Frankly, I admire Job’s guts. I’m pleased he doesn’t cave in and say, “Well, maybe you’re right, Zophar. You sound like those other two guys, so I’m not going to disagree and fight you on this.” No way! The strong rebuke of Zophar is met by an even stronger resistance from Job. This, by the way, is the only way to deal with a legalist. They, too, are like roaches! You leave them alone and let them have their way, they proliferate. They attract others. And before you know it, the legalists take over. Bullying their way into leadership is their favorite approach. And if they can’t bully, they take their ball and bat and go elsewhere (thank the Lord). They leave.
There was a time in my life when I allowed legalists to take more control of me than they should have been allowed. I’m making up for lost time now. Age has its benefits. I’ve learned the hard way, you need to fight fire with fire when bullies are determined to take charge. Job would have nothing to do with that! He put the stop to Zophar like Paul resisted the legalistic Judaizers and “did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour” (Galatians 2:5).
When Job finally does speak, he says, in effect, “Okay. That’s enough.” He stood up to them. I, for one, greatly admire Job for not sitting there any longer taking it on the chin.
Job declares, “It is all about our God! It is the inscrutable, Almighty God who is in charge of all things. Don’t you think I know that?” And what a creative way to say it! “The God I serve takes delight in undoing human activities and in dismantling human enterprises, and in the process, executing His miraculous undertakings. He alone is in full control.”
Job is making it clear that God alone is the One before whom he bows, and in doing so he implies, “I’m not sure you’ve ever met Him. Don’t bully me. While I don’t know why I’m suffering like this, I can tell you that somehow and in some way the God of heaven, the silent God, the One who seems to be absent from my perspective, is still in control.”
Would you be able to say the same thing if you were in Job’s situation?
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.