Job is profoundly offended at Zophar’s generalization that only the wicked suffer. In fact he refutes that as simply untrue for in chapter 21. He says of the wicked, “Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them. Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and does not miscarry. They send out their little boys like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol. They say to God, depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. What is the Almighty that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?”

The Psalmist agrees with Job. In Psalm 73 we read where the righteous were suffering while the wicked wallow in luxury. The Psalmist observes also that wicked violate the standards of ethical behavior and get rich.  They are not hindered by any standards of right and wrong. While the righteous carry heavy obligations as he struggles to fulfill his obligations to God and to man, the wicked live a carefree life. Sinners abandon themselves to pleasures and “go for the gusto” while the righteous are cautious, restrained and inhibited. In both the Psalmist and Job I sense a bit of jealousy with regard to his lot in life verses his perceived lot of the wicked. I can sometimes relate to that, can’t you? It’s hard not to be jealous of the unrestrained, pleasure seeking, gusto grabbers in the world.

But, Job will learn, and we will too, that eventually, the truth of Proverbs 23:17, “Do not let your heart be envious of sinners but remain steady every day in the fear of the Lord, for there is a future, and your hope will not come to nothing.”


“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)