Job 20:1-29

There was a church that needed a pastor, so they invited several candidates to come and preach.

“One minster spoke on Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into Hell.” The chairman of the board was not in favor of him. A few weeks later another preacher came and used the exact same verse for his sermon. This time the chairman said “Let’s call him.” The board members were surprised and asked, “Why did you like him? He used the very same text as the other minister.” The chairman responded by saying, “True….but when the second man emphasized the lost will be turned into Hell, he said with tears in his eyes and concern in his voice. The first preacher almost seemed to gloat over the sinner’s death.”
The first pastoral candidate’s story is where we find Zophar. This was Zophar last rant as he seems to gloat by saying “Then go to Hell then Job, you’ve been warned by the righteous.”

Where is Zophar’s compassion for a hurting friend?

Where are the tears of sadness if Job is destined to Hell?

Where is Zophar’s unceasing passion for the gospel to help a friend by showing him the Redeemer?

What we learn from the harsh words of Job’s friends is how much we are reminded of what Jesus went though and did for sinner like us to escape this place called Hell. If you read chapter 18 to 20 we see the gospel and what it delivered us from….eternal damnation and God’s holy torment for all eternityWe see God’s extended mercy and grace to deliver us from such an unholy and Aweful place.

What do we learn about this outburst of anger
from Job’s friend?

1. Judgement Is Sure For Unredeemed And The Joy They Had Will Become Disappointment. (V4-V11)

Human satisfaction and happiness is terribly short in light of eternity. Your human achievements will turn to dust, like the way the first man was created. (v4-v7) We know this is true because God waited 120 years before sending the flood. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years."The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” Gen 6:3-8

It is true that godless people may, and often do, have times of happiness and great joy, but it will be short lived. One’s man success does not determine his or her eternal state or position with a holy and transcendent God. I say that because God waited four centuries before He destroy the wicked Canaanites. “Then the LORD said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." Gen 15:13-16

Zophar is right that the wicked may prosper and have great wealth and joy. But! It will be short lived; as man was created from the dust of the ground, he or she, will return to there. He’s accusations that Job’s joy is short lived and his suffering is because of sin… is wrong, and it’s false!

Think about! When Jesus died, His time was short lived; and the happiness He enjoyed with His mother and closest friends….. was short livedThe bible says Jesus’ life was summarized this way “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:3. Jesus’ life was cut short, not because He sinned, but because we sinned. See! Jesus foreshadows the redemptive suffering. Meaning those who are in Christ will taste and go through sufferings in this life, but not in the next. What did Jesus say? “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.” So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:24-28

2. The Lost Are Deceived By The World’s Pleasures And Its Riches. (V12-V19)

Evil tastes good, but evil always leads to nausea and vomiting. Evil may taste good as you savor it in your mouth, like a piece of chocolate. But as soon as you swallow it, that worldly pleasure becomes a part of you; and it’s only then you begin to notice you swallowed poison (v14-v16)

Christopher Ash said “Sin is an unnatural poison; its sweet taste belies its disgusting nature.”

The point Christopher Ash is making is that “Sin tastes so good but it’s extremely deadly, because it hides itself.” Prov 20:17 we readBread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.” “Bread,” got by deceit, tastes sweet at first, but ends by leaving the hunger of the soul unsatisfied. “Gravel” is an Arabic, phrase for getting into trouble. As seen in Lam 3:16 “He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes;” It will certainly bring upon him the horrors of a guilty conscience, and the wrath and judgments of the Almighty God. Though the world system flashes us with its sensuality and material beauty of to what it offers; it will never satisfy or deliver on its promises. It will be short lived and those who live and strive for this will be lacking.

Jesus said "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matt 6:19-24

Your supreme affections can only be fixed on only one object. The servant of God cannot at the same time obey him. And be grasping, or seeking the treasure of this world. Why? Zophar says the wicked will get no enjoyment from this labor of earthly pleasures. (v18)

Where else have we seen this?

Jesus told a parable “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry."' But God said to him, 'Fool! (Mindless, ignorant, unbelieving)This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." Luke 12:16-21

Remember what Jesus said to the rich young man and his response when Jesus was done saying what he must do? 

We read “When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matt 19:22-26

 3. Hell Is Real And Everlasting Of Inescapable Wrath (V20-V28)

The hot anger of God will inescapable, there is no escaping or appeal to the higher courts of Heaven.

How is God’s anger described
in the Scriptures?

It is specially reserved for the day of wrath “The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD. In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full and sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.” Zephaniah 1:14-18
God is angry with the wicked every day. “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” Psalm 7:11

See! For the unrepented, the unbeliever, the wicked, will experience unceasing torment. “he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name." Rev 14:10-11. Their agonizing pain will cause them to gnaw their tongues in agony and to curse God because of their pain. “and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.” Rev 16:11

Hell is a real place because the bible calls this place a place of…. 
Everlasting torment (Matt 25:46)
Everlasting fire (Matt 25:41)
A furnace of fire (Matt 13:42)
A lake of fire (Rev 20:15)
Unquenchable fire (Matt 3:12)
Outer darkness (Matt 8:12)
A Devouring fire (Isaiah 33:14)

It is a place of eternal punishment “and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Rev 20:10. Knowing this truth should break the heart of every Christian! This should break the heart to Zophar, but it doesn’t and that’s the problem. Because, you know someone right now is going there apart from the grace and mercy of the Gospel. You know someone who is living in complete disobedience to God. With every breath you have, take every opportunity to speak the gospel into the hearts of those you come in contact with. Speak the truth into their hearts whether they embrace it or turn away from it. Because Hell is real, but so is God’s unmerited grace!
4. Intimidation Does Not Point Hearts To The Redeemer, It Only Points To Judgment. (V29)

Zophar is an angry man whose description of Hell is entirely accurate but lacks compassion and graceThe grace ass one old gentleman said to a young man who was angry with another person because they insulted him, so this hot headed young man wanted to confront the ill speaking person.

But the old man said “My dear boy take a word of advice from an old man, one insult is like mud; it will brush off much better when its dry; so wait a little until he and you are both cool, and the problem will be easier to deal with. If you go now, you will only quarrel!”

This is the sound wisdom that was lacking in Zophar’s life, as he tried to intimidate Job into repentance out of fear of Hell. Zophar’s scare tactics only made things worse because they overshadowed the gospel truth of God’s grace and mercy.

Don’t get me wrong! Hell is a real place and real people are going there, but we are to warn the sinner! By pointing them to Christ and too flee from the wrath that is yet to come for those who ignore and turn away from the Gospel. We point them to Christ as Paul said “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore (persuading, pleading, invite) you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Cor 5:20. He also wrote to the Roman Church “So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Rom 1:15-16. We take every opportunity to proclaim Christ and His gospel, because the power is found only in GodEverywhere......everyone you a potential brother or sister in CHRIST.” We are to tell people the whole counsel of God…..the good stuff and the bad stuff. But we are to do in such a way that they see our compassion and urgent concern for their lost state.

As Charles Surgeon said “Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”

Zophar is very clear who’s wrath is over Hell and the lost sinner for eternity……”God” (v15) The good news is that the Christians suffering will never face this wrath of God! Job 19:25. 

Suffering is a foreshadow of Christ and His redemptive work in our lives.

A.W Pink said “The cruel cross is the supreme demonstration of Divine love.”

This is what Zophar failed to explain to dear friend, because he lacks compassion for those who go to Hell, literally.

Steve Lawson said “Zophar was so right that he was wrong. He was like a porcupine; he had a lot of good points, but he was hard to get close to.”

The fear of the Lord is an appropriate motive for obedience! But it must be balanced and tempered with expressions of God’s love for the hearer. Unfortunately for Zophar, his weapon of choice was to scare Job in thinking he did something wrong! And the verdict was….. send Job straight to Hell.
Don’t do this! We are told to speak the truth in love and gentleness. Anything more than that is “Clanging cymbals……noise” Believers are never to play down the fate of the wicked, but we are never to stop showing compassion towards the wicked either. Because you were once like them as the Apostle Paul said “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Eph 2:1-3. This truth helps us to remind us of our past condition and state. As Paul Washer said “It is only against the pitch blackness of the night that we see the glory of the stars. And it is only against the pitch blackness of man’s radical depravity that we can begin to see the glories of the gospel.” 

It starts here by preaching the gospel to yourself as you share with others about His great love in which He loved us and gave Himself freely for us, so that we could live eternally.


Popular posts from this blog

Names of God's Children