“Then Job spoke again: ‘You people really know everything, don’t you? And when you die, wisdom will die with you!’” (Job 12:1–2, NLT)
There is a time when we become exasperated with others. We have tried every avenue of gentle persuasion but have encountered such stubborn resistance that we feel we must resort to sarcasm. Even Jesus used this against the Pharisees:
“Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:24, NKJV)
When people won’t respond to truth any other way, sarcasm can cut to the heart. Now we must be careful with this, for it is often delivered with malice. But used in the right way, sarcasm can open the eyes of the blind.
Job truly cared about his friends, but he also realized that they were wise in their own eyes. Solomon would later write:
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 26:12, NKJV)
Job’s friends neither understood him nor the ways of the LORD, yet they felt that they were experts in both. They were motivated by pride rather than by love. Therefore, rather than bringing counsel and comfort to Job, they brought him accusation and anger. So Job continued with his sarcasm.
“As for you, you smear me with lies. As physicians, you are worthless quacks. If only you could be silent! That’s the wisest thing you could do.” (Job 13:4–5, NLT)
Unfortunately, we have all engaged in such arguments that have ended in angry and hurtful words. Job’s friends felt that they were right and needed to convince Job that he was wrong; Job felt that he was right and tried to convince his friends that they were wrong. Neither party was successful in convicting the other.
So what is the solution? As we will see at the end of the book, God must show up!