Job 21

Job 21 has Job responding to Zophar’s discourse.  Job doesn’t think anyone is listening.  The accusations and arguments have continued to come exactly like they started the first time.  “Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.”  He has no reason to think any of that will change but he’s going to continue to tell his story.  Job does make it clear that he’s been listening to them, even if they aren’t returning that favor.  The hardness between Job and his friends continues to build.

Job makes it clear that his complaint is with God.  “As for me, is my complaint against man?”  This is a spiritual battle, not a medical crisis, an economic crisis, a social crisis, or a family crisis.  He is not contending against flesh and blood but rather a spiritual enemy.  Job tries their reason and makes the case that if it was possible for a wicked man to be seemingly blessed, then perhaps also a righteous man like Job could seem to be cursed.  “Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power”?

He calls out the many blessings that seem to come to the wicked even though they reject God.  Guzik says it is impossible to miss the contrast here. All the advantages that many of the wicked seemed to have, Job was deprived of.

  • Job is the man whose descendants were cursed and not established.
  • Job is the man whose house was subject to fear.
  • Job is the man with the rod of God upon him.
  • Job is the man whose livestock has perished.
  • Job is the man whose children no longer dance.

Job knows that wickedness is never ultimately rewarded and is always punished in the end.  But it doesn’t come fast enough.  He was suffering in the now, and yet the wicked at times did not and their ultimate wrath comes to a future generation.  Job questions the ways and wisdom of God in not bringing judgment sooner upon the wicked man.  And Job is clear that the words of his friend are no comfort.  “How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

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