Read verses 20-29
Q: How has the emphasis changed from the last section?
A: It has moved from the ill-effects on personal relationships to possessions. Both are similar in the format framing them.
Q: What is the common message in v.20-28?
A: Riches are fleeting and the wicked oppressor will be suddenly thrust into poverty and starvation.
Q: Is this always the case?
A: This may be the threat that Zophar and friends believe to be true, but it has never been an absolute divinely enforced by God, and is not an axiom which Jesus taught.
“Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: 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 many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’
“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
— Luke 12:18-21
Point: Jesus provides a scenario where a whole lifetime can become obsessed with the wrong things without visible consequences until the ultimate ones to come in eternity.
Q: Zophar originally admitted he was acting from his own thoughts and feelings. How is this again shown in his threat to Job of how he will be spiritually exposed in v.27?
A: The word for “heavens” is describing the visible sky. Zophar is making the claim that the physical world will judge and expose Job’s iniquity.
Point: As false personalities get more extreme in their effort to be right, they themselves twist basic truths and embellish facts in God’s name, the very definition of the working of iniquity—to twist something to suit one’s self.
Q: As Zophar concludes this final section in v.28-29, how would this imagery “flow away” have been particularly powerful to the desert people of Job’s day?
A: Water usually means life until an excess becomes a flash flood of destruction. A good thing in excess becomes evil.
Q: What is completely missing from Zophar’s speech?
A: Any reference to repentance or mercy.
Q: What does Zophar seem to indicate is the final and perhaps worst tragedy?
A: The loss of possessions.
Q: What has Job often contended is the worst tragedy which is also missing from Zophar’s response?
A: Separation from fellowship with God.
Application: Zophar transfers what he fears most—loss of relationships and possessions in this life, while projecting them onto Job. He does not see Job’s concern for his own concerns.