Job 27- 31 The Wicked and the Wise

After Job constantly responded to his friends that all of his suffering was not because of his sin they became silent because they no longer had an argument that would sway him to think like them.

Read Job 27:1-6

Everyone of Jobs friends accused him of being wicked (11:14,20;15:16,20; 18:5, 21-22; 20:5,9;22:18,23) but Job knew that others had sinned more than him and they did not suffer anything because of their sin. In fact those that do not care about the things of God  seemed to live healthy and wealthy lives despite all of their sins.

God was breaking the mindset that if you follow God it will mean you are always blessed on this earth and if you sin then you are cursed. Jesus would later battle the same mentality when He appeared on earth with the religious leaders and we have to battle that mentality today.

So what is the hope we have in following God? Why should we obey God if we are going to suffer more than those who do not follow God? In these chapters in Job we are given some insight into why we should obey God and what will happen to those who chose not to obey God.

1)   The Wicked

A)  Have no hope when they die

Read Job 27:7-9

Job says that when the wicked die that God will no longer hear from them. It will be like in the days of Noah when God warned and warned the people for 120 years to repent of their actions and then one day God shut the door of the Ark. (Genesis6-7) When the door of opportunity is shut then the cries of the wicked will be in vain because God will no longer allow them to have a chance to turn from their wicked ways. No one knows when their door of opportunity will shut so it is crucial that you do not wait to give your life to Christ.

John 10:9  I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

This does not mean that as soon as we follow Christ that all our problems will go away the pasture we are promised is in Heaven.  We are promised to escape the wrath of God that will come upon the wicked who do not trust in Jesus Christ.

B)  Lose everything when they die

Read Job 27:19

The wicked have no hope of building anything up for eternity because what they have accumulated on earth will be gone forever. This is the opposite of what Jesus promises those who follow Him.

Matthew 6:19-20 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

As Christians we have the opportunity to take things with us for eternity. They will not be material possessions but what we give up here on earth we will be rewarded with for all of eternity. We can actually make deposits in eternity by the things we do here on earth because everything we do here that is for God will be deposited into our eternal account. For all eternity we will enjoy not only God, even though that is enough, but we will enjoy the extra rewards He will give us.  There is nothing that we sacrifice here on earth, for eternal purposes, that we will regret in Heaven.

C)   Face punishment for eternity

Read Job 27:20-22

The storm that comes quickly that is also a punishing storm again refers back to Noah’s Ark.  The wicked will suffer for all eternity because they refused to believe in Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 2:4-9 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell[a] and committed them to chains[b] of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;[c] and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,[d] and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,

 

Because people refused to accept the free gift of Jesus Christ while they were alive on earth they have chosen to accept the wrath of God for all eternity. This may seem unfair but as Jonathan Edwards said, “The Reason we find Hell so offensive is because of our insensitivity to sin.”

2)   The Wise

Job is a book of wisdom and we are given insight into how God and the creation He created works. Knowledge and wisdom are not the same thing although they are closely related because wisdom is the right use of knowledge and not just a gathering of information.

A)  Seek Wisdom

Read Job 28:1-11

Not much has changed from when Job wrote about mining till today because they have to go to unpopulated areas and dig down into the dark to find the treasures. Job says that we go after Gold and silver and we labor and we search the darkest areas of the world and we need to do the same with wisdom. Mining is difficult and scary work but the benefits were worth it.

B)  Know Wisdom is found in Fearing God

Read Proverbs 28:12-15, 23-28

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Many Christians have lost their reverence and respect for God because they  have made God someone who we talk to when we need something and we expect Him to give us what we want. We no longer serve God because He is God but we serve Him for what He can do for us. We no longer care about eternity and the things that really matter and we focus more on this life and what we can get out of it.

Psalm 31:19 says that  God stores up goodness for those who fear Him.

The fear of God is simply having a reverential awe of God and therefore doing what He says.

C)   Take sin seriously

Reverent fear of God is going to be lived out in obedience because it is taking sin seriously and doing everything we can to get rid of it.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Job defends himself by listing all the things that he did for the glory of God and how he stayed away from sin.

1. Lust (Job 31:1-4)

Job said “is it not ruin for the wicked” which is similar to what Romans 6:23 says when it say that the wages of sin is death . Our lives are to be lived for God and for His glory and when we selfishly live how we want by ignoring Gods commands we suffer the consequences for it.

2. Deception  (Job 31:5-7)

We call some things “white lies” because  it is not a total lie but we lead people the wrong way by not being fully  truthful with them. God hates lying and He hates when people are deceivers.

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Are you black and white in your business practices or in how you treat others?

Matthew 5:37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

3. Adultery (Job  31:9)

Job is saying that he has been faithful to his wife and not deceived or drawn in by another woman. The verse goes on to say that children are the ones who suffer and that this sin is like a fire that grows out of control. Many issues we are facing today can be directly linked to the breakdown of the home which is a result of our marriages.

4. Injustice (Job  31:13-15)

We need to treat everyone as equals because we will all give an account to God. Job with all his wealth did not look down on anyone and knew that everyone was a creation of God no matter their status in this life. Job did not care what color they were, where they were born or even what gender they were because he knew that he would give an account to God for how he treated everyone.

5. Un- Charitableness (Job 31:16-20 and 23 )

Eliphaz accused Job of this sin 22:7-9. Job 31: 23 tells us again that Job knew he would give an account to God for not only how he dealt with people but how he handled the money he was given.  God did not give you your wealth for you just to keep it for yourself but He gave it to you to manage and bless others with it. Job would say later in 31:31-32 that he always gave food and shelter to people.

Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

6. Materialism (Job 31:24-25)

The love of money and possessions is a sin we can all easily fall into because we feel we just need a little more because we are never content with what we have. We tend to put our trust in money more than we put our trust in God.

7.Idol worship (Job 31:26-28)

We have a tendancy to worship other things besides God. Job was talking about worshiping the sun but in his book “gods at war” Kyle Idleman  list things like achievement , success, romance, family, food and even yourself as gods we can worship. Anything can become an idol in our lives if we place them above worshiping God.

8. Mean Spirited (Job 31:29-30)

Job said he did not even want his enemy to fall which is something we all have to watch in our own lives.

Proverbs 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,

Our tendency is to praise God for His justice when our enemy falls  instead of offering a cold cup of water to the one who is suffering. Romans 12:20 says we should love our enemy and by doing so we bring shame to how they treated us. We should never wish something bad to happen to anyone no matter how they treated us.

9. Secret Sins

Job had nothing to hide  and like a business person who discloses their taxes or a person who says to search their computer history Job was an open book. Job lived a morally upright life that even God acknowledged and so he was able to say that he had nothing to hide. We need to live our lives in such a way that we have nothing to hide.

10.Sins against the earth (Job  31:38)

Job knew he was given a responsibility by God to the earth (Genesis 1:28) and how he treated it would one day be questioned by God.  Being a good manager of the land is being a good manager for God.

Closing

The Wicked may seem like they are succeeding here on earth but one day they will reap the judgement of God. As believers the wrath of God has been taken away from us because Jesus died in our place. If we are going to get the wisdom we need then we have to live in reverential awe of God and that means taking every sin seriously. Job was given wisdom in his day that no one else had.  We always want wisdom from God but are we willing to get rid of our sins in order to hear clearly from God? The wicked live for themselves but the wise seek to honor God in every area of their lives.

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