Challenge: Zophar was the third friend who tried to comfort Job. Like Eliphaz and Bildad, however, Zophar clung to the belief that those who suffered must have somehow deserved it. Thus, he told Job to stop talking about his own righteousness: “You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’ Oh, how I wish that God would speak … against you and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom.”  Although Job admitted that he did not know much about his suffering, he argued that his friends knew even less: “What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.”  (Of course, none of them knew what was going on behind-the-scenes.) 
Question: Finally, Job turned to God: “But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.”  He proposed that a tree had more hope than him because at least a tree could grow again: “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again … But a man dies … and is no more.”  Yet he mysteriously inquired, “If someone dies, will they live again?” 
Resurrection: Jesus provided the resurrection for which Job longed. Just before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though he die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”  His answer culminated in the empty tomb, where he was raised from the dead and became the first fruits of our resurrection. Therefore, the reason we can have hope in suffering is because our suffering is not the end of our story—our resurrection is.
Prayer: Lord, Although we admit that we may be confused about your purposes in suffering, we do know that you have conquered death and offered us eternal life in Christ. As we suffer, call to our minds the resurrection, where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain because the old order of things will have passed away.  Amen.
M’Cheyne Weekend Readings
 Job 11:3-6 NIV |  Job 13:2 NIV |  See Job 1-2 |  Job 13:3 NIV |  Job 14:7-10 NIV |  Job 14:14 NIV |  John 11:25-26 NIV |  Revelation 21:4 NIV