Job 21:7 “Why do the wicked still live, continue on, also become very powerful?”

Observation: Job was responding to the angry arguments of his friend Zophar.  Zophar had made the claim that a wicked man’s prosperity is brief: “The triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless momentary” (Job 20:5). “He does not retain anything he desires” (20:20). “The increase of his house will depart; his possessions will flow away in the day of His anger” (20:28).  Job argues the opposite: that the wicked often prosper. “Why do the wicked still live, continue on, also become very powerful? Their descendents are established with them in their sight, . . . Their houses are safe from fear, and the rod of God is not on them” (21:7-9).

Application: There is transitory truth in what each of these men was saying.  Ultimate truth reveals both men to be shortsighted, focused on outward appearances while ignoring eternal realities. They argued over irrelevancies, trying to make their respective cases based on examples discerned through their natural senses. 

Such shortsightedness is not uncommon even today. I consider men and women in positions of great affluence and influence and aspire to be in their shoes, all the while smugly assuring myself that, if given the chance, I would use such privilege better than they. Or, I may view down-and-outers as having missed God’s best and think to myself that my “better” life would never lead to such needy circumstances. But the ultimate scorecard is His, and in its writing He will not consult the latest Forbes’s ranking of billionaires; He cares not a bit for blueblood titles. Being recorded in the Lamb’s Book is not guaranteed for Nobel winners nor denied because of the abject poverty in which most of the world lives.

Only one question matters: “What have you done with My Son?” It is my personal answer to this query that creates my destiny. While Job and Zophar argue irrelevancies, God simply asks, “What have you done with My Son?”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I confess I have been guilty of looking at outward circumstances and from that, judging the heart. How wrong that is! Forgive me, Lord. I’m thankful that You look upon men’s hearts, including mine, to lead me into eternal reward. Keep me near You today.