It can be said that although Job’s three friends did’t have a complete understanding of God, they seemed to have a very accurate understanding of the punishment of the wicked. Especially Zophar, as recorded in Job 20. Let’s take a look:
“The joy of the godless lasts but a moment.” (Job 20:5b)
Solomon tells us something similar: “The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.” (Prov 12:19 NKJV)
“…he will perish forever…” (Vs. 20:7a)
This sounds a bit like the book of Revelation, doesn’t it? “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Rev 14:11 NKJV)
“…Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue, though he cannot bear to let it go and keeps it in his mouth, yet his food will turn sour in his stomach; it will become the venom of serpents within him.” (Vs. 12-14)
“What he toiled for he must give back uneaten.” (Vs. 18)
Jesus tells us something similar: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal…” (Matt 6:19-20 NKJV)
“Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure…his prosperity will not endure…distress will overtake him; the full force of misery will come upon him.” (Vs. 20-22)
“total darkness lies in wait for his treasures. A fire unfanned will consume him and devour what is left in his tent. The heavens will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him. A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath. Such is the fat God allots the wicked, the heritage appointed for them by God.” (Vs. 26-29)
Friends, though it isn’t popular to talk about it, it doesn’t change the fact that there IS a hell, there IS a judgment, there is a day of God’s final wrath. And in that day, relying on ourselves and relying on our own strength is like leaning on a spider’s web! In fact, Zophar’s description of hell is only wrong about one detail! He taught that the judgement of the wicked was immediate, that a sinful person would never prosper. Although we know that the wicked do, indeed, prosper, we also know that they must all go through a final judgment, on the day of the great judgment.
Consider the following texts:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…” (Rom 1:18 NKJV)
“Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience…” (Col 3:6 NKJV)
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
“But wait a minute,” you say. “I’m not evil! I don’t do bad things! I don’t lie and cheat and steal! I am not a ‘son of disobedience’!”
No matter how good we seem in our own eyes, it does not change the fact that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23), and “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” (Isa 64:6 NKJV)
We may not be mass murderers. We may have accumulated our wealth by honest means. But if we don’t know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we will suffer the fate of the wicked.
I’ve heard numerous people say that God isn’t fair because He sends people to hell.
This, my friends, is a total misrepresentation of God. We are all on the road to hell, not because God isn’t fair, but because of the sinful state of this world. And this “unfair” God, as He is so often labeled, in truth stands on the side of the road, begging us to turn aside from our road to destruction, begging us to accept His free gift of Salvation!
And that free gift is what will stop you from experiencing all the things described by Zophar in Job 20.
If you haven’t already done so, why not accept God’s free gift of Salvation? And then, ask Him to be Lord of your life. With your sins forgiven and Jesus as our Lord, there is absolutely no reason to fear hell fire!
This is the final lesson from the Lessons from Job series. If you have missed any of these lessons, please access them here. May God bless you abundantly as you learn to walk more and more in the abundant life God has planned for you, especially when troubled times come your way!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the rest of this mini-series, please click here.)