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JOB’S WONDER

Job is on a roll in observing the mystery of evil and the judgment of God.  Bildad will attempt to inject a comment but Job rolls over this little effort.

Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?  Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.  They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.  They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.  Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.  Job24:1-5

If sinners know that God sees everything don’t they know that their time is limited?  They move landmarks to steal land, and run off with sheep and their feed grain.  They steal from orphans, widows, and the poor.  They live like wild animals that know no rules, but live on the wealth they find.  What Job sees is still found in the cities of our world today.

They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.  They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold.  They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.  They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.  They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry;  Job24:6-10

Thieves gather their own crops but also reap the grapes of wrath.  They leave the homeless huddling under rocks and bushes without clothing.  They deprive orphans of food and overcharge loans to the poor.

Even today I have seen mattresses and clothing under the bushes in Texas and in the Arizona desert.  People land here after their homes are taken by corrupt banks.  Remember the adjustable rate mortgage?  What part of “stick ‘em up” don’t you understand?

Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst.  Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.  They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.  The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.  The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face. Job24:11-15

The poor work to make oil and wine for others but themselves lack any drink for their own thirst. There are many victims but God does not accuse them of sin.  Violent crime abounds and also the crimes of lust and passion.  No one worries about being seen by God.

In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.  For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.  He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.  Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned.  The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree. Job24:16-20

Thieves break into houses at night and hide from the recognition of day time.  The guilty find the light to reveal their identity and day brings the fear of death.  Death is fast, and evil melt away like the snow.  They are remembered only by the maggots.

He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow.  He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life.  Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways.  They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.  And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth? Job24:21-25

These evil men abuse the childless and widows alike.  They get power over the wealthy people as well, and none are safe.  Evil may gain power for a season, but they will be harvested like the wheat in God’s time.  Who can prove me wrong?

Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,  Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places.  Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?  How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?  Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.  How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?  Job 25:1-6

So Bildad tries to again assert that a just man will not be punished because God can strike at will.  He has armies and powers and no man can be pure before him.  How can a man who is but a worm escape immediate punishment?

But Job answered and said,  How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength?  How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom? and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?  To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?  Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.  Job 27:1-5

So, Bildad, how do your words comfort the weak and suffering?  Who are you teaching and what spirit is coming out of you now?  Dead things come up from deep below the oceans.

Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.  He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.  He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them.  He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.  He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.  Job 27:6-10

Job describes the power of God: God knows the dark places of evil, suspends the earth in space, and caries waters aloft in clouds that keep the waters without tearing.  He keeps his throne concealed in clouds and restrains oceans in their shores.

The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.  He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.  By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.  Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?  Job 27:11-14

Job feels the power of God without fully understanding his own discomfort.  Heaven and nature itself is disturbed when he is angry, as are the men he strikes.  He created both the beauty of the heavens and the ugliness of the serpent.  These are only part of his ways, while most of him is not seen.  The power we do see in the thunder we do not understand.

There are occasionally times when the thief if quickly delivered to judgment.

Atlanta (CNN) — A man, who tried to rob a group of people waiting in line to buy the new $180 LeBron James sneakers, was shot and killed when one of the customers pulled out a gun, Atlanta police said.  The incident took place before dawn Saturday outside a shoe store in Atlanta’s Little Five Points area.  The group was waiting for the store to open for the day so they could buy the LeBron X Denim on its first day of release.  Police said the man approached the group with a gun in hand and tried to rob them.  One of the men in the group took out his own handgun and fired, said Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos.  “A number of witnesses were interviewed and this appears to be self-defense,” he said. http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/24/justice/lebron-sneaker-store-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

But how many more times have evil men prospered, even to become national leaders?  Good people fall to accidents and disease while cruel leaders are allowed to have power over nations.  God has his own ways, and we will understand only in his time.

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