Lent Devotional: Job 20

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 20 (click here)
Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said: 2 “Therefore my thoughts answer me, because of my haste within me. 3 I hear censure that insults me, and out of my understanding a spirit answers me. (Job 20:1-3)

Zophar doesn’t have much new to say. He pretty much will tell Job that God judges the wicked quickly and, therefore, Job should see his situation as a clear indication that he is being judged by God for some unconfessed sin in his life. Yet, before Zophar repeats everything we’ve heard so far… he says something interesting…

He claims that Job has insulted him.

Now, I’m not saying that Job hasn’t taken a pot-shot or two at his friends, but Zophar seems to especially have taken things personally. He cannot believe that Job won’t listen as he impugns Job’s honor… but the moment Job questions Zophar… well now he has just crossed a line! This is quite the double-standard!

Zophar has made Job’s situation all about himself! This is about Zophar being right, this is about him being honored, this is about how he feels when he is insulted. No longer is Zophar interested in helping Job (if he ever was), but merely in maintaining his own reputation and dignity.

We must be careful as we seek to minister to others that our “ministering” is really about their needs and not our own. I can twist nearly any situation to be about me… what can I say… I’m naturally selfish… we all are. When we attempt to help someone who is hurting, it can be common for them to lash out at us… we must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.

May our chief concern in ministry not be our own honor and reputation, but pointing others toward holiness and reconciliation in Christ.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.