Thursday, March 16, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Job 21-22

Poor Job, in his distress he answers the judgments of “friends” who, like Zophar’s statements in Job 20, imply his sorrows and losses are attributable to some sin he has not confessed to God.

In Job 20:4-29, Zophar stated the wicked suffer calamities because of their sins:  Their lives cut short (20:4-11); their joys  temporal (20:12-19); and their end full of sorrow (20:20-29).   Zophar’s observations concerning the fate of the wicked assumed a tacit implication that Job’s sorrows mirrored that of wicked men.

Job answered Zophar’s conclusions in chapter 21, contradicting his assertions that the path of the wicked concludes with a shorten life, suffering, and sorrows.  Job observes the way of the wicked often appears to succeed in this sinful world:  The wicked appear to live long prosperous lives in spite of their sins (21:7-21) and their deaths differ little from that of other men (21:22-34).

How many of my readers have beheld with wonder that the wicked appear to flourish while the righteous are left impoverished?  I have often observed that liars, cheats, and swindlers prosper, while their victims languish in the wake of their path of destruction.  I have seen trusting widows deceived, single moms impoverished, and the naïve swindled out of their inheritance…by wicked men who evidenced no guilt of conscience or visible consequences for their sins.

Friend, do not be hasty in your judgment and think God is not just!  God is “longsuffering…not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9) and His patience exceeds our own; however, He is just and sin always demands its payday.  Job’s friends implied the deaths of his children were a result of his sins (Job 21:19); however, that assertion is contrary to the scriptures.

Children are not punished for their parent’s sins (Jeremiah 31:29-30; Deuteronomy 24:16); however, they often bear the consequences of a parent’s sin for three and four generations (Exodus 20:5; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9).  A man’s ill-gotten wealth often proves a sorrow and curse to his children and his children’s children.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith