Job 21-22

Job 21-22

Chapter 21: The Wicked Sometimes Prosper in this Life

Job begins his address to Zophar and his friends…

“Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on” (Job 21:3)

                Job goes on to explain that the wicked sometimes prosper in this life, Job’s crisis was fundamentally spiritual in nature, much more than being a medical crisis, an economic crisis, a social crisis, or a family crisis. His struggle was against God, and he wondered were God was in the midst of this very dark time.

Job speaks out about the wicked who prosper in this life; “They spend their days in wealth… Therefore they say unto God; depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? (Job 21:13-15)

                Sometimes the wicked do prosper in this life, but with the judgment that will be waiting for them after this life. Job asks an important question; “Ho oft is the candle of the wicked put out…” (Job 21:17). In Job’s rhetorical question, he would answer “Not often enough.” And it would do Job no satisfaction to hear that the judgment would instead come upon the wicked man’s descendants.

Job acknowledged that wickedness was never ultimately rewarded and was always punished in the end. The problem for Job was that it never seemed soon enough that wicked would drink of the wrath of the Almighty. Job suffered in the now, and many of the wicked did not.

I can’t tell you how many times I have felt this exact way… why, if I am doing good, are those who are not seem to be rewarded? It is difficult to swallow at times, but God knows what is going on and will reward the just in His own time and way.

Chapter 22: Eliphaz Accuses Job of Sinning

This begins a third (and shortened) round of debate between Job and his three friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar.

Eliphaz begins by attacking Job’s character. Eliphaz essentially asks Job, “What good is he to God?” –  “Can a man be profitable unto God…” (Job 22:2)

Eliphaz heard all of Job’s anguished outpourings to God, and seemed to think that Job simply thought too highly of himself. He wondered why Job thought he was so special, so profitable to God and why he thought God owed him so much.

Eliphaz goes on to describe Job’s great wickedness.

“Will he reprove thee for fear of thee?” (Job 22:4) or essentially; “Is it because of your fear of Him that He corrects you?” Eliphaz pressed the point home to Job. Surely, the catastrophe that came upon Job (which Eliphaz lightly called a “correction”), did not come because Job feared God; it came because Job’s wickedness was great and his iniquity was without end.

Eliphaz goes on to insult Job’s intelligence, by asking him; “Is not God in the height of heaven?” (Job 22:12). Eliphaz instructed Job in the basics of theology, he thought that because Job would not admit his error, he must be fundamentally wrong in his understanding of God. So he begins with the basic idea of the might, majesty, and sovereignty of God.

Eliphaz, after having insulted the very wisdom and knowledge of Job, boldy asks him to; “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace; there good shall come unto thee… If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up…” (Job 22:21-22). This was great advice for Job, assuming that the problem was sin in Job’s life. Yet we know (on the basis of Job 1-2) that this assumption was wrong, and therefore the advice was wrong.

 

2 Chronicles 15-16

2 Chronicles 15-16

Chapter 15: Judah Shall Prosper

The spirit of God came upon Azariah, who was the son of Oded. Azariah goes to meet Asa and he says to Asa, Benjamin and all of Judah; “…The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” (2 Chronicles 15:2)

“Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.”  (2 Chronicles 15:3-7)

Without the true God, and without an authorized representative of God, the people were without law. When the people turned away from God bad things happen and even in their lowest state, if they turned to God, he would turn back to them and restore them, and lift them back up!

Upon hearing this, Asa takes courage and removes the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from all the cities that he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim. He restored the altar of God. In the third month and in the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign they made an offering to the Lord of 700 bulls, 7,000 sheep and with this they entered into a covenant with the Lord to seek him with all their heart and soul. Anyone who did not seek the Lord would be put to death. The heart of Asa was loyal all his days and he brought good things into the house of the Lord. There was no war until the 35th year of his reign.

Chapter 16: Asa Lacks Faith

In the 36th year of Asa’s reign, Baasha the king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah. So Asa takes gold and silver from the treasury of the house of the Lord and sends it to Ben-Hadad, who is king of Syria with a message for him to make a treaty with him. So that he would have to break a treaty with Israel and cause them to withdraw.

So, Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and made a treaty with him and caused that his armies go against the cities of Israel; Ijon, Dan, Abel Main and all the cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard this, he stopped building the city of Ramah and fled. Asa, took all of Judah and carried away the materials in Ramah and used them in the building of Geba and Mizpah.

At the same time a seer by the name of Hanani comes to Asa and says to him; “…Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not elide on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the King of Syria escaped out of thine hand…” (2 Chronicles 16:7)

Because Asa did not rely on the Lord, he failed to see that the bigger enemy was actually Syria and not Israel. God would have helped him and even wanted to give Asa that victory and glory.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

So if we turn to go, with a pure and perfect heart, he will show his strength to you. But because Asa did not rely on the Lord, he was foolish and wars would follow. Because of the Seer’s message, Asa was angered and throws him into prison. Asa also oppressed some of the people. The rest of the acts of Asa are written in yet another LOST BOOK of the Bible. He reigned for a total of 39 years. Asa became diseased in the feet and he did not turn to the Lord, but instead to the physicians, Asa dies. He is buried in his own tomb, in the City of David.