Bible: What Does Job 24-28 Teach Us About the Longsuffering and Justice of God?
Attitude Toward the Wealthy
Do you despise or admire rich people?
Job: "Why Does God Allow Wickedness to Continue?"
Job complains that God does not judge often enough for his people to see justice done (v. 1).
[Why does He allow wickedness to continue?]
Evil men steal (v. 2), and treat the poor and helpless with cruelty (vv. 3-4), forcing them to live like wild animals.
The indigent work hard to provide food for their families, but are often homeless (vv. 5-8).
An examination of the plight of the poor continues, yet Job presents it as seen through the oppression of the wicked.
To collect debts, the latter takes away the former's babies (v. 9).
As employers (cf. v. 6), they neither pay the poor enough to buy clothes, allow them to eat leftover grain (v. 10), nor let them drink any of the grape juice that they have trodden out (v. 11).
To cap it off, they do not minister to the needs of the dying; yet God apparently lets them get away with it (v. 12).
Job prolongs his discussion about various evil men.
Some fight against what is right (v. 13); others murder (v. 14), commit adultery (v. 15) and steal (v. 16).
Yet they all have one trait in common: hatred of the light, for fear their deeds may be exposed (v. 17; cf. John 3:19-20).
He believes that their livelihood should first suffer (v. 18) and then they should die (v. 19).
Because they neglect and harass the lonely, they should also be forgotten and forsaken (vv. 20-21).
Verses 22-24 conclude that God makes the mighty secure for awhile, then humbles them.
Job challenges his friends to show him that he is a liar in what he has said (v. 25).
[Again, why does He allow wickedness to continue?]
Bildad answers Job briefly, confessing God's majesty, power and omniscience (vv. 1-3), but he also mentions mankind's unrighteousness and insignificance (vv. 4-6).
[Bildad's perplexing words are the last ones Job's friends utter.
Since Job had been maintaining his innocence throughout the argument, perhaps Bildad meant his contention that no man can be righteous as a parting shot ].
Job Lectures His Companions
The famous sufferer begins his last discourse here and concludes it at 31:40.
[Reading the first three verses as exclamations (as NIV and NASB do) rather than as questions makes Job's rebuke more stinging.
In order to maintain the parallelism, it also appears best to choose NIV's interpretation of v. 4a over the translations of both NASB and NKJV].
The friends have asserted that their advice came from God, but Job's questions suggest otherwise (v. 4b).
As if to prove his point that their wisdom does not originate with God, Job presents a wonderful description of the ways God shows His greatness (vv. 5-14).
In His presence great fear grips the dead (v. 5), because they cannot hide their guilt and shame from Him (v. 6).
Job ponders the wonders and beauty of God's creation: gravity (v. 7), cloud integrity (v. 8), an obscured full moon (v. 9), and the horizon and its effect (v. 10).
Then he turns to evidences of the greatness of the LORD:
(1) Heaven shakes when He's angry (v. 11);
(2) He completely controls nature's most impressive and powerful forces (v. 12);
(3) He makes the skies beautiful with His breath (v. 13a);
(4) He has defeated the "devil" (v. 13b).
Job acknowledges that God has not revealed Himself exhaustively, but that these examples are just a few of His ways (v. 14a)—and precious little at that (v. 14b)!
If He revealed His omnipotence, no one could comprehend it (v. 14c).
[Job has not lost his appreciation of the supernatural power and glory of God]!
Job's True Condition
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Even though God has not yet vindicated him, Job pledges to speak the "truth" as long as he lives (vv. 1-4).
His success in not yielding to his friends' position on his case convinces him that he has maintained his integrity (vv. 5-6).
Job brings a solemn curse upon his enemy (v. 7), whose end, he believes, is apart from God (v. 8).
God will not rescue such a one (v. 9) who will not rely upon God (v. 10).
Job chastises them for knowing God's ways, but still acting stupidly (vv. 11-12).
He informs them about the inheritance of the wicked (v. 13):
(1) the apparent blessing of many children turns tragic (v. 14);
(2) his survivors will die in a plague, and no one will mourn them (v. 15);
(3) the righteous will confiscate all the wicked one’s wealth (vv. 16-17);
(4) his house will be as temporary (v. 18) as his wealth (v. 19);
(5) he will be suddenly taken away (vv. 20-22), and
(6) people will despise him (v. 23).
[At this point, much of the description Job gives regarding the inheritance of the wicked fits him!].
The Wicked Man
Man travels deep into the earth in his search for precious metals (vv. 1-3).
He takes great risks (v. 4), and goes to unbelievable lengths to mine the ore (vv. 9-11).
After considering these facts, Job concludes that no bird or beast knows what is below the earth, but human beings do (vv. 7-8).
He then asks twice (vv. 12, 20) where mankind can find wisdom—an object far more valuable than all gold or silver.
His answer: he cannot find it on earth (vv. 12-20).
No other creature can discover its location (v. 21); Death has only heard about it (v. 22).
God alone knows where it is, and has searched it out thoroughly (vv. 23-27).
He holds out to man the keys to gaining wisdom and understanding: fear God and depart from evil (v. 28; cf. Prov. 3:7).
[Job uses an apt analogy here, pointing out some nuggets of truth:
(1) Just as only one place exists where one may unearth gold, so only one being can gain wisdom;
(2) Only man can seek for gold or wisdom;
(3) It takes much effort to have success in either endeavor].
© 2014 glynch1