Job 20

* Zophar speaks of the short joy of the wicked. (1-9) The ruin

of the wicked. (10-22) The portion of the wicked. (23-29)

1-9 Zophar's discourse is upon the certain misery of the

wicked. The triumph of the wicked and the joy of the hypocrite

are fleeting. The pleasures and gains of sin bring disease and

pain; they end in remorse, anguish, and ruin. Dissembled piety

is double iniquity, and the ruin that attends it will be

10-22 The miserable condition of the wicked man in this world

is fully set forth. The lusts of the flesh are here called the

sins of his youth. His hiding it and keeping it under his

tongue, denotes concealment of his beloved lust, and delight

therein. But He who knows what is in the heart, knows what is

under the tongue, and will discover it. The love of the world,

and of the wealth of it, also is wickedness, and man sets his

heart upon these. Also violence and injustice, these sins bring

God's judgments upon nations and families. Observe the

punishment of the wicked man for these things. Sin is turned

into gall, than which nothing is more bitter; it will prove to

him poison; so will all unlawful gains be. In his fulness he

shall be in straits, through the anxieties of his own mind. To

be led by the sanctifying grace of God to restore what was

unjustly gotten, as Zaccheus was, is a great mercy. But to be

forced to restore by the horrors of a despairing conscience, as

Judas was, has no benefit and comfort attending it.
23-29 Zophar, having described the vexations which attend

wicked practices, shows their ruin from God's wrath. There is no

fence against this, but in Christ, who is the only Covert from

the storm and tempest, #Isa 32:2|. Zophar concludes, "This is

the portion of a wicked man from God;" it is allotted him. Never

was any doctrine better explained, or worse applied, than this

by Zophar, who intended to prove Job a hypocrite. Let us receive

the good explanation, and make a better application, for warning

to ourselves, to stand in awe and sin not. One view of Jesus,

directed by the Holy Spirit, and by him suitably impressed upon

our souls, will quell a thousand carnal reasonings about the

suffering of the faithful.

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