Job fell to his knees in the flickering darkness, then let his limp body drop to the earth. Lying on his side, he seized a handful of dirt and smeared it into an open sore on his face.
Zophar, the man who had come from Naamath to see his friend through the double tragedy, watched Job with a tilt of his head. Like a lion stalking prey, he had observed, in silence, the anguished and broken priest lead himself into a circle. Exhausted by his repeated boasts of innocence, Job had finished where he started, lying with his spine curved inward, like a defenseless animal or an unborn child.
Now Zophar took his turn to speak.
“Perhaps someone should have put a muzzle on you while you spewed your arrogant rant,” Zophar started in, his raven hair melding into the pitch black mountain behind them. “‘I am pure,’ you say. ‘I am clean.’ But now that you’ve lathered yourself until dumb, maybe God will share with you the many facets of wisdom, starting with the fact that you’re better off than your guilt deserves.
“The knowledge of God is larger than the earth, broader than the ocean, higher than the heavens, and deeper than the final grave. What can you do about it? You’ll find understanding when a donkey speaks and reasons like one of us.
“Before you try again, take my advice and put your misdeeds far behind you. There can’t be a hint of dirt residing in your tents if you wish to approach God without fear. Your confidence will come from expectation. The only expectation of the wicked is their final breath.”
Inspiration: Job 11