Pondering Job in a Pandemic – Chapter 20

Zophar continues to sound like an expert health, wealth and prosperity preacher. Zophar seems to pick up from Job’s words that Job isn’t taking him seriously or listening his perspective (3). He then proceeds to tell Job what is supposedly so obvious that everyone knows it, but Job (4). Verse 5 sums up Zophar’s thesis – “the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment.”

Zophar then continues to describe just what he means. The wicked and godless get what they have in this life through wicked means with a disregard for the good of others. They do not care who they hurt. As a result they will be held to account. They will loose all they have gained.

Zophar seems to see this as something that will happen in this life, will be experienced before any final judgement before God, will occur when others will see and observe how the wicked fare, when they are stripped of all their ill gotten gain. The very strong implication is, this is what is happening to Job.

Zophar makes one of the fundamental errors still made today by all health, wealth and prosperity preachers. They preach that our “best life is to be had now” and seemingly have no concept for eternal reward or eternal judgement. As a result they take truths which are to be fulfilled when Jesus returns and apply them to the present.

Much of what Zophar says here is true if it is looking to what will happen to those who reject God in this life, when Jesus returns in judgement. Yet to present this as the experience of the wicked in this life and therefore to imply that those who honour God will not experience such things and/or if you are experiencing such things you must be wicked and/or if one is wicked this is what most certainly will happen in this life; is to effectively reach out into the time of final judgement and pull what God has said to be true and will happen then and wrongly seek to apply it to the present.

Zophar continues to present God like some kind of Genie in a Bottle. You rub the bottle and do what he likes and he will reward you now. You make him mad and he will strike you down now.

Zophar like every health, wealth and prosperity preacher since has a small view of God, formed by the thoughts and imaginations of their own minds. They do not know the God of the Bible as revealed in His Word. One can only imagine the counsel they would have given to Jesus as He approached His predestined time of suffering and death!

Let us look to God’s Word and seek to know Him truly so that we might love Him fully. Not for what He gives us, but for Who He is and what He has done for us in Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria

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