“Then answered Zophar the Naanathite and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered and should a man full of talk be justified? Should your lies make men hold their peace and when you mock shall no man make you ashamed?”
The time had come for the third member of the chorus to take center stage and present his version of the ‘Comfort Sonata&lrquo;. He has patiently listened to Job rebuke his comrades in their attempt to convince him of his guilt and need for action before God, now he begins the next act of the performance. The third stanza of this tragic opera is a scathing attack upon the integrity of Job&lrquo;s words and his beliefs. Zophar has concluded that Job is guilty because he speaks too much and that his sin is found in his pontification.
Each time Job has spoken he has presented in narrative form the right of the Sovereign God to do what He has done and the inability of man to change His mind. He has spoken of a hope that he has within and the despair for life that he feels. With few exceptions, his discourse is not directed to these would-be friends except to rebuke their works system and worthless theology. He has not invited them to sit with him and certainly has not asked their advice in resolving his dilemma yet when he speaks out of the grieving of his soul, his words are challenged and his experience is denied. He has not said that he was pure and righteous before God for he knows that man (Adam) cannot be just before his maker. He has asked God to reveal to him the reason for His hand being laid upon him yet God seems not only to be dark and silent to him but to have turned his anger and judgment against him. Now, in the midst of the ashes, erupting sores and pain, Zophar ‘the impudent one of indiscretion&lrquo; and ‘no sound judgment&lrquo; calls Job a liar, rebukes his hope and impugns his integrity. But being a descendant of Naamath, he believes he is doing this with ‘loveliness, beauty, pleasure and great delight&lrquo;. The typical ignorant, arrogant sloppy agape of the doctrine of Adam!
Zophar introduces his argument by beginning with an embellishment of Jobs own words; “For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure and I am clean in thine eyes”. But that is not what Job said. He stated that IF he were perfect yet he would NOT know his soul and he would despise his life (9:21). He made no assumption of innocence or purity but he was totally convinced that God knew that he was not wicked. He knew his heart and the lusts of the flesh but he also knew of the hope that dwelt within. He could not accurately convey this hope to his would-be comforters and he did not try. He rebuked each one of them for their false doctrine and then turned his discourse unto his God. Now Zophar accuses Job of blasphemy and pleads his case before God. It is most interesting that Zophar desired that God would speak against Job and shew him wisdom when he did not know what wisdom was. He informs Job that he could not find God by searching yet he knew that the affliction that God had laid upon Job was only a portion of what he deserved.
Consider what Zophar has stated. “Know therefore that God exacteth of the less than thine iniquity” (11:6). He is not simply making an inference here, he is stating that God has not required the exact amount of justice that His Law demands and He has reserved the other remaining portion for an undisclosed time when Job would pay the outstanding balance. Would this not be equivalent to an unjust weight and a false balance? Are these not an abomination before Jehovah? (Pro. 11:1) And what about that which was required for the sins of God&lrquo;s people? Did He not exact the full amount, not one drop more nor one drop deficient, of the cleansing blood of the Lamb? “By this therefore shall all the iniquity of Jacob be purged and this is all the fruit to take away his sin, when He maketh the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder the groves and the images shall not stand up” (Is. 27:9). When in the end of the world, the Lamb of God entered into that sanctuary not made with hands and offered, once and for all, Himself the sacrifice for sin, did it cleanse all His people from all their sin? When the Father saw the travail of His soul as He endured the contradiction of sin against Himself, was He “satisfied by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many for He shall bear their iniquity”? (Is. 53:11) Is there, therefore now, any condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit? (Rms 8:1) Is God a respecter of persons that he should require anything of His servant Job, “a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil”? When Jehovah God regarded the iniquity of His servant Joshua, He commanded that those filthy garments be removed; “And unto Him He said, Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment” (Zech. 3:4). So if the Captain of the Host, the Elder Brother, the Head of the house and the Author and finisher of our faith, who knew no sin yet became the sin of His people, has had all His iniquity removed as far as the east is from the west, never to be called to account any more, God cannot, by His own justice, demand anything else of His people because of their sin.
But Zophar continues with this false doctrine as he tells Job that the remedy for his plight is to prepare his heart and stretch out his hands unto God. If the heart of Job is a stony heart, hard as adamant, what preparation would he desire to make and what could he make that would make it presentable before the throne of God? Shall he circumcise the foreskin of his own heart and be no more stiffnecked? (Deut. 10:16) If his hands are polluted with the festering sores and dust of the earth, even Job said that if he were wicked before God and if he should find snow water and washed his hands never so clean yet still would God cast him off into a ditch and his very clothes would abhor him (9:30).
Zophar then tells him that he should put iniquity away from his hands and let not wickedness dwell in his tabernacle. Oh to God that were possible! What rejoicing there would be to be able to end this contradiction between the good that I would do and the evil that is present within me. If only the Apostle Paul had been taught by the Prophet Zophar then he would know how to be enabled to overcome the sin in his members, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life and live victoriously over the body of this death. Then he would be able to teach others how to end the warfare within and bring harmony between the flesh and the Spirit. But until such time as the tabernacle of this dwelling be dissolved, each child of grace, being partakers of flesh and blood shall be subject to the vanities of this world, the bondage of the corruption of the flesh and the warfare with Adam. Forget all the promises that Zophar speaks of for they do not exist.
If man could rid himself of sin and evict wickedness from his tabernacle then he would not have needed a deliverer to save him from his sin. He could do the work of the Son of God on his own and he would be like the Most High God (Is. 14:14).
Job knows this doctrine because the Spirit of the Most High reveals it to him. He knows that it is of the earth and shall die with the disciples. All of the condescension and mocking that Zophar lays on him is a light affliction compared to the glory and majesty of Almighty God. All of His creation proclaims the power and wonder of the Sovereign God who holds the breath of every living thing and the breath of all mankind in His hand. The wisdom of the ancient ones cannot compare to Him who is Wisdom and strength; counsel and understanding. He does whatsoever he desires and none can stay His hand nor require of Him an explanation for His actions. He is supreme above all powers and principalities. He sets the mighty ones of this earth in their appropriate places, assigns them the stations in life and the duties they shall perform. He empowers the kings with sufficient might to accomplish His will and prevents them from exceeding the boundaries and limits He has ordained. He gives wisdom to the fools and causes the wise of the earth to be confounded at the simplicity of the gospel. He grants the preparation of the heart and the answer of the tongue while making those trusted with counsel and understanding to babble as ignorant babes. He has established the kingdoms of this earth and assigned over them the basest of men to rule them after His Omnipotent will. When it pleases Him, He reveals Himself to His people and causes the world to continue to grope in darkness. He gives wisdom and spiritual understanding to those born of the Spirit and prevents the seed of the serpent from hearing His Word. “I Jehovah, do all these things” (Is. 45:7).
There is a natural testimony to the glory of God in His creation for “the heavens declare the glory of the Lord and the firmament shews His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech and night unto night shews knowledge” (Ps. 19:1). Each and every part of God&lrquo;s magnificent creation sets forth in an indisputable manner the absolute sovereignty of the Creator over all things. The only one who has an objection to this is the last thing created, man. He in his finite mental capacities objects to the fact that God works all things after the power of His own will without any help or advice. The beast of the field, the ‘dumb&lrquo; animals can teach man, the fowls of the air proclaim it with ever beat of the wing, the fish of the sea and all things of the earth manifestly declare the rescission, detail, and perfection of the mind, purpose and will of God. They all know that all these things, whatsoever comes to pass, are in the hands of the Lord who has fashioned, performed and finished all these things. All of creation stands subservient to the unmovable, irrefutable fact that the life and breath of every living thing is of the Lord, by the Lord and for His good pleasure.
“The deceived and the deceiver as His” (12:16)
The vast extent of God&lrquo;s sovereignty includes all aspects of our existence including the blunders, mistakes and delusions of our worth. God has ordained, according to the good pleasure of His will, that some should be deceived. He has set the time of the deception, the manner in which the deception should be delivered, the extent of the deception and the purpose for which the deception is to be accomplished. He has decreed who the one is to be deceived and has afore prepared them to be deceived and to believe the deception as if it were the truth. He created the lying spirit which he sent into the mouths of the prophets of Ahab, gave them the word that they should speak, opened the ears that should hear them and caused the deception of a lie to be prosperous and to accomplish His will. No one can be deceived unless they have been ordained to be deceived and properly prepared by the hand of God. No deception could ever be successful unless it were ordained of old and brought to pass by the sovereign will of an Almighty God; “And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I Jehovah have deceived that prophet and I will stretch out my hand upon him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel” (Ezk. 14:9).
The wicked mind is devoid of understanding and full of apathy toward the nature and will of God even though God has put it in his heart to fulfill His will (Rev. 17:17). The unconverted mind of man rebels against the nature of God as he ‘kicks against the pricks” (Acts 5:9). He boasts of his accomplishments and strives for his worth. He is alienated from the commonwealth of the People of Jehovah and is without hope. But thanks be unto God that he knows those that are His and in the appropriate time, He reveals Himself to His children. He reveals the hope that is within which is Christ in you the hope of glory and the frailty and weakness of the earthen vessel. The sovereignty of God cannot be compromised or diluted in any way. He is the Lord and master of all and all things work together, according to His will, for good to them that love Him with all their heart, all their soul and all their might (Deut. 6:5).
Job wants nothing to do with this false doctrine. He finds no hope, no comfort and no peace. He does not want to listen for a while and see if he can glean a little truth from the dung heap. His desire is to speak unto the Almighty and to reason with the cause of the matter, God. He commands his would be comforters to “hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come what will” (13:13). May the Spirit grant true discernment to the ears of His children and the faith to rebuke the teachers of the doctrine of Adam by saying; ‘Shut up and leave me alone!!! The sovereign God shall do all the intent of His heart.’
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 23, 2012