Job Sees The Light - Twenty-fifth in a series
Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion
Job 24:1 NIV The twentieth-fourth chapter of Job begins:
Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days? (Job 24:1 KJV)
‘Times’ in this verse connotes ‘times of punishment,’ says A.R. Fausset, referencing Eze 30:3 for a similar use. ‘They that know him’ are the godly.
In other words, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Rev 6:10) My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? (Ps 6:3; 13:1; 80:4; 90:13) O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! (Hab 1:2) Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down (Is 64:1)!
Like the martyred, persecuted, innocent victims of the brutal, demon-possessed evildoers across the ages, Job wants God’s judgment to fall NOW.
Job was under an intense persecution specially devised by Satan himself (Job 1:12), but he did not understand why. With Paul, he could have said, For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. (1 Cor 4:9) But Job was not an apostle. His persecution came as a surprise.
He could also have said with Paul, …we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. (1 Cor 4:13) Yes, God permits and imposes extensive belittling of his own in the process of perfecting them.
But, again, WHY are the guilty evildoers not punished— in a timely fashion?! What about the Sabeans and Chaldeans who killed Job’s servants and stole his livestock? If God would make an example of them, then everyone would see that Job is innocent and important to God. That would shut his friends up!
Job 24:2-6 NIV Job will now recount examples of those who assault and injure others. The first ones are somewhat like the Sabeans and Chaldeans, but in particular, they prey on the poor.
Job’s oxen and donkeys were stolen, but unlike the victims he describes, he was rich. These men are more cruel because their victims are poor. On the other hand, the poor glean from the vineyards of the wicked, but Job never gleaned a single grape from his oppressors, for he kept his own fields.
Job 24:7-12 NIV The poor are further described to spotlight the cruelty of their oppressors. Job’s compassion for the poor perhaps was inspired by his newfound ability to empathize with them. Like them, as well, he seems to be without a helper or advocate.
Job 24:13-17 NIV To the evil who perpetrate wrong as their right, nighttime is morning. They have no fear of God but only of being found out by those who could bring them to justice.
Job 24:18-20 NIV Job’s friends have said that evildoers are swiftly accosted and punished. This is untrue! But they will in time enter judgment.
Job 24:21-22 NIV Wicked people prey on the vulnerable and the secure; everyone is his victim.
Job 24:23 NIV Nevertheless, God sees and in time brings his end.
Job 24:24-25 NIV Job is obsessed with convincing his friends that evildoers are not punished swiftly even though they are in God’s timing. But if his friends were to concede this point, what would it prove? Well, Job could then press for further concessions, so he could be vindicated from their accusations and insults. Job has a plan!
A person's integrity is his stock in trade. As Solomon wrote: A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches (Prov 22:1) On the other hand, much time may be wasted in self defense that could be devoted instead to prayer.