Job’s Reply to Zophar (12:1 – 14:22)
After listening to the criticism of his friends, Job concluded that they were off target with their comments. Job answered his accusers with a bold, rather sarcastic, statement: “You guys are it! You’ve got all the wisdom in the world. Too bad that when you die there won’t be any wisdom left in the world!” (12:1-2).
Job reminded his friends that he was just as intelligent as them and that they had not shared anything with him that he did not already know (12:3). In fact, Job told his friends that he disagreed with their assessment that the wicked always suffer and never get ahead and the righteous always prosper.
He used himself as Exhibit A. He said, “Even though I am blameless and call upon God, I have become a joke to my friends (12:4). If you will just look around you too, will see that the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer (12:5-6).”
Job told his friends that they needed to review the basics that all creation itself knows (12:7-8). The basic truth his friends were missing is that God is sovereign (12:9-15). No man can undo what God does. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Job illustrated his point concerning God’s sovereignty by pointing out that “He makes counselors walk barefoot” (12:17a). Counselors were wise men. Job said that even their own intelligence could not keep them from being taken captive in bare feet if God sends an invading army. Job said, “He loosens the bond of kings, And binds their loins with a girdle” (12:18). In other words, God can remove a king from power. One day a king is on the throne and the next day he is not. God can bring trials even upon those who seem the most secure in this world. He can do the same with nations (12:22-25).
Note: It seems that Job was beginning to understand that he was being tested. He was beginning to understand that what he was experiencing was a part of God’s plan for his life.