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Bible Commentaries
Job 20

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-29

Chapter 20

So Zophar, the third of the speakers, gives his second discourse. And again, he was the guy that was dealing with traditions earlier, and with wisdom and all, so he said to Job,

Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste ( Job 20:2 ).

In others words, "I want to be quick to answer you on this."

I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer. Don't you know this of old, since man was placed on the earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite is for a moment? ( Job 20:3-5 )

He won't get off, you know, the same tune. "Job you're wicked. Job you're a hypocrite."

Though his excellency mount up to heavens, and the head reach unto the clouds; Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: for they which have seen him shall say, Where is he? He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night. And the eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him. His children shall seek to please the poor, his hands shall restore their goods. His bones are full of the sins of his youth, and he shall lie down with him in the dust. Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, and though he hide it under his tongue; Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him. He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly. He shall suck the poison of asps: and the viper's tongue shall slay him. He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter. That which he labored for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall be the restitution, and he shall not rejoice therein. Because ( Job 20:6-19 )

And this is now, here is what Zophar is suggesting that Job's evil was.

Because he has oppressed and has forsaken the poor; because he has violently taken away a house that he did not build ( Job 20:19 ).

"You've repossessed a house, Job. And you've taken away and oppressed the poor people." These are suggestions of Job's wickedness.

Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired. There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods. In the fullness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand of the wicked shall come upon him. When he is about to fill his belly, God will cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating. He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through. It is drawn, and comes out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him. All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; and it shall go ill with him that is left of his tent. The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; the earth shall rise up against him. The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God ( Job 20:20-29 ).

These guys just keep coming on with Job, insisting that he is wicked, that he is a hypocrite. They have the one tune; they can't get off of it. "And all of your problems are because you are so sinful and so wicked."

Now, you say, "But why does the Lord labor this so much?" Because there are people that are still that stupid today. That if you get in trouble, they'll come around and say, "Well, brother, why don't you repent? You know, so you can be prosperous. Why don't you forsake your sin? Because surely if you are good, God is going to prosper you. And if you're evil, you're going to be cut off." But that is not so. Righteous people suffer. Evil people prosper. Righteous people prosper. Evil people suffer. We don't know. We don't know why righteous people oft times suffer. We don't know. It is wrong to assume things about a person because he's suffering. It's wrong to assume that a person doesn't have the faith, and thus he is sick. It is wrong to assume that if you just had enough faith, you would never be sick, because it just isn't so.

And God allows this point to be pressed over and over from several different directions, to show the folly of seeking with our human wisdom and understanding to try to find out the ways and the reasons and the why's of God. We don't know them. The question of the book of Job is: why do godly people suffer? The question is not really answered. But what we are brought to is the assurance and the understanding that God does rule over our lives. And thus, I don't have to understand the why, all I have to understand is the fact that God is in control, and I rest there. God controls the affairs of my life.

Shall we pray.

Father, help us that we will not be guilty of speaking deceitfully for You. Thinking that we understand more than we do, the causes, the reasons, the whys, the particular things that happen to certain people. Help us, Father, that we will be intercessors. And if a brother be overtaken in a fall, may we restore him in a spirit of weakness. If a brother is down, may we seek to lift him up. May we stretch out our hand of love and understanding to those who have fallen. Give us a heart like Yours, Lord, a heart of compassion for the oppressed and for the needy. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 20". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-20.html. 2014.
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