Saturday, April 28, 2018

Year 8, Day 118: Job 24

Theological Commentary: Click Here

In this chapter, we get to hear a fairly reasonable complaint from Job.  Ultimately, the complaint puts Job in the wrong.  It puts us in the wrong when we say it, too.  The complaint is understandable.

Job’s complaint is that evil people seem to go unpunished.  The powerful oppress the powerless.  The wealthy find ways to take even more money from the poor.  The people with food hoard it instead of sharing it with the hungry.  The widow goes without a champion.  In all of this, they aren’t held accountable.

This is a human grievance throughout time.  You can go to any culture and hear people speak about this.  You can go to any time period and see this dynamic at work.  It is true in the greatest nations and true in the worst of nations.  It is this dynamic that caused people to create both democracy, capitalism, socialism, and communism.  For the record, this human condition is still present in all of them, too!  We cannot get away from this dynamic within humanity.  Job is correct in recognizing this human dynamic and stating that it is a problem.

That being said, Job takes his argument too far.  Job argues that such a dynamic is allowed to exist by God.  This argument is wrong on two accounts.  First, why is it God’s responsibility to fix our mistakes?  Yes, God does save us and ultimately He does fix our problem with sin.  Just because he does fix it, however, doesn’t mean it was His responsibility!  That’s why we call it grace.  Job is wrong when he lays this problem at God’s feet.

Second, Job is wrong because he lacks an eternal perspective.  God does judge us when we behave according to the manner that Job describes in this chapter.  He doesn’t judge us in the present; He judges us in the future.  There will be an accounting.  There will be a judgment.  That’s why we need God’s grace.  To accuse God of not holding people accountable does nothing except prove our own short-sightedness.  He does hold us accountable; He does it on His own timeline.  Why should God have to do things according to our timeline created by our limited perspective?