The last friend, Zophar, adds his opinion, which contains these pearls of wisdom: “God is doubtless punishing you far less than you deserve!” (v 6) and “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you. Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear.” (v 13-15) and “But the wicked will be blinded. They will have no escape. Their only hope is death.” (v 20). Isn’t this essentially the same crap (ie emotional abuse) a lot of churches still preach today? Whether it’s your fault or not, it’s somehow your fault, you miserable sinner! Just pray and repent and god’ll make it all better. Sure.
Job responds by continuing to protest his innocence. Yet even in his anger and frustration, he still believes that “true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his.” (v 13) For the rest of the chapter, he lists things he attributes to god’s power. Most are human actions or natural phenomena.
Job decides that he wants to take up his case directly with god (v 3). Good luck with that…. He tells his friends to shut up and listen. And then he asks god “Tell me, what have I done wrong? Show me my rebellion and my sin. Why do you turn away from me? Why do you treat me as your enemy?” Will he get an answer? Stay tuned…