Zophar the Naamathite begins to speak (I had an instructor who once noted that Zophar could really toss a football. “Naamathite” . . . Joe Namath. Get it? 😊). Zophar tells Job he needs to be educated about his situation: “But oh, that God would speak and open his lips to you, and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom” (11:5-6). Catch Job’s response: “No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you. But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you” (12:2-3). Job actually has understanding that Zophar and the others lack. If talking about a one-to-one ratio of wrongdoings and disciplines, surely Job has done nothing so evil as to deserve what he has experienced.
Besides, this sort of talk completely misses the point. There are hints, here, that Job is beginning to understand but not fully, just yet. Job’s words: “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (13:15). & “That you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!” (14:13). Job makes his plea to God, that “my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity” (14:17). Job is beginning to sense that his hope will be found, not in himself, but in another!
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good.
There is mercy with the Savior,
there is healing in his blood. --- Frederick William Faber (1862)