Summary: This is a study into Job chapter twenty one.
Jewels From Job
Job – Chapter #21
Job chapter 21 could be outlined:
1. Job wants to be heard. (verses 1-6)
2. The good life of the wicked. (verses 7-16)
3. God’s view of the wicked. (verses 17-26)
4. Future judgment of the wicked. (verses 27-34)
1 Then Job answered and said: 2 "Listen carefully to my speech, And let this be your consolation. 3 Bear with me that I may speak, And after I have spoken, keep mocking. 4 "As for me, is my complaint against man? And if it were, why should I not be impatient? 5 Look at me and be astonished; Put your hand over your mouth. 6 Even when I remember I am terrified, And trembling takes hold of my flesh. Job 21:1-6 (NKJV)
JOB WANTS TO BE HEARD
Job speaks again. Remember that Zophar has just spoken and has told Job that the wicked will perish. Job would agree with this statement. The wicked will perish. Job however feels that he is suffering – not because of his sin – but unjustly. Again the theology of the day is that when a person suffers it is due to their own sinfulness – God does not allow suffering to come upon the innocent.
In verse two – in the Hebrew the same word is used twice at the beginning of the sentence. It could be translated: “Hear, hear to my words.” or “Listen, listen to my words.” Barnes translates it: “Hearing hear” - that is, hear attentively. What Job was about to say was worthy of their solemn consideration.
One of the greatest problems in communication is not speaking – it is listening. We need to move beyond what is being said to get to the meaning of what is being said. “Hearing hear.”
In verses two and three Job makes a request that his friends listen carefully to him. “Let me speak - without interruption.” But he also believes that after he speaks they will keep on ridiculing him. He will give them solid arguments but they will mock him anyway.
Job says that his complaint is not against man – it is against God. If his complaint was against man – he would have every right to be impatient. By now other men would have answered him. Other people he could talk to face to face. This is not the case with God. You can pray to God – but it up to Him when He will answer. As severe and cutting as the words of Job’s friends were, what troubled him much more was that God seemed to be treating him as if he were a great sinner. He could not understand this. He was perplexed and troubled by the mysterious dealing of God. Job thought his friends aught to listen patiently to what he had to say.
The last part of verse five is saying: “Put your hand over your mouth and listen.” Putting the hand on the mouth, or the finger on the lips, is still the token of silence.
Job believes that if his friends would consider his situation, from his point of view, they would be astonished – to the point that they would say – “Wow!” Job goes on to say, “As I think about this I am shocked! My knees begin to shake.” The Message Bible says it this way, “When I look back, I go into shock, my body is racked with spasms.” Job 21:6 (MSG)
7 Why do the wicked live and become old, Yes, become mighty in power? 8 Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God upon them. 10 Their bull breeds without failure; Their cow calves without miscarriage. 11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance. 12 They sing to the tambourine and harp, And rejoice to the sound of the flute. 13 They spend their days in wealth, And in a moment go down to the grave. 14 Yet they say to God, ’Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. 15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’ 16 Indeed their prosperity is not in their hand; The counsel of the wicked is far from me. Job 21:7-16 (NKJV)
THE GOOD LIFE OF THE WICKED
Here is Job’s observation of the wicked:
1. The wicked live long lives and become old.
2. The wicked become powerful.
3. The wicked see generations of their descendants with their own eyes.
4. The wicked feel safe.
5. God’s punishment is not upon the wicked.
6. The wicked’s livestock is always fertile and productive.