Tuesday, April 16, 2013

nocturnal people

There are those who rebel against the light, who are not acquainted with its ways, and do not stay in its paths.
Job 24:13

In an effort to show the absurdity of his friends' absolute theology, Job takes the logic of their arguments to its end and by pointing out exceptions to their neat "black and white" world, hopes to convince them of deeper truth. If indeed God always punishes the evildoer in this life, then it follows that there would not exist any injustice and evil in the world. It would be wiped out. Nobody could stand against God if He immediately wiped out evil as Job's friends insist.

Job shows the exception to their thinking. The very fact that these injustices rage on (Job centers his reasoning on the mistreatment of the impoverished in Job 24:1-12) means that God must delay His justice is some fashion. Job's point then is that the world DOES contain evil people who rebel actively against God's rule in their lives. They are like night-loving creatures of darkness. They prey on the poor. They rob and destroy. They murder and commit adultery. They lie and cheat.

From the viewpoint of his friends there is a problem. This means God must be powerless if this stuff persists. But Job points out that even though God sees their evil, He chooses to wait until death to deal with it (Job 24:23-24). The reality of evil in the world means that God somehow exercises some kind of restraint that lets sinful human wills resist Him until death. The logic of Job's argument is sound. It fits the evidence. If God immediately wiped out evil, absolutely none of us would have a chance to come to him. No human could stand upon the earth.

There are people obsessed with dark sin. They will hurt others in order to make themselves feel good. They will kill for the personal delight in it. They care not a breath for justice as long as they get what they want. That is the result of sin. Not all people are this way, but left unchecked, sin will do this to a culture and to enough individuals within that culture to wreck absolute havoc. People will not stop this until death. And only God's intervention and revelation can show us any way out of the darkness. It is God's light that shows us the darkness in which we live. We won't even see it without Him.

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