Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday - Job 21 - True or False?

n this chapter, Job flatly evaluates and grades the philosophy and answers of his friends. And, he gives them a failing grade. His thesis sentence categorically contradicts what these men have been rehearsing to him; "Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?" (Job 21:7). What Job was reflecting on was all the success which he had seen in the lives of ungodly men. As his memory served him, it seemed that in many cases their children, their houses, their farms and their bank accounts were the envy of everyone. To him, wicked men seemed to live happily, despite their overt disregard for God (Job 21:14-15)… while simultaneously, God's faithful children frequent the wringers of trial and tribulation (Job 21:19-20). Job said, "One dies in his full strength... (Job 21:23) ...and another dies in the bitterness of his soul" (Job 21:25). Based upon what he had already said, it seems obvious enough that he was implying that evil men are the ones at ease while holy men are the ones who seem to never be able to eat with pleasure.

Of course, Job had enjoyed many years of peace and prosperity himself, so we must admit that his perception was momentarily skewed (as was the perception of his friends). But, his observations weren't without merit.  He was God's faithful child and he was enduring unthinkable suffering. Yet, there were and are many of the devil's children whose existence stands in stark contrast against what we might expect for an evil and unrepentant man. If Job 21:7 was the thesis for this chapter, Job 21:34 is its summary: "How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remains falsehood?"  When we get to Job 38 - 41 we will find that there is only one perspective that is absolutely perfect and flawless, and that is God's perspective.

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