From Job 24-28
Job’s question today is why God does not let the righteous see that he is punishing wickedness. He argues God is seemingly inactive in the face of human suffering at the hands of the wicked. Jesus teaches about the final judgment. The wicked and the righteous will eventually be dealt with for how they have treated the poor and needy.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Job feels hard done by suffering as he is, while the wicked prosper. He feels he is in the right, but he is the one suffering. The wicked continue in wrongdoing. They are not punished. He questions whether the LORD will judge them at all.
He questions if the LORD is just.
24 “Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days?
2 Some move landmarks; they seize flocks and pasture them.
3 They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
4 They thrust the poor off the road; the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
5 Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert the poor go out to their toil, seeking game; the wasteland yields food for their children.
6 They gather their fodder in the field, and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
7 They lie all night naked, without clothing, and have no covering in the cold.
8 They are wet with the rain of the mountains and cling to the rock for lack of shelter.
9 (There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast, and they take a pledge against the poor.)
10 They go about naked, without clothing; hungry, they carry the sheaves;
11 among the olive rows of the wicked they make oil; they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
12 From out of the city the dying groan, and the soul of the wounded cries for help; yet God charges no one with wrong. (Job 24.1-12)
Job describes the evil deeds of the wicked and the suffering of the poor. The wicked have wealth and power. The poor are forced to work for them. They oppress the poor who do not have enough even to cloth themselves.
The poor suffer under their power yet no one is charged with wrong.
13 “There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises before it is light, that he may kill the poor and needy, and in the night he is like a thief.
15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me’; and he veils his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses; by day they shut themselves up; they do not know the light.
17 For deep darkness is morning to all of them; for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness. (Job 24.13-17)
The murderer and the adulterer get away with their crimes. They operate in the night and no one sees them. Will the LORD bring them to justice? Does he care about how they are treating the poor?
Job may have felt the LORD was not judging wickedness in his lifetime. He felt God allowed the wicked to oppress the poor. Jesus however tells of a final judgment on those who neglect the poor and needy.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Mt 25.31-46)
Perhaps it is easy to think the wicked will get away with their crimes and the righteous will never see justice come to fruition. Jesus reminds us of the final judgment where people’s treatment of the poor and oppressed will matter.
Because Jesus identifies himself with such as these.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.