Job 24: Job
(8) Part 2: Job's Reflections on Injustices & eventual
Comments: Having just completed the previous chapter
with an affirmation of the Lord's sovereignty, Part 1 is a series
of questions. Job now ponders that if this is so, how is it that
sins prevail among mankind [v.1-4], how it is that the poor and
needy are left defenseless [v.5-11], how is it that oppression
brings death yet God doesn't seem to step in to stop it [v.12],
how is it that the law is constantly being broken and they seem
to get away with it? [v.13-17] In the Second Part he muses on
the fact that so often such people remain for such a short time
[v.18,19], they die and are soon forgotten [v.20] and even though
they are oppressors of the poor [v.21], however strong they may
appear they are still vulnerable before the sovereign power of
God [v.22]. Then come the punch-lines that expand on v.22: God
may appear to let them feel secure but He is watching them [v.23],
He may allow them to feel exalted but they may not have a tomorrow
[v.24]. Come on, aren't I speaking the truth, he concludes [v.25].
Suffering in a nutshell!]
1: v.1-17: Questions
Job ponders why judgment doesn't automatically fall on sinful
does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why
must those who know him look in vain for such days?
those who move boundary stones; they pasture flocks they have
away the orphan's donkey and take the widow's ox in pledge.
the needy from the path and force all the poor of the land into
He reflects on the suffering of the poor & needy, oppressed
by the rich
donkeys in the desert, the poor go about their
labor of foraging food; the wasteland provides food for their
fodder in the fields and glean in the vineyards of the wicked.
they spend the night naked; they have nothing to cover themselves
in the cold.
They are drenched
by mountain rains and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.
child is snatched from the breast; the infant of the
poor is seized for a debt.
they go about naked; they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.
olives among the terraces ; they tread the winepresses, yet
God seems to be oblivious to the needs of the suffering &
of the dying rise from the city, and the souls of the wounded
cry out for help. But God charges no one with wrongdoing.
Lawbreakers seem to continue their deeds with impunity [freedom]
are those who rebel against the light, who do
not know its ways or stay in its paths.
is gone, the murderer rises up, kills the poor
and needy, and in the night steals forth like a thief.
The eye of
the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No
eye will see me,' and he keeps his face concealed.
In the dark,
thieves break into houses, but by day they shut
themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light.
For all of
them, midnight is their morning; they make friends with the terrors
2: v.18-25: Answers
Yet their lives are transient, God will deal with them
they are foam on the surface of the water; their portion of the
land is cursed, so that no one goes to the vineyards.
As heat and
drought snatch away the melted snow, so the grave snatches away
those who have sinned.
The womb forgets
them, the worm feasts on them; the wicked are no longer remembered
but are broken like a tree.
on the barren and childless woman, and to the widow they show
God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become
established, they have no assurance of life.
The Lord WILL hold them accountable
may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes
are on their ways.
For a little
while they are exalted , and then they are gone; they are
brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off
like heads of grain.
is not so, who can prove me false and reduce my words to nothing?”
Comments: In some ways this chapter cuts to the heart
of the problem that concerns so many, that of suffering and a
God who seems to allow it. [Putting aside what we know of the
background of this book in chapters 1 & 2.] Job's conclusion
to this dilemma is that although this appear to happen, God WILL
hold all sinners to account.
of course this is not a neat book of theology but principles being
worked out in discussion. A fuller picture might include the following:
The truth is that God has granted all of us free will, the ability
to choose to do right OR wrong.
If He is not to offend this principle He has to allow us freedom
to do evil etc. without constantly intervening to correct every
wrong thought, word, or deed [where would He stop and start?]
This is not to mean that injustice always prevails because there
ARE times when the Lord intervenes and ‘great sinners' are brought
down by exposure and criminal proceedings or by death. Remember
the Lord also calls us to regulate ourselves and encourages law
enforcement agencies and the judicial system to be formed to deal
with crimes and maintain the law.
In addition to this, even if injustice does seem to prevail, EVERY
person WILL be held accountable at the Final Judgment. Justice
WILL be done – and Job is convinced of that.]
to recap, what
has Job said in this chapter?
ponders on why
judgment doesn't always fall on sinful men [v.1-4],
reflects on the
suffering of the poor and needy [v.5-11],
while God doesn't
seem to be judging those who cause it [v.12],
abound and are obvious in their activities [v.13-17],
God WILL eventually deal with them all [v.18-22],
and He WILL
hold them all accountable [v.23-25].