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Chapter 24 (ESV)

Posted on June 03, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 24 (ESV) - Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty,
    and why do those who know him never see his days?
Some move landmarks;
    they seize flocks and pasture them.
They drive away the donkey of the fatherless;
    they take the widow's ox for a pledge.
They thrust the poor off the road;
    the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert
    the poor go out to their toil, seeking game;
    the wasteland yields food for their children.
They gather their fodder in the field,
    and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.
They lie all night naked, without clothing,
    and have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the rain of the mountains
    and cling to the rock for lack of shelter.
(There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast,
    and they take a pledge against the poor.)
They go about naked, without clothing;
    hungry, they carry the sheaves;
among the olive rows of the wicked they make oil;
    they tread the winepresses, but suffer thirst.
From out of the city the dying groan,
    and the soul of the wounded cries for help;
    yet God charges no one with wrong.

“There are those who rebel against the light,
    who are not acquainted with its ways,
    and do not stay in its paths.
The murderer rises before it is light,
    that he may kill the poor and needy,
    and in the night he is like a thief.
The eye of the adulterer also waits for the twilight,
    saying, ‘No eye will see me’;
    and he veils his face.
In the dark they dig through houses;
    by day they shut themselves up;
    they do not know the light.
For deep darkness is morning to all of them;
    for they are friends with the terrors of deep darkness.

“You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters;
    their portion is cursed in the land;
    no treader turns toward their vineyards.
Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters;
    so does Sheol those who have sinned.
The womb forgets them;
    the worm finds them sweet;
they are no longer remembered,
    so wickedness is broken like a tree.’

“They wrong the barren, childless woman,
    and do no good to the widow.
Yet God prolongs the life of the mighty by his power;
    they rise up when they despair of life.
He gives them security, and they are supported,
    and his eyes are upon their ways.
They are exalted a little while, and then are gone;
    they are brought low and gathered up like all others;
    they are cut off like the heads of grain.
If it is not so, who will prove me a liar
    and show that there is nothing in what I say?”

Question to consider: Why do people choose to sin under the cover of darkness?

In the second half of today’s chapter, Job summarized the ideas set forth by his friends, that the prosperity of the wicked is short-lived and cursed by God. They may be exalted for a little while, but God makes sure that they leave no legacy on the earth.

If that was the case, however, Job wanted to know why the Almighty never seemed to bring about these times of judgment? Why were there those who loved God and yet never saw days of prosperity? Job then went on to give concrete examples of the actions of the wicked: they moved the border markings to fraudulently extend their land, they took the animals of the orphan and widow, they allowed people to toil on their behalf but failed to care for their workers, and yet God did not bring them to account for their actions.

Beyond those who mistreated their neighbor were those who were children of the night. They were thieves, murderers, and adulterers who performed their abominable acts under the cover of darkness. None of them seemed to face judgment for their crimes. Job then ended the chapter by challenging his friends to prove him wrong if things weren’t as he described.

The promise that was given to the Apostle John was that the New Jerusalem in Christ would have, “no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.” (Revelation 21:23-27)

We know from the book of Hebrews that Christ is reigning from this New Jerusalem right now in heaven (Hebrews 12:18-22). The promise given to John was that one day, this heavenly city would fill the earth, and death and darkness would be no more. I wish that Job had been given this assurance in the midst of his suffering, but the full revelation of God’s redemption plan could not come until after Christ had victoriously brought it about on the cross.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of resurrection in Christ. Help us to remember this promise as we face the attacks of a world set in rebellion against You so that we can stand firm in the righteousness of Christ. Amen.