“Things could be worse.”
Really, Zophar? That’s just mean to say to someone who has lost everything, including his entire family, and his health; someone who has reached rock bottom and feels helpless and hopeless.
I don’t think Zophar cared how his words would effect Job. He, like his cohorts, seemed to simply enjoy the sound of his own voice. None of them were interested in listening.
I want to listen, to put myself in the mind of Job. That’s not easy to do as someone who has not suffered a fraction of Job’s suffering. Job was ill, and lost, confused, depressed, betrayed, harassed, and misunderstood to the point where finding energy to form words was a struggle. But here is what Job says from that very dark place:
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. (13:15a)
Job teaches us that we are all the same; created beings inferior to God, living in a world over which He is Sovereign, accountable to Him alone.
Here’s what struck me about that. In spite of Job’s understanding of his low position before God, he still wanted to face Him. He still wanted to go to Him because Job trusted God in spite of what was happening in his life.
Job didn’t place his hope in coming up with the right words or attitude to sway God. He didn’t “think it to be it.” Job knew he had nothing to offer God. He was broken and empty. He had questions, sure. He wanted to defend himself. But in the end, even as his wife advised him to curse God and die, Job placed his hope in the Almighty.
Peter talks about the “living hope” we who live after the cross enjoy. (I Peter 1) His name is Jesus! Circumstances aside, the God of hope sees you, hears you, longs to comfort and strengthen you who are his children through the precious blood of His Son.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)