Job 24:1 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.
In chapter 24 Job is continuing to answer Eliphaz directly, but he is also addressing the false teaching of all three of his friends. He is countering their lies that the wicked are punished and do not prosper in this life. Job pointed out that this is just not so.
He noted that the ungodly live to see the fruits of their labours. They see their children grow up and do well also.
Job noted that the ungodly do not respect God’s laws. They remove the landmarks. They are thieves and they live off the things that they steal. They abuse the widows and their children. Rather than helping them, they make life more difficult for those who are already struggling. They take advantage of them and try to drive them from the little that they have.
The poor cannot defend themselves against these aggressive evil doers. The law does not deal in truth and thus the poor are left with no recourse.
Job describes these ungodly people like the wild asses that have no boundaries. They roam where they want to and they eat where they want to. They will take from the hay that the farmer puts up and they will wander through the fields and eat what the farmer has planted. In a similar manner, these ungodly take from those who labour to provide for their families. They do quite well with their theft and abuses. There is no justice to stop them from their abusive ways.
These wicked people do not care that some one has planted a crop. They just come in and take what they want and even though they live in the wilderness where crops do not grow, they live quite well off of the hard work of honest people.
Job knew this from personal experience. Criminals had come in and plundered his possessions. They were working under the direction of Satan and he does not care about anyone but himself. His goal is to destroy God. He will never succeed in that. He will be cast into the lake of fire without any recourse.
In verse 7 Job continued to note that the wicked cause others to live in nakedness while they live well off of their thefts. They do not care that they have deprived good people of their ability to keep warm in the cold. They are very selfish and care nothing for others.
Job noted that the wicked can be very selfish and very heartless. They take the good that others have and abuse that for themselves and if they need more, they just go out and get it.
Job proved these arrogant friends of his that they were completely wrong in their philosophy.
We know today as well that there are many people who live quite well off the backs of the poor people. We know that there are many politicians who care nothing for the needs of the common people. They raise taxes and they make sure they get their increases every year and their perks throughout the year. They do not care that there are people living on fixed incomes that cannot keep their houses warm in the winter and have a hard time keeping food in the cupboards. Rent costs have become quite a challenge for many, but the politicians just smile and lie and promise big things while they steal from the people with their ungodly policies.
God never intended that people should be dependent upon the government for their survival. God intended for people to live off the land and work hard and provide for their own as well as have to help others with. A godless society puts their trust overwhelmingly in government due to its rejection of the true God. Those who trust in God live a much different lifestyle than the ungodly.
We know that king Solomon placed the people under such a heavy tax burden that they pleaded with Rehoboam to lessen their tax burden. They were finding life difficult and that was not God’s design for man. Rehoboam foolishly listened to the younger men who grew up with him and he promised to make life even more difficult for the people. This caused a revolt and ten tribes separated from him and became the northern nation of Israel.
We know this was God’s will as a punishment to Israel for the sins of Solomon and for their willingness to follow his sinful ways. Rehoboam was not innocent. He proved to be just as ruthless as his father. God humbled him over time.
Job’s point was that it was not true that the wicked suffer and struggle in this life. They oftentimes prove to be cruel and they take advantage of those who walk in the fear of the Lord. The righteous, such a Job, need to be reminded that bitterness will not solve anything. Job needed to understand that the fact that he knew the true God was worth more than all the things the ungodly could take from him. He had an eternal home of rest while the wicked would spend eternity in torment in hell. Job seemed to lose sight of that fact for a time and he wanted God to answer him and show him what the reason was for his difficulties. He would learn that God was far bigger than he was and that he should just calm down and trust God to show him His power and authority. When Job understood God’s greatness in a fuller manner, it changed his attitude toward what he was facing. He was struggling, but he had no right to blame God for his struggles. He needed to draw nigh to God and trust Him to do His Work in His time.
Job pointed out that the philosophy of Eliphaz and his friends was full of holes. It just was not true. There were far too many examples of evil people doing well at the expense of the humble. Eliphaz would prove unwilling to hear Job’s reasoning. False teachers are too proud to admit they are wrong. They just try to shut down those who would question that faulty logic. However, the godly can take refuge in the true God and find help.