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Good in Death

Written by The Colson Center - Worldview Bible on . Posted in The Colson Center - Worldview Bible

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Good in Death

Job 21:27-33
“Behold, I know your thoughts
and your schemes to wrong me.
28 For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’
29 Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
and do you not accept their testimony
30 that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity,
that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
31 Who declares his way to his face,
and who repays him for what he has done?
32 When he is carried to the grave,
watch is kept over his tomb.
33 The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
all mankind follows after him,
and those who go before him are innumerable.”

The Story: Everybody knows, Job says (29), that the wicked have it good in death. No one stands beside their death bed telling them what wretches they have been, or how bad they are (31). None of those they have harmed are attacking them as they descend into Sheol (31). People prepare nice tombs for them and keep watch over them, trimming the grass and placing fresh flowers on them (32). The ground receives them, after entourages of mourners have laid them to rest (33). Job’s friends can’t even extend him the common courtesy the wicked receive when they are near to dying. If the “clods of the valley are sweet” even to the wicked, what does that suggest about these three “clods” who are being so wicked toward their “friend”?

The Structure: It’s possible that Job’s biting repudiations of his friends’ counsel is wearing them down. Or maybe they’re just giving up hope of his ever hearing them. Zophar, at least, has given up. But they’ll all be done soon, their unwise counsel thoroughly rebuffed and rebutted. Then perhaps we can move on to some better advice?

Is Job following the Golden Rule in his responses, as he says he wished his friends would do (6:25; 16:4, 5)? Why or why not?

Job
For a deeper look at the book of Job, order Carol A. Newsom’s
The Book of Job: A Contest of Moral Imaginations from our online store.

The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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