Job 21* Job entreats attention. (1-6) The prosperity of the wicked.(7-16) The dealings of God's providence. (17-26) The judgementof the wicked is in the world to come. (27-34)1-6 Job comes closer to the question in dispute. This was,Whether outward prosperity is a mark of the true church, and thetrue members of it, so that ruin of a man's prosperity proveshim a hypocrite? This they asserted, but Job denied. If theylooked upon him, they might see misery enough to demandcompassion, and their bold interpretations of this mysteriousprovidence should be turned into silent wonder. 7-16 Job says, Remarkable judgments are sometimes brought uponnotorious sinners, but not always. Wherefore is it so? This isthe day of God's patience; and, in some way or other, he makesuse of the prosperity of the wicked to serve his own counsels,while it ripens them for ruin; but the chief reason is, becausehe will make it appear there is another world. These prosperingsinners make light of God and religion, as if because they haveso much of this world, they had no need to look after another.But religion is not a vain thing. If it be so to us, we maythank ourselves for resting on the outside of it. Job showstheir folly. 17-26 Job had described the prosperity of wicked people; inthese verses he opposes this to what his friends had maintainedabout their certain ruin in this life. He reconciles this to theholiness and justice of God. Even while they prosper thus, theyare light and worthless, of no account with God, or with wisemen. In the height of their pomp and power, there is but a stepbetween them and ruin. Job refers the difference Providencemakes between one wicked man and another, into the wisdom ofGod. He is Judge of all the earth, and he will do right. So vastis the disproportion between time and eternity, that if hell bethe lot of every sinner at last, it makes little difference ifone goes singing thither, and another sighing. If one wicked mandie in a palace, and another in a dungeon, the worm that diesnot, and the fire that is not quenched, will be the same tothem. Thus differences in this world are not worth perplexingourselves about. 27-34 Job opposes the opinion of his friends, That the wickedare sure to fall into visible and remarkable ruin, and none butthe wicked; upon which principle they condemned Job as wicked.Turn to whom you will, you will find that the punishment ofsinners is designed more for the other world than for this,#Jude 1:14,15|. The sinner is here supposed to live in a greatdeal of power. The sinner shall have a splendid funeral: a poorthing for any man to be proud of the prospect of. He shall havea stately monument. And a valley with springs of water to keepthe turf green, was accounted an honourable burial place amongeastern people; but such things are vain distinctions. Deathcloses his prosperity. It is but a poor encouragement to die,that others have died before us. That which makes a man die withtrue courage, is, with faith to remember that Jesus Christ diedand was laid in the grave, not only before us, but for us. ThatHe hath gone before us, and died for us, who is alive and livethfor us, is true consolation in the hour of death.
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