© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 26 February 2019
3B(JOB)30. Job’s wife and some of his critics responded with no heart-commitment to God:
They criticised, mocked, accused or condemned Job
3B(JOB)30(a) Responses of Job’s wife
3B(JOB)30(a)(i) She urged him to give up, curse God and die
As Job sat silently scraping and suffering, his wife in her crushing grief and distress became hysterically unsympathetic towards him and mocked his commitment to God Job 2:9a.
She actually urged him to curse God! Job 2:9b.
In addition Job’s wife was urging him to seek death somehow! Job 2:9c.
3B(JOB)30(a)(ii) Assessment of the responses of Job’s wife
Job’s wife had said several things that were not right. She had responded to the Satan’s provocations with no heart-commitment to God.
3B(JOB)30(b) Zophar’s first response to Job
3B(JOB)30(b)(i) Zophar stated his wisdom
Zophar put a further six questions to Job about God Job 11:7-8,9-11. But questions are not answers. He was merely repeating much of what Job had already said (compare with Job 9:3-4,14-16,17-18,19-20). He followed these questions with an insulting remark, implying Job was “witless” and no better than a wild donkey’s colt! Job 11:12.
Like the other two critics before him, Zophar assumed Job was guilty of serious sin Job 11:11. So he exhorted Job to repent and wholeheartedly reach out to God Job 11:13-14. IF Job did this THEN past guilt and trouble would be forgotten and restoration of his security and reputation would surely follow Job 11:15-17,18-19. But IF NOT, THEN all relief and hope would be gone Job 11:20.
3B(JOB)30(b)(ii) Assessment of Zophar’s response
3B(JOB)30(b)(ii.i) Zophar’s understanding or “wisdom” concerning God
Zophar claimed to understand the secrets of true wisdom Job 11:6. But the little knowledge of God that he had was only broad “conventional wisdom” that he picked up from those around him. His view was also simply “reap what you sow”.
3B(JOB)30(b)(ii.ii) Zophar’s justification and defence of his own wisdom and reputation
3B(JOB)30(b)(ii.iii) Zophar’s applications of his wisdom to Job’s situation
His simplistic solution showed no awareness of the issues about God that were raised by Job’s crisis. He also was totally insensitive to the added pain he was inflicting on Job by his harsh attitude and scornful words.
3B(JOB)30(b)(ii.iv) Zophar’s heart-commitment assessed
Zophar’s arrogant attitude and answerless questions, self-justifying mockery and offensive condemnations suggest that he really had no heart-commitment to God. This was especially evil since he knew what was required, having urged Job to “devote his heart” to God Job 11:13a. So he too was in effect the Satan’s spokesman to Job.
3B(JOB)30(c) Eliphaz’ second response to Job
3B(JOB)30(c)(i) Eliphaz again stated his wisdom
Eliphaz then responded in a superior tone, confident that his wisdom was based on the words of the ancients Job 15:17-19. But all he did was assume Job’s rebellion against God Job 15:25-26,31,35 and launch into another long list of the torments and fates of the wicked Job 15:20-22,23-24,27-29,30,32-33,34 (similar to his first speech Job 4:8-9,10-11,20-21, 5:2-5,6-7,12-14).
This time Eliphaz had simply condemned Job and did not repeat his call for Job to repent and find God’s restoration. He was content just to declare that Job would surely reap what he had sowed! (see Job 4:8).
3B(JOB)30(c)(ii) Assessment of Eliphaz’ response
Eliphaz’ initial reaction showed that he was primarily motivated by indignation because Job had scorned and dismissed the wisdom of his critics. So Eliphaz was only vehemently concerned to justify himself and discredit Job, rather than try to understand God’s ways with Job. He was showing no heart-commitment to God.
3B(JOB)30(d) Bildad’s second response to Job
3B(JOB)30(d)(i) Bildad’s cruel attack and condemnation of Job
As previously Job 8:13-19 Bildad again launched into a list of the fates of the wicked Job 18:5-21. Such people are weakened and trapped by their own schemes Job 18:7-10 ending with the darkness of death Job 18:5-6,16,18 and being remembered no more Job 18:17. Bildad cruelly referred pointedly to disasters and sickness Job 18:12-13 loss of property Job 18:14-15 and children Job 18:19. All people are appalled at such horrors Job 18:20. Bildad’s conclusion was a total condemnation, implying that Job did not even know God! Job 18:21.
3B(JOB)30(d)(ii) Assessment of Bildad’s response
Again Bildad had virtually become the Satan’s spokesman by mercilessly heaping further false condemnations onto Job. His heartless attack on a man when he is down Job 18:7 would indicate that Bildad in his self-righteous zeal had no heart-commitment to God.
3B(JOB)30(e) Zophar’s second response to Job
3B(JOB)30(e)(i) Zophar threatened and condemned Job as wicked
Just as Bildad had done, Zophar launched into an extended graphic list of the sins and fates of the wicked Job 20:4-29 apparently a subject he knew well! This comprehensive condemnation intended for Job was all he had to say.
3B(JOB)30(e)(ii) Assessment of Zophar’s response
As in his first response to Job [3B(JOB)30(b)] Zophar like Bildad had virtually become the Satan’s spokesman by angrily aiming further false condemnations at Job. In his self-righteous indignation he showed no heart-commitment to God.
3B(JOB)30(f) Eliphaz’ third response to Job
3B(JOB)30(f)(i) Eliphaz’ wild list of false accusations and condemnations
Eliphaz attacked Job by deliberately accusing him of obvious corruption. First, of ruthless extortion and oppressive neglect of the weak Job 22:6-7,9 although he had been powerful, wealthy and honored Job 22:8. So again he concluded that Job’s sufferings were God’s just punishments Job 22:10-11.
Second, Eliphaz accused Job of believing that God could not see his sins Job 22:12-14 or do anything about them Job 22:17-18 (he was twisting Job’s own descriptions of the wicked Job 21:14-16). So he asked Job if he intended to continue in these evil ways Job 22:15. If so, the fate of evil people would soon befall him and the righteous would rejoice! Job 22:16,19-20.
3B(JOB)30(f)(ii) Eliphaz again exhorted Job to repent and receive God’s total blessings
As he had done initially [3B(JOB)28(a)(iv)] Eliphaz concluded by exhorting Job to repent of his wicked ways Job 22:21-22. In the classical IF-THEN (CONDITIONAL) format, he assured Job of God’s restoration IF he repented Job 22:23-24. THEN Job would delight in God and His answers to Job’s prayers Job 22:25-27,28 and bring His blessings THROUGH Job TO others Job 22:29-30.
3B(JOB)30(f)(iii) Assessment of Eliphaz’ response
It can be seen that Eliphaz had a basic understanding of God’s Covenantal requirements and commission [3B(JOB)20] and seemed concerned for Job to comply with them. Yet he totally lacked insight into Job’s dilemma as a faithful yet suffering man. Eliphaz himself acted in ways contrary to the Covenantal requirements by blatantly heaping false accusations upon Job. He even said that if a man maintained his moral integrity it would give no pleasure to God! Job 22:2-3. Again it was apparent that despite some understanding of God’s ways, Eliphaz had no heart-commitment to God.
[Continue to Arrow below]
Arrow 3B(JOB)25 -> 3B(JOB)30
This arrow indicates that the heart-motivations of Job’s wife and his first three critics at times showed they had no commitment to God. Some of these had been exposed by their initial reactions before being expressed in their subsequent responses.