Job on the Crime in the Land (Job 24)

Job decries the lack of knowledge of God in the land.  God sees all, yet people still do evil.  Some remove landmarks, seizing flocks, abusing orphans and widows, and taking advantage of the needy and poor.  They cause the disadvantaged to gather from other’s fields and spend the night naked and cold.  They steal children from young widows and extort the poor.  They take food from the hungry, and so many more sinful things.  Yet God does not judge them.  Others rebel against the light, murder the poor and needy, roam in the night as a thief, commit adultery, etc.  If the logic of Job’s friends were correct, then they all should be dead, judged by God, consumed and in the grave.  He concludes his sayings on crime with this passage:

22 “But God draws the mighty away with His power;

He rises up, but no man is sure of life.

23 He gives them security, and they rely on it;

Yet His eyes are on their ways.

24 They are exalted for a little while,

Then they are gone.

They are brought low;

They are taken out of the way like all others;

They dry out like the heads of grain.

In this passage, Job does not deny the contention that all evil is rewarded with judgement, just that it may not be immediate.  However, it will be eventual.  So this is a message to two different groups of people:  First the righteous should not be  concerned that the evil prosper.  Their reward is coming, and the recompense for their evil will arrive at God’s appointed time.  Second, the evil should not glory in their evil, saying that there is not punishment or payment for sin.  Instead, they should repent and come under the hand of the Lord in humility, rather than in humiliation.

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