Zophar voices what we would all like to believe at times: that wicked people always have a bad time of it. But also here, Zophar confuses “wicked” people with “rich” people – a common occurrence in the ancient world.
His speech is only a bit right: Those who chase wealth will find no respite from their craving. Solomon will write: “Whoever loves money will never have money enough.” Zophar also correctly believes that whose quest is solely material will one day lose all they have gained. But he is wrong that they will not enjoy it while they have it. Wealthy people typically do enjoy what their money buys.
We’d like to believe it otherwise, but we are wrong. It might help us feel better about ourselves, but it is fleeting help. The wicked do not always get what they deserve in this life. It is a reminder to us all reading this passage that Job’s friends are voicing common philosophy, not biblical truth and in doing so, they are condemning an innocent man. Justice is not always attained or received here. But God guarantees it will come.