The Truth About Judgment
April 22, 2019
The world is filled with darkness. Even things that seem to be good at one point in time, can manifest some difficult characteristics later in time. In this regard, the Bible teaches that the devil can make himself appear as an angel of light. Though the Lord is supremely in charge of all things, the devil does have authority over this world for a time, making things exceptionally difficult. Often times, it can seem as if darkness has utterly consumed light (though this is not so). Often times, it can seem as if injustice is supreme. Often times, it can seem as if wickedness is the chief standard that thrive in this world. In fact, there are several instances in scripture where God’s people pleaded to Him, wondering why the wicked seem to prosper. Many people throughout the Bible have questioned why things are the way they are. Thankfully, the Lord is not afraid to answer these questions. He provides candid responses to explain how He deals with darkness, wickedness, injustice, and evil.
The testimony of Job is one of the places where God explains Himself, but through the mouth of His servant Job. In an effort to explain his innocence of the hypocrisy his friends accused him of, Job gave an incredible discourse to explain how God ultimately works with the wicked. If Job were wicked as his friend accused, he would be dealt with in the manner that he described. Job’s point was that, since he knows how God deals with the wicked, he knows the consequences the wicked will experience, and is thus, afraid to deal with those circumstances, and is highly charged to abstain from wickedness. In the testimony of Job 27:11-23 Job told his friends that he would provide simple explanation of how God deals with the wicked.
Job began his discourse about the wicked, letting his friends know that he would instruct them about the truth of evil in this world. Job’s introduction to the subject shows how important it is to pay attention to the teachings of God’s principles, no matter who the teacher is, so long as they are teaching true standards according to God’s Word. Though Job’s life was in a pitiful state at that time, it did not hinder him from speaking truth about God. No matter his physical appearance or the difficulty of his circumstances, Job was a man prepared to speak truth. Thus, those who seek to hear truth should not be concerned about the appearance of the teacher. Since all people deal with difficulty to some degree, the personal circumstances of a teacher should not prohibit their instruction if filled with the Spirit. Likewise, the personal circumstances of the teacher should not deter people from hearing that which the Lord will speak through that teacher. The integrity of God’s Word is not compromised by the appearance of the messenger.
This is why Job said that he would not conceal anything that God had revealed to him. God was gracious to reveal His truth to Job even in spite of his physical condition. Though Job suffered greatly, he was still afforded the opportunity to speak truth. Job understood the special treasure that was given to him by God, and so was a responsible servant and steward of that treasure to share it with others. In this way, Job was like the wise man that took the goods of his master and multiplied them to the glory of the master. This shows that those who have received God’s truth should be responsible to share that truth with others when the opportunity arises. Though Job’s friends didn’t ask Job to share these truths, Job took the opportunity, being ready in and out of season, to correct errors that were previously stated about God, and to ensure that those who were willing to listen for a time, knew the truth about the principles of God’s righteousness.
Job began by explaining that, things aren’t what they seem. The heritage of the wicked might seem to multiply and go on forever, but the manner in which that heritage exists isn’t all that great. Throughout history, evil dictators and rulers had many children, making it seem as if the wicked are the ones that prosper. However, according to Job, the multiplication of descendants from wicked people only sets up calamity for those later generations. Children are multiplied, making it seem like a blessing, but those children often suffer consequences as they learn to live according to wickedness from their parents. This is not to say that God judges the children of evil people. Every person is accountable for their own sin. Still, when an evil person teaches their children to live as an offense to God, He will ensure that the children pay their fair share of consequences too. Job explained that, though it might seem like the wicked prosper in this sense many children have been destroyed by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. An evil person might have a house full of children, signifying prosperity to onlookers, but death will find every person at some point in time. Many wicked people move on with their lives, but their children are killed through violence. Many wicked people pass on prosperity to their children, but their children are unsatisfied, or squander their inheritance. Many wicked people have managed to keep their children safe during their lifetime, but later those children were swallowed up by some disease or other unfortunate circumstance. The point here is that, God knows how to administer consequences for evil, and since all people will face death one day, He will never miss, no matter how prosperous things might appear for a time.
Job explained that wicked people may seem to pile up riches and resources for a time. The wicked might seem to have access to estates and comfortable living circumstances. Still, God knows how to deal with these circumstances too. Sometimes those riches spoil during the lifetime of the wicked. Sometimes the riches don’t spoil, but the wicked never get to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Often times the rich will increase in material gain, but not in satisfaction, making their riches worthless. All of these consequences are judgments from God. In the end, Job assured his friends that the wicked who happen to prosper in this life, are being dealt with in one way, shape, or form. Their material resources will not last in their hands. Job made a compelling prophetic reference by saying that it is the righteous, the just, the faithful that will one day possess the increase of today’s wicked. Jesus taught through the Sermon on the Mount that the meek shall inherit the earth. Those who are willing to die to self in this life, forsaking the self-righteous things of this world in order to live by faith in Jesus Christ, might be poor and suffer now, but will rule and reign with Jesus Christ in this world for 1,000 years later! Though God’s faithful children suffer now, He will remove the increase of the wicked and give it to those who serve Him. This may happen in this life; it may happen in the next life. Nevertheless, Job was sure to point out the certainty of God’s dealings with the wicked.
Job also explained that there is an eternal consequence that is often coupled with the material consequences of God’s judgment against the wicked. The wicked will lie down in death just like the righteous. However, where Jesus promised that those who believe upon Him will never die, the wicked will face a different outcome. They will lie down in death, but Job explained that they will not be gathered up. They will be a part of the second resurrection in the end, but only to face Jesus in final judgment unto eternal condemnation. Their resurrection is not unto life, but unto the second death! Job explained that, though the wicked will open their eyes to see the results of their death, it will only to be to see the One that judges them unto their eternal suffering. There is no hope for the wicked. There is no second change. The testimony of Lazarus and the rich man found in Luke Chapter 16 shows that God’s judgment of the wicked, and their conscious suffering is final. There is no escape. This is true whether they experience hardships in this life through loss of their wealth or influence, or if they die in material prosperity. Regardless of how their lives appear to end, the matter in which Jesus deals with them in eternity is the same.
Thus, Job concluded that, though the wicked might appear to prosper in one sense, they are weak and pitiful in reality. Whether in this life, or the next, or both, God will deal with the wicked in His time, in His manner, as though the wicked were leaves in the wind. The consequences that the wicked face will be like a storm. They will suffer physical loss, mental anguish, emotional distress, spiritual death, or everything at once based on God’s determination. They will be carried away as by the east wind; swept out of place as dust on a broom. That which appeared to prosper or live in contentment will be washed away as nothing at some point in time. In addition, Job explained that God will make the judgment of the wicked a public spectacle at some point. The shame of the wicked will be exposed to the world so that the world will mock those people, either to their face, or towards their supposed legacy. Either way, God will expose the shame of wicked living. This is sure and true. This is how God will deal with those that oppose Him, that deny His righteousness, or that live as hypocrites. Job’s explanation of these truths shows that he clearly understood that hypocrisy was a great offense against God, and was afraid of suffering such a fate, as we all should be. Though it might seem like the wicked get away with their evil for a time, God has sworn to administrate justice in some manner at some point in time.