TEXT: JOB 21:1-21.
🔑KEY VERSE “Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?… They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave” (JOB 21:7,13).
Often, in our haste to pass judgement on people who may be going through confounding situations, we jump to wrong conclusions about them. We argue that if they are suffering adversities, then their sins must be great. We believe that God punishes people according to the magnitude of their transgressions. But God is not a man; He may, in His sovereign, permit evil people to prosper more than believers.
This was the point Job sought to convey to his friend, Zophar, who had concluded that because he was in great distress, his sins must have been so great. He indirectly condemned Job without any evidence that he was a sinner. But in his stout rebuttal, Job reminded him that the wicked do enjoy long life, acquire and exercise mighty power. Their businesses flourish and yield huge profit, their houses are filled with the sound of music, and their days are spent in great wealth. Spared of instant judgement, they push God aside and “desire not the knowledge of [His] ways”. They neither recognise God as sovereign or are they prepared to serve or pray to Him. While he stressed that “the counsel of the wicked is far from me,” he was not oblivious of the fact that eventually, the wicked will experience the wrath of the Almighty.
God is a God of justice !
He allows the wicked to access free air just as He allows the righteous. Matthew 5:45 says, “…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” Good things also happen to bad people!
We must be hesitant in passing judgment on others. Not everyone who is going through adversity is suffering the consequences of sin. However, those who are paying for their wrongs done should repent immediately and ask for forgiveness because, one day, God will come hard on sinners with fiery judgement.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Sinners who take God’s magnanimity for granted on earth, will face His judgment in eternity.
BIBLE IN A YEAR: JUDGES 1-4.
Reject wrong philosophies of life
- The poverty and pain of the wise (spiritual) vv1-6.
a. The righteous suffer because of his backsliding, sins or unbelief?
*This is not true in all cases. Examples are Job, Joseph, and Jesus.
*At times it is true. Lucifer, Adam and Eve, the nation Israel, etc are examples.
*A suffering righteous person will know when his problem is due to disobedience or from the devil. Job knew that his conscience was clean even though the public (his friends) did not know vv3,19.
b. Righteousness and poverty are synonymous.
*This is a satanic doctrine believers should vehemently reject in their lives.
*God promised His children prosperity 3 John 2, Philippians 4:19.
*Jesus became poor (literally) so that we might become rich (literally) 2 Corinthians 8:9.
*There are rich people in the Bible who were truly righteous. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Philemon (who was rich enough to own a slave called Onesimus) are examples.
c. It is not easy to be righteous and wealthy at the same time.
*There are a lot of temptations that go with wealth and it takes a man of strong consecration to God to overcome I Timothy 6:8-11.
Q What are some of those temptations?
Believers’ consecration: Righteousness and heaven, a must, wealth or no wealth.
Why is this the best consecration?
- The prosperity of the wicked vv8-14.
a. The wealthy and powerful, including their family members, are secured and happy even though they are unrighteous? vv7-12.
*Why do many of them commit, including their family members, suicide?
*Why do they invest heavily on security?
*Why do they, many a time, divorce, or even maim and kill, each other?
*Does external show of happiness necessarily translate to true inward peace and happiness?
*Why the rampart high blood pressure among the rich?
*”No peace for the wicked” according to the word of God Isaiah 48:22.
Jealousy of their wealth is also jealousy of their woes.
b. The wicked will prosper better in this life than the righteous?
NO! Except that the wicked will be willing to compromise the truth and sell their souls so as to gain the whole world while the righteous will take heaven as a priority above all else Mark 8:36.
- The punishment of the wayward vv15-21.
a. No inward peace Isaiah 48:22.
b. Sudden death, sudden loss, sudden humiliation vv17,20.
c. Sorrow of heart although covered with a hypocritical show of happiness v17, Proverbs 10:22.
d. His generations will reap the reward of his wickedness v19.
e. His labour became wasted by strangers (at times his family due to in-house quarreling) after his death v21.
Godliness with contentment is a great gain both now and in eternity I Timothy 6:6.
Lord, I praise Jesus for dying for my earthly blessings and comfort too
Pray that heaven will break every wall of poverty and wretchedness in your life
Pray that your ambition will still be focused on heavenly things above all else
Ask for the blessings of Abraham to be enforced on every member of the Church
HYMN Turn your eyes upon Jesus
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conqu’rors we are!
His Word shall not fail you, He promised;
Believe Him and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!