Though wicked men seem sometimes to be under the special protection of divine providence, even dying without any disgrace, yet God keeps account of all their wickedness and will some day make it appear that their most secret sins, which they thought no eye saw, were under His eye and will be called over again.
1 Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?
2 Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.
3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
4 They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.
5 Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.
6 They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.
7 They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold.
8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.
9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.
10 They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry;
11 Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst.
12 Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.
13 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.
14 The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.
15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.
16 In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
17 For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.
18 He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.
19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned.
20 The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.
21 He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow.
22 He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life.
23 Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways.
24 They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.
25 And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?
Job 24:1-25 – J. Vernon McGee
Job 24 – Not Here, but Hereafter
Job laments that the times of punishment are not so explained by God, that those who know Him may see and understand His reasons. He then turns to describe the life of the ungodly, who do dark deeds with apparent impunity. A very sad catalogue of crimes follows. The oppression of the needy, the driving away of the ass of the fatherless, the taking of the widow’s ox for a pledge, the frequenting of the wilderness, the plunder of caravans regardless of the claims of pity, the stealing of oil and wine from those who had labored to produce them, the murdering of the poor laboring man at the dawn, the commission of crimes at night—such are the iniquities which are described. And these crimes are still committed in so-called Christian lands. Wonderful that God should bear with us, but His long-suffering would fain lead men to repent. It is only after long forbearing and trial that He cuts down.
In his closing words, Job 24:18-21, Job quotes the opinion of his friends as to the condition of the ungodly, that they pass away swiftly as the waters, and are snapped as a branch of a tree. And, in opposition, he states his own view, Job 24:23-25, that they die in exalted positions, not by a painful and lingering death, but as corn in the maturity of the ear. This also is true. Wicked men do not always meet their deserts in this world. In the next world penalty is inevitable. —Through the Bible Day by Day
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23 ____________ it be __________ him to be in ____________, ______________ he ______________; yet his ________ are upon __________ ________.
Job 24:24—For a little while, but are gone.
Job here describes the insecurity of the wicked. He may have raged against the poor and innocent; but in a moment he comes down to Sheol, is hurried to stand before his Maker to receive his sentence. As he had treated the poor, so he is treated. As he had devoured the houses of the innocent, so he is devoured. “How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image” (Psalm 73:19-20).
For those who fear God there is a greatly contrasted lot. They receive a kingdom that cannot be moved. Zion may be a desolation, and Jerusalem a wilderness; the holy and beautiful institutions in which their early religious impressions were made may crumble; but they are come to the heavenly Jerusalem. The removing of those things that are capable of being shaken only makes more apparent those which cannot be shaken.
Where do you build your nest? In the trees of this world, that sway in the tempest, or may be hewn down by the woodman’s axe; or have you learned to build in the clefts of the Rock of Ages? Is your treasure in human friendships, which may change or be cut in twain by the sharp shears of death; or is it in the love of God, the unchangeable and everlasting Lover of souls? Let us look off from ourselves; from that diseased introspection that so confuses and dims our life; from the old fears that made us tremble and the old matters of which we must speak no more. And let us look upward and forward to that near future, which is so much larger and better than the past has been, and where we shall attain more than the heights of our dreams. —Our Daily Homily