God. He wants to go before God and plead his case. Albeit he understands that probably would be fruitless. But he is holding on to his innocence. I haven’t done anything wrong.

[00:26:59] There [00:27:00] are, you know, several reasons why hard times help us. When we go through hard times, it really shows us that we are his sons and daughters. Because God only chastens His children.

[00:27:14] Real faith is created in God. You want your faith to get bigger? Go through unemployment. Go through the death of a child. Go through a disease. It’s where your faith is going to get stronger. It affirms our faith and it also allows us, a child of God, to prove that he’s not just a mercenary professor of faith.

[00:27:38] You’re not fake. You’re not just going through the motions, this is actually your personal faith in God. However flawed it is, however weak it is, it is authentic and genuine. How do you know unless you’ve gone through hard times?

[00:27:57] So, Job, even if he [00:28:00] were to appear before God, he would defend his own ways. He wasn’t going to be arrogant about it, but he was determined

[00:28:06] all that Job had was the truth. And if he stopped, if he let go of that truth just to appease his friends, that would be the end for him, he says.

[00:28:17] So he is encouraging us, if you know that you are in the right, stay on course, don’t give up. Don’t apologize for something you didn’t do. Don’t allow your friends to abuse, ridicule, and mock you. So here’s where Job is going to appeal to God. Again, God has not revealed himself to them yet.

[00:28:39] Verses 20 through 27, Job asks God to tell him if sin is indeed the cause of his suffering.

[00:28:46] Only two things do not do to me. Then I will not hide myself from you. Oh, he’s saying that.

[00:28:53] God, you hiding from me is scary.

[00:28:56] Withdraw your hand far from me, and let not [00:29:00] the dread of you make me afraid. Um. This was a previous feeling. That was just a feeling. Remember back when he said that he wanted to die and just to leave him alone? You know, a lot of times our emotions, they’re like a roller coaster ride, aren’t they? He’s, you know, changing his speech to say,

[00:29:18] I don’t want you to make me afraid. I don’t want your, um, I don’t want you to withdraw from me. He wanted to restore communication with God. So, we talked about the fear of, the fear of the Lord. The wrong kind of fear is that we’re afraid that God’s going to hurt us. The right kind of, fear is that, afraid that we will hurt God and will disappoint Him.

[00:29:39] So Job is saying this very sincere prayer, asking God to show him his iniquities, his sins.

[00:29:47] Here we go. Then call and I will answer. Or let me speak, then you respond to me. How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin, he will [00:30:00] allow. So Job is allowing for the possibility that he is wrong, which that’s great advice. He goes on to say, why do you hide your face and regard me as your enemy?

[00:30:10] This is agony for Job, to not be able to talk to God. He wanted so much to come in with him, to talk with God. Don’t we all? We all want that.

[00:30:22] Do not withdraw your hand far from me.

[00:30:25] Zophar believes in the depravity of man. That man is pretty much worthless

[00:30:33] and Job is at his wit’s ends and pretty much coming to that agreement. Most people are familiar with depravity of man in Calvinism. That is one of the tenets of Calvinism theology. Uh, you can look that up because I’m not going to explain it right now. You can easily Google that, but it pretty much means that.

[00:30:57] You’re so far into the pit that [00:31:00] you can’t possibly help yourself out, that God has to pull you out and help you or you will remain in that pit.

[00:31:07] So you’re thinking,

[00:31:09] how can Job take much more of this?

[00:31:12] So, I’m going to stop here because we’re out of time. I did not get to Chapter 14, but I might just summarize it next week.

[00:31:22] There are a lot of chapters in here. Yeah.

[00:31:24] And I thought. Before that, Elihu was one of Job’s friends, friend number four, but, um, during studying this book, I realized that this, this kid has been eavesdropping in on the conversation and has decided to jump in and give his two cents, which are pretty worthless, So that’s what I’m planning on doing, and he talks for 5 chapters!

[00:31:52] Oh boy. So I’ve got a lot of work to do for next week. I do want to get to the end. So next week it will [00:32:00] be a summary of all the rebuttals, and then a summary of what Elihu says. and then after that, it will be, da da da da, it will be God responding to Job out of the whirlwind. So, hang on, the end is coming,

[00:32:16] so thanks for being here with me this week. Get there in the word yourself. Don’t be afraid. So we will see you, next week. And again, a reminder to join the Facebook group, please. God bless you and we’ll see you next week. Bye for now.

[00:32:34] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You can connect with us at DSWMinistries. org where you’ll find our blog along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel links. Hope to see you next week![00:33:00]