Pondering Job in a Pandemic – Chapter 24

Chapter 24 is the second part of Job’s reply to Eliphaz. Here, Job replies directly to Eliphaz’s claim that the wicked do not prosper.

Essentially, Job says – “really! Look around, I can give a long list of examples of the wicked who seem to prosper in this life and go to their death with no apparent consequences.”

When reading and pondering through Job one chapter at a time, we run into repeated themes. Of course repetition is good for us. We rarely learn something after only hearing or seeing it once.

Job doesn’t say everything that needs to be said about this here. More will be said by Job and in the book of Job on this topic. More is certainly said in the Bible on this topic – the suffering of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked.

One thing significant here, is how Job began. He began this reply in chapter 23 not chapter 24. He began by looking to God and then looking around him. As a result you’ll notice his tone doesn’t sound as despairing as in previous speeches.

Job doesn’t present an answer here to what he sees as he looks around him and observes the real world. The real world doesn’t match Eliphaz’s description in the least. The real world is full of those who reject God and yet seemingly prosper with no real negative consequences in this life.

Yet this observation here doesn’t lead Job to despair. Partly, because he has already (in chapter 23) fixed his eyes on God and confessed his trust in God’s purifying purpose in his life.

This is an excellent model for us to follow. The Bible does not teach us to close our eyes and ignore what we see. Living by faith and not by sight implies that we do, in fact, see but deliberately choose not to base our understanding of what is ultimate and ultimately true solely on what we see.

Faith and trust in God, His nature, His character, His work for us in Christ provides us all we need to live, entrusting ourselves to Him precisely while we observe the world in which we live with all of its points of confusion.

Soli Deo Gloria

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