Job 21:1 But Job answered and said,
2 Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.
3 Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.
4 As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?
5 Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.
6 Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.
7 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?
8 Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.
9 Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.
10 Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.
11 They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.
12 They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.
13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
14 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.
15 What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?
16 Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
Job needed to put up with many false accusations in the context of this book. We are not told how much time elapsed during this part of Job’s life. We can learn much of how the ungodly think and we can also learn how easy it is for those who are God’s children, to become discouraged. We can also see how important it is to have some good friends who can help the saved person when he or she is down.
In the opening verses of chapter 21 Job again pleaded with these men to listen to his words. Thus far they had dismissed all that he had to say. They were convinced they knew how to help him and they were becoming quite perturbed that he would not accept their bad counsel.
In the end of verse 3 Job again reminded these men that they were not helping him. They were mocking him.
The Hebrew word translated as “mock on” means “to deride, or to speak unintelligibly.” It is true that these men were seeking to deride Job and it is also true that they were not speaking intelligibly. They were not giving wise counsel.
In verse 4 Job reminded these men that his complaint was not with men. He was not blaming men for causing his troubles. He knew that what was happening to him was far greater than what men alone could do to him. He assumed that God was causing the trouble, but he did not know why.
Job wished that his friends would seriously take note of what Job was facing and then he wanted them to shut their mouths. They were not speaking truth and thus it would be better for them to just keep quiet. Of course, they would not listen to his advice. They were not suffering as Job was and thus they assumed they had all the answers and Job should listen to them.
We learn from this book that it does not help to try to beat around the bush and try to be “nice”. The truth needs to be spoken. These three men had nothing worthy to say and they needed to know that. Job was frustrated with his lot and God would address him in a very straightforward manner as well.
In verse 6 Job stated that he was afraid when he thought about what all had happened to him. He realized just how little control he had over his circumstances. He had sought to walk in the fear of the Lord. He had tried to be faithful to God and yet he faced all this trouble.
It is important for us to understand that we are but dust. James tells us we are as the flower of the grass which lasts for a very short time. It is good to be reminded of just how fragile our life is. It is good to walk in the fear of the Lord. We need Him to guide us. We have very little control over our lives. That is why it is so important to know the Lord, the only One Who Is in charge.
Job was facing some trouble, but he was still under God’s protection. His three friends were living in relative peace and comfort for the moment, but they were out of touch with God. Job was in a far better place than they were, even though the human mind might not agree with that.
In verses 7-16 Job observed that the wicked do quite well. They get to live and get old and gain places of power. They do not deserve it, but they seem to do relatively well. The reality is that none of us deserve any blessings. We do not even deserve to live. We can have many blessings if we choose to listen to God and get saved.
Job noted that the wicked seem to enjoy good success on many fronts. Their families seem to be well. They prosper and life seems to be very good to them. From a humanistic approach, the wicked would look at themselves and reason that they were much better off than someone like Job.
The apostle Paul was directed to remind us that not many “wise” men get saved. The ungodly look at life from a materialistic way. They look at things and degrees and bank accounts. They cannot understand why a person would choose to live a godly life and “miss out” on so much.
Many times the ungodly do better than the righteous, humanly speaking. What many people do not see is eternity. This life is so short. Any person who has ever been to a funeral knows that the person in the coffin has no say on anything from the moment of death. Even if they make a will, that can be disputed and changed if those involved want to waste their time doing so.
Eternity is much longer than the few short years we spend on this earth. Our flesh wants to enjoy life here. The problem is that often times we do not even know how to define enjoyment. We think partying and entertainment and frivolous things are true enjoyment. If we stop and assess things, we find that most of the things we invest so much time and energy into, are actually quite short lived.
Job did not appreciate the time he was in. However, he was learning some important lessons during this time. He would learn more when God began to answer him. Job’s three friends revealed the detrimental nature of self-righteousness. They did not see it themselves, but Job did. We can see it as well if we will let God open our understanding.
In verse 14 we see that the wicked have little or no time for God. They do not want Him in their lives. More than one person has stated that if we could just get rid of religion we could all live peacefully. We have a P.M. that is trying to dismiss God. Do you think our country is more peaceful under his dictatorship than it has been before? If you do think that way, you are delusional. If you think any of the other parties have something better to offer you are also delusional.
In verse 15 we see that the wicked see no reason to serve God. Job called Him the Almighty, which He is, but the wicked do not see it that way. They wonder what benefit they would have in praying to God.
Again, looking through the foggy lens of humanity, the wicked only see what they want to see. If they have money and can travel and do the things they want to do, what more is there to life? They do not see the trouble that comes from living in a vacuum and raising children in a vacuum. They cannot see the benefit of seeking to know the true God and raising children to know Him. Every person must choose life for themselves. Few will do so. It is still not a waste of time to know the true God and seek to influence others for the good. Heaven is not the default destination of man. Hell is. A person must choose life now in order to have heaven as their home.
In verse 16 Job insisted that he would not be a part of the mentality of the wicked. He did not want that philosophy in his life. He knew that even though he was suffering, he still had more good going for him than the wicked do. He knew he was better off than his three friends.
The devil wants to keep people in the dark. He does not want people to see the big picture. He wants people to think that they can live for themselves and in the end everything will be good. He does not care if people think there is a heaven, as long as they do not pursue the truth. He has many perverted ideas about heaven that he passes on to the lost. It is amazing to listen to lost people talk about their heaven. It is sad that people can be so delusional.
God’s truth is available. God’s way is the only way of blessing. Don’t be deceived into thinking that your life will end different even if you do not follow God’s way. Take the time to know the true God and serve Him. This world cannot provide the blessings that God has in store for His children. Eternity is a long time and spending it without God is the greatest tragedy any person could face.
Choose life and take the time to get to know the true God better each day.