Job has argued that God struck him with great suffering in spite of his not having sinned in any way worthy of such pain.  All three of his friends contend with this issue.  When people suffer, as all the wicked will do eventually, it’s evidence that their sin has finally caught up with them. Zophar goes through an exquisite monologue about how this is common knowledge. “Do you not know, that since time began and human beings were set on the earth, the triumph of the wicked has always been brief, and the sinner’s gladness has never lasted long?”

It’s perfectly clear that Zophar is pointing his finger at Job. He never mentions Job’s name or says what he is specifically charging, but the point is clear. McKenna understands this attack well. He writes, “Zophar …pontificates in generalities so that he can claim immunity from personal attack. In my senior year of high school, I heard a preacher attack from the pulpit my choice of a Christian college. Although he never mentioned my name or pointed his finger, it so happened that I was the only young person in the church who planned to attend college. With a boldness that baffles me now, I called him on the telephone, ‘You were preaching against me.’ As gentle and harmless as a dove, he demurred. When I pressed the point that I was the only young person in the congregation with college plans, he then defended his attack by saying, ‘I only preach the truth. If the shoe fits, wear it!’ We can expect the cowardly Zophar to give the same answer…”

I’ve felt the personal blows of generalities fired at me personally.  Haven’t you? Regardless of the right or wrongness of the issue, they usually don’t accomplish what they were aimed at. Hopefully, the way we feel when they strike us, will help us refrain from using them ourselves.


“What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.  I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.” (Job 3:25-26)