May 3, 2023 - Job 11-14
Zophar accuses Job of running his mouth too much: “Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and a man full of talk be judged right? Should your babble silence men . . .?” (11:2,3) Job responded: “No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you” (12:2). The mocking, derisive, dismissive rejoinder by Job is probably just about right. Zophar wished for God to speak to Job (11:5), as if Zophar was on such intimate terms with God! In fact, that’s exactly what Job wishes, i.e., that God would speak. I’m not sure, if God had spoken audibly, if Zophar would have recognized God's voice, but Job longs to hear it.
Job declares that God has acted – “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?” (12:9) – and God must make the meaning of it all clear. And so, Job says, “I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God” (13:3). A good thought for today, I think . . . Though we must be careful to live in such a way as to reflect the glory of God, we need not to be too overly concerned about people’s opinions about us. For the most part, when we live for God, those opinions, if not outright hostile, will certainly be unfavorable. Much more important is the opinion of God, and we should always present ourselves before him and ask, honestly, what he thinks. Job: “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (13:15). Job is ready to hear the truth, whatever it is: “How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin” (13:24). And he will rest his case with God, who not only knows Job’s sins, but who will be merciful. Job gets it!
O Lord God Almighty, to thee
We turn as our solace above;
The waters may fail from the sea,
But never thy fountains of love:
Oh, teach us thy will to obey,
And sing with one heart and accord,--
He gave, and he taketh away,
And praised be the name of the Lord. -- George P. Morris (1849)