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CHAPTER 21 Dec. 17 
Job Responds to Zophar
Then Job answered, 2Listen diligently to my speech. Let this be your consolation. 3Allow me, and I also will speak; after I have spoken, mock on. 4As for me, is my complaint to man? Why shouldn’t I be impatient? 5Look at me, and be astonished. Lay your hand on your mouth.  6When I remember, I am troubled. Horror takes hold of my flesh. 7Why do the wicked live, become old, yes, and grow mighty in power? 8Their child is established with them in their sight, their offspring before their eyes. 9Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. 10Their bulls breed without fail. Their cows calve, and don’t miscarry. 11They send forth their little ones like a flock. Their children dance. 12They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the pipe. 13They spend their days in prosperity. In an instant they go down to Sheol. 14They tell God, ‘Depart from us, for we don’t want to know about Your ways. 15What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? What profit should we have, if we pray to Him?’. 16Behold, their prosperity is not in their hand. The counsel of the wicked is far from me. 17How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out, that their calamity comes on them, that God distributes sorrows to them in His anger? 18How often is it that they are as stubble before the wind, as chaff that the storm carries away? 19You say, ‘God lays up his iniquity for his children’. Let him recompense it to himself, that he may know it. 20Let his own eyes see his destruction. Let him drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 21For what does he care for his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off? 22Shall any teach God knowledge, since He judges those who are high? 23One dies in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. 24His pails are full of milk. The marrow of his bones is moistened. 25Another dies in bitterness of soul, and never tastes of good. 26They lie down alike in the dust. The worm covers them. 27Behold, I know your thoughts, the devices with which you would wrong me. 28For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince? Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’ 29Haven’t you asked wayfaring men? Don’t you know their evidences, 30that the evil man is reserved to the day of calamity, that they are led forth to the day of wrath? 31Who shall declare his way to his face? Who shall repay him what he has done? 32Yet he will be carried to the grave.  Men shall keep watch over the tomb. 33The clods of the valley shall be sweet to him. All men shall draw after him, as there were innumerable before him. 34So how can you comfort me with nonsense, because in your answers there remains only falsehood?


21:4 Why shouldn’t I be impatient?- Job falls into the trap of justifying poor behaviour because of the extremity of the circumstances. Eventually he is led to the final climax of chapter 42, where he stops making excuses, blaming his nature, his situation and the machinations of others- and accepts his sinfulness in toto. It was so hard for him to do this because relatively speaking he was righteous. But spiritually middle class believers who keep their noses clean publically and avoid major personal scandals have got to all the same radically repent; and this is the pointed relevance of Job to so many believers today.
21:7 In 9:21 and by implication in other places, Job effectively says that there is no point in serving God or striving for obedience to God. This is what the priests of Israel later said at the time of the restoration from exile (Mal. 3:14). Malachi is alluding to Job’s words here and in 9:21. Note that Elihu also claimed that Job had said that serving God was of no profit (34:9). Job has much relevance to the returning exiles- see on 3:23. Job was ignoring the very fine sensitivity of God to human behaviour; the fact He is so high and we are so morally low doesn’t mean that our behaviour is irrelevant. Job’s problem was a refusal to repent, and he is here making the excuse that God’s insensitivity to sin meant he didn’t have to repent. We must learn the lesson- God’s sensitivity to sin is the very reason we should repent of it.