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Job 11-12

Talks for Growing Christians

Zophar’s First Speech to Job, and Job’s Initial Response

Job 11-12

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Lesson Number 9

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The first speech of Zophar is the same argument without authority.
  2. The first response of Job to Zophar is the same defense.

Practical Application

  1. Use sarcasm sparingly!

Questions

  1. What accusations did Zophar make against Job in verses 2-6 of chapter 11?
  2. What attributes of God is Zophar correctly identifying in verses 7-11?
  3. What is the meaning of the strange statement Zophar makes in verse 12?
  4. Zophar uses many words (vs 13-20) to repeat the same argument made by Eliphaz and Bildad. Briefly explain the argument. What authority did Zophar claim to justify his argument?
  5. In chapter 12, identify the characteristics of God that Job correctly points out to his friends. What purpose does Job have for making these observations?

Answers

  1. In Zophar’s first speech to Job, he accuses Job of excessive talk (v 2), boasting (v 3), self-righteousness (v 4), and ignorance (v 5), while boasting of his own wisdom (v 6).
  2. Zophar correctly identifies God’s attributes of omniscience and sovereignty (vs 7-11).
  3. Verse 12 may have been a common expression in Job’s day. Just as it is impossible for an animal to give birth to a human, so it is impossible for an idiot to become intelligent. Zophar’s point is that the wisdom of mere man is far below the wisdom and ways of God.
  4. Zophar’s argument, like that of Eliphaz and Bildad, is that all personal suffering is because of personal sin. Therefore Job must have sinned because he is suffering. Zophar claimed his own intuition and common sense as his authority.
  5. In verses 13-25 of chapter 12, Job speaks of God’s wisdom and power. He observes that God is in control of the actions of nations and nature (vs 13-16), that He determines the ups and downs of kings, priests, nobles and judges (vs 17-21), and that He can reverse the fortunes of nations as well as the leaders of nations (vs 23-25). Job’s point in stating these truths was to show that it was really his three friends who were ignorant of God’s ways and thus their major premise about Job was wrong.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss means or ways of making a strong point to another person without being sarcastic. Identify times that you have used sarcasm, and analyze its positive or negative results. Consider good role models you know who can be stern, forthright or convicting even in a spirit of humility and concern.

Challenge

  1. Have you ever been told that you have a sarcastic spirit or tongue? Perhaps it did not take many instances of sarcasm to develop a reputation like this. Take heed that your sarcasm may hurt those around you. Use sarcasm sparingly!

Key Verses

  • “Then Job answered and said, ‘No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you! But I have understanding and well as you; I am not inferior to you. Indeed, who does not know such things as these?’” Job 12:1-3

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