EVIL DOES PROSPER…FOR A SEASON
Gold plated firearms. This is a sign of the prosperity of the drug cartels which seems to defy godly behavior. So those who were telling Job that he must be a sinner were ignoring some facts of life.
Zophar renewed the attack on Job’s credibility, essentially calling him a sinner and a liar. But Job knows that God does not deliver judgment or rewards to everyone in this life. In fact, evil may prosper for a while here. Job is about to rebuke his friends one more time for their abuse.
But Job answered and said, Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations. Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on. As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled? Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth. Job 21:1-5
Job is telling his friends to shut up and listen. If man caused his troubles he won’t be as troubled as if God were plaguing him. Job will surprise them if they listen.
Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh. Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. Job 21:6-10
Job sees how evil men live long and prosper. Gangsters have protection for their homes and families and there is no punishment for their crimes. If they farm, their stock is healthy.
They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? Job 21:11-15
Evil men have big families and celebrate with music and dancing. Since they live well to the end they reject God and see no profit in faith.
Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me. How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger. They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away. God layeth up his iniquity for his children: he rewardeth him, and he shall know it. His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty. Job 21:16-20
Well Job is not one of these and he doesn’t accept the counsel or behavior of the corrupt. He knows that they will see their destruction in God’s time. There is judgment or reward laid up on the other side of the veil of death. What’s in your (spiritual) wallet?
For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off in the midst? Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high. One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure. Job 21: 21-25
What is the joy in a man’s house if he dies young? God may take one in his strength, or he may pass in sickness and agony. It is not ours to chose, and God makes the appointments.
They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them. Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me. For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? and where are the dwelling places of the wicked? Have ye not asked them that go by the way? and do ye not know their tokens, That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. Job 21: 26-30
Everyone is worm food, but Job’s friends think that only the bad suffer in this life. They may not, but they will pay when they are brought up in the next life.
Who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay him what he hath done? Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb. The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, and every man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him. How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood? Job 21: 31-34
We may not be able to tell the evil man what his fate will be or extract revenge. But he will share the common fate of all who pass out of this life. Still Job’s friends have ranted about how Job must have sinned to get this punishment. They have not been with him to offer comfort, but rather to accuse him.
Israel has a host of nation friends today who tell them that they are wrong to occupy lands promised to them by God. We don’t need to join this discussion because God is the one who will guide the events ahead. The movement of Arab Spring is changing the whole situation, and these nations will be pulled in without control. Our concept of morality is as flawed as Job’s friends. Israel may be a cut off branch today, but the rod of Aaron budded…and will be grafted in again. Some of their friends may be among the branches to be cut off in that day.