Job 21: Theory of the wicked demolished
outpourings about the judgments on the wicked (perhaps to be seen
as that which has happened to Job) that have come from both Bildad
[chapter 18] and Zophar [chapter 20] seemed to have stirred up
Job because we now have the most coherent argument we've heard
so far that refutes all they have just said. Basically he points
out that the wicked are frequently affluent and at ease in life
and often die in peace, which undermines all they have been saying.
Good points Job!]
Job asks them listen again for a moment
carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you give me.
me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.
It's God he's complaining to and that is scary
“Is my complaint
directed to a human being? Why should I not be impatient?
Look at me
and be appalled; clap your hand over your mouth.
When I think
about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body.
The wicked are frequently affluent and die in peace
Why do the
wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?
They see their
children established around them, their offspring before their
are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not on them.
bulls never fail to breed; their cows calve and do not miscarry.
send forth their children as a flock; their little ones dance
sing to the music of timbrel and lyre; they make merry to the
sound of the pipe.
their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.
They maintain their atheism but continue to live
Yet they say
to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways.
is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain
by praying to him?'
prosperity is not in their own hands, so I stand aloof from the
plans of the wicked.
“Yet how often
is the lamp of the wicked snuffed out? How often does calamity
come upon them, the fate God allots in his anger?
are they like straw before the wind, like chaff swept away by
Despite what you say, they don't care
It is said,
‘God stores up the punishment of the wicked for their children.'
Let him repay the wicked, so that they themselves will experience
own eyes see their destruction; let them drink the cup of the
wrath of the Almighty.
For what do
they care about the families they leave behind when their allotted
months come to an end?
People are different, some die well, others not so much
teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?
person dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease,
in body, bones rich with marrow.
dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.
The truth is the same, they all end up dying
Side by side
they lie in the dust, and worms cover them both.
full well what you are thinking, the schemes by which you would
You say, ‘Where
now is the house of the great, the tents where the wicked lived?'
Worldwide it's the same, the wicked often prosper – so there!!
Have you never
questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their
that the wicked
are spared from the day of calamity, that they are delivered from the
day of wrath?
their conduct to their face? Who repays them for what they have
They are carried
to the grave, and watch is kept over their tombs.
The soil in
the valley is sweet to them; everyone follows after them, and
a countless throng goes before them.
can you console me with your nonsense? Nothing is left of your
answers but falsehood!”
Comments: As often occurs in such arguments this is only
part of the picture. Yes, often the wicked do seem to ‘get away
with it' in this life, but what needs to be added is that after
death we all have to face God and are held accountable for the
way we have lived our lives, and it is there that the wicked will
get their just rewards! [Heb 9:27]. It is also worth noting that
Scripture indicates that often the Lord does give the wicked their
just desserts while still on this planet – just not always.
a supplementary lesson that comes from this is that there are
many sides to arguments and if we are to be effective in such
discussions we need to give much thought to all aspects of such