As Job begins, in essence he says that no matter what, his friends’ accusations against him will not wear him down. As long as he lives, he will maintain that he has been a man of integrity.
Have you ever been in an argument or debate with someone who just won’t give it up, and you finally just say, “Fine! Have it your way!” just to get them to let it go? Job is not prepared to do that in this case, because the argument is over his integrity. One’s integrity is worth defending, especially if the people attacking it are people who matter to you.
The last thing he wants is to be thought of as unrighteous. In this translation, the word used is godless, but in the King James it is hypocrite, and Job considers this to be the worst condition a person could be in. And of course it was the religious hypocrites that Jesus spoke most loudly against.
It should be said that at this point, Job is seen as taking the upper hand with his friends. He is now taking the role as an instructor, and he is telling them how it is instead of defending himself.
And so he tells them that he agrees with their point that the ungodly will be judged by God, and all their supposed gains will evaporate and their sins against others will not stand. But he tells them that God’s judgement is not always immediate, that it can take time for their consequences to come down on them.
I was actually having a discussion in this vein just last night with my former pastor. I mentioned on yesterday’s show that he spoke at my church last night. During his message, he was remembering a couple of his closest friends who have now gone on to be with the Lord. The three of them had a habit of going to coffee every morning, and Pastor Bennett was saying how much he missed those mornings, and he liked to think that his two compandres were waiting for him to join them in Heaven so that they could resume their morning ritual. The two of his friends have been gone now for about 8 years, and I told Pastor Bennett that whenever their reunion takes place, it will seem as if no time at all had passed, because our time on earth is really just a flash when compared to eternity.
And so the time that we perceive between when the unrighteous do their evil deeds and when the consequences come is really no time at all in God’s perspective. We don’t perceive time like He does. One thing is sure; sin always has consequences. God is just, and He will make things right.
I’m so glad that this is true, because the world has seen an awful lot of ugliness. But the victims of that evil will be made whole. We are told in Revelation 21:4 that God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.”
That is a promise that every believer can rely on. Throughout history, God has proven Himself faithful. He always delivers, he never fails. And this promise is made to those who put their trust in Him. It’s a part of the gift that is offered to anyone who makes the choice to take a new direction in their life, instead of the direction that inevitably leads away from God and toward the consequences of wrong choices and living for one’s self instead of the One who offers life.
We all make wrong choices, but we don’t have to face the consequences if we decide to accept God’s gift that is made available through Jesus, who lived His entire life without making one wrong choice. When we accept that gift, the Bible says that the perfection of Jesus is credited to us. It’s a gift. We don’t earn it, we can only just receive it. And it is offered to every person, not just the “good” person, or the “bad” person. Not just the educated person or the uneducated person. Not just the rich or not just the poor. It is offered to all. Because every one of us need it, if we want to see God. Jesus came that none would perish, but that all would go in a new direction.