The blue letter Bible reading plan that I'm using for this project breaks the Bible into 365 conveniently bite-sized chunks. Unfortunately in the book of Job that sometimes breaks up individual speeches in awkward places. So today I'm actually going to read through the end of chapter 14 which concludes a speech of Job.
This section begins as Zophar takes his first turn arguing with Job. After deriding Job for speaking foolishly, Zophar argues that God (who has so brutally mistreated our hero) has actually been kind: "God has forgotten some of your sin" (11:6).
Zophar charges humanity in general (and Job in particular) with ignorance of God's ways. "The witless will become wise," he says, when pigs fly. Well, that's the jist of it (11:12). But, Zophar concludes, if Job will submit to God (as if he hasn't) Job will prosper again.
The tone of the debate becomes increasingly insolent. Job replies that he is as wise as his three companions. He used to call on God and God answered. Now Job is a laughingstock. He wants to speak directly with God.
In a poignant question (one that could be put to many of God's defenders today) Job asks "Would you lie for God?" (13:7).
Job also persists in putting his hope in God. "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. I will defend my ways to his face." This is what Job asks, relief from his suffering and a chance to defend himself before God.
In chapter 14 Job renews his request for relief and states emphatically that death is final.
In an earlier blogpost I pondered what a church based on the book of Ruth would look like. It might be interesting to do the same thought experiment with Job. Two things about the Church of Job come immediately to mind. 1) Council meetings would be lively. 2) Joel Osteen would not be the pastor.
Next: Job 14-16.