Job 11:5 – But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;
Job 11:6 – And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
Hello readers, back in Job today. Making God fit with my beliefs. Zophar had his idea of what was going on in Job’s life, he had the answers… or so he thought. He wanted God to speak! That’s sounds good right? It’s one thing wanting God to speak, it’s another thing wanting God to say what I think God should say. God had actually said Job was a perfect and an upright man, so we know Zophar was way off here. He didn’t know what was going on, he had his own beliefs, and he wanted God to fit with his beliefs. Where God is the most High… often we find that most High seat quite comfortable. Isn’t that the seat Satan wants? Zophar is saying God will tell you this and that. He’ll tell you what I already know. How often we come to God’s word thinking we know, rather than subjecting to God’s word itself to guide our understanding and reasoning and lives.
We are all guilty of this very original sin. Cain tried making God fit with his sacrifice remember. He brought his sacrifice (in complete disobedience to the requirement for sacrifice that God had instituted) and then was wroth with God because God rejected him. He wanted a God that would go along with what he thought and did. We prefer a God who conforms to us, rather than a God we have to conform to. And we all have stuff we believe, or like to believe, or prefer to believe… and we’d rather the Bible said it this way or that way. Right? How much of the Bible do you wish you could change?
I mean, this is why they “revise” the Bible. Does God’s word really need man to revise it? Hey I think you meant this God! I think what God was trying to say was this, but he’s not quite God enough to be able to communicate it clearly to us. We are such prideful, arrogant, self centered creatures. But how about instead of making God fit with our doctrine, with our philosophy, with our wisdom… how about we instead fit to what he says? Is God’s word the authority… or am I the authority? Job’s friends swelled with wisdom and advice, but they had made some great fundamental errors in not basing what they said off God’s word.
I’ve talked to many people who think they know better than God. We are all guilty of this though. Everytime we reject what God’s word says, we are really saying we know better. Often we dislike God’s word because it doesn’t suit our stance on things. We can read the Bible and wish stuff wasn’t there, or wasn’t said like that. Christians often have their own doctrines, teachings, commandments, understandings of things… and they’re forced to live a life navigating around a Bible that doesn’t quite suit them. Or they just find a Bible that does! Doctrinal statements, distinctives, denominations, church dogma and on and on… we can put all that ahead of God’s word. And when it doesn’t fit, we make it fit. We warp the Bible to what we want it to be, what we think it should be.
It’s a shame when our beliefs won’t budge, no matter what the Bible says. Yes there are things we should hold to, we should hold to the truth of God’s word, we absolutely should hold to what the Bible teaches… but our own rubbish, we should let it go when God’s word tells different. God’s word shouldn’t be an enemy to you. It shouldn’t be inconvenient, it shouldn’t need navigating around, it shouldn’t need apology. Because it doesn’t. The Bible says in 1 John 4:6 – We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. See, error is when you go it yourself, you reject God’s word, and you make your own way, your own path, you back your own understanding and wisdom.
If you read the end of Judges, you see idolatry. A guy with a house of gods. Read and they were just making up religion as it suited them. Pretty convenient stuff when God is your instant genie, when he’s just whatever you want him to be. But they were in grievous error, nothing they were doing was subject to authority. There was no king in the land, so everyone just did what seemed right to them in their own eyes. If you are saved you have an authority, a Christian’s authority is God’s word. Our authority should be God’s word. He that knoweth God heareth us. We say “I hear ya” when we agree with what someone says, identifying with what they say as truth, when what they’ve said resonates with you. Do you “hear” God’s word? Do you agree with it, do you understand it, is God’s word where you find your answers? Or have you in error gone your own way, disagreeing with the Bible, maneuvering around in it as expertly as Satan did in trying to tempt Jesus Christ.
So we’ve been journeying through the book of Job, and in the quoted text we see Zophar wishing God would speak, and speak against Job, and show Job what Zophar already knew. We can tend to get an inflated view of our own grasp on things can’t we? Zophar would launch an assault on Job that wasn’t based on what God said but what he thought. he had come to his opinion from life experience, from tradition, from listening to his friends, from looking on Job’s situation. Now he offers advice and wisdom, and wants God to back him up! Against Job! That Job… that Job that God had testified of as a perfect and an upright man! But here’s Zophar saying his piece, and longing for God to speak to confirm what he was saying. It’d be nice if he said, Job I dunno what’s going on, I am as keen as you for God to speak and shed some light here. But instead he’s saying what he thinks, and tacking God on to it because he thinks God will be like oh yeah Zophar has got this sorted. Zophar was wrong, he didn’t know what was going on or what to say. It’s sometimes better just to shut up. Why do we hold on to what we believe, and also expect God to bow to us?
Zophar had come to his own conclusions about the whole deal. He wanted God to back him up. We can go to the Bible looking for confirmation of what we have already decided to believe or do! How many people just use the Bible as a smorgasboard from which they pick what suits them. They pick this and that out to criticize God’s word. They pick this and that to justify themselves. They aren’t interested in any of God’s word beyond what suits them. But newsflash, we need to get with his program, not try to sign up Job for yours. Job responded to Zophar in the next chapter by saying “wisdom shall die with you”. It was sarcasm. Wisdom wasn’t wrapped up in Zophar, it’s found in God and God’s word. It’s time for us to abandon our stuff, and let God’s word teach us. Let God speak. He’s capable of speaking, and he has spoken, we’ve got his word. We need to stop trying to make him subject to us and furthermore making others subscribe to our error, we need to stop our idolatry and picking and choosing, we need to stop trying to make God fit with our beliefs and humble ourselves before the authority of his word.
The three Hebrew children didn’t bow to the image king Nebuchadnezzar made of himself. That’s what idolatry is, that’s what making a God who fits with what we believe looks like. Then we want people to bow down to wisdom, philosophy, and beliefs which we’ve made up! It’s a pretty bold thing to talk on God’s behalf, to say what you think he should or would say… maybe we should go to God’s word first, let him set us straight first before worrying about trying to bring about what we think God wills for others. That was Zophar and co were doing, they thought they had the solution, they thought they knew what Job should do to fix this… but they were miles off. They didn’t say what was right of God, because they had made God fit with their beliefs rather than surrendering what they believed and thought about God before God, so they could be set straight. You’ll only be a help to someone else if you’ve got your stuff sorted first. Making a God up who fits to your beliefs, that’s a God (who’s really just a picture of yourself) that won’t be a help to anybody.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)