Silence Is Golden

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Job 13

“If you would only keep silent, that would be your wisdom!” (v. 5)

Finally Zophar, the most rash of Job’s friends, cannot keep quiet any longer. You babble, Job, and you mock, Zophar exclaims. You say “My conduct is pure” and yet you are guilty. If God would speak, we would all know that you actually suffer less than you deserve. If you will repent, Job, you will be restored.

By now Job can stomach no more. He explodes with pent-up anger. And he reminds his “friends” that God alone is wise and knows all things—something even the animals and plants understand. But the supposedly wise of the world “grope in the dark without a light.” Their wisdom is nothing but foolishness. So don’t presume to speak for God, Job argues to his alleged friends. If only you had kept your mouths shut—that would have been the true course of wisdom.

And then once again Job speaks to God, pleading his case while also persistently asking his haunting questions. Why, O God, do you hide your face and count me as your enemy? If I really have sinned and deserve this suffering, then let me know what I have done.

PRAYER

Search us, O God, and know us, and make your wisdom known to us, that we in humility might more faithfully worship you.