-Job offers some confusion in his speech through this chapter where he is contemplating what he sees God doing in the world he lives in. To Job, at this point in his life, God has ignored many of the wrongs on the planet and not taken up for people in misery. He asks first of all, “Why are times not stored up by the Almighty, and why do those who know Him not see His days?” This is a biblical contradiction in fact in the mind of an imperfect-depressed man (Daniel 2:21, 2 Peter 2:9). He then remarks on what he perceives the wicked men getting away with. He sees them removing landmarks (corruption), seizing and devouring flocks (stealing), driving away the donkeys of orphans (thieves), taking the widow’s ox for a pledge (conniving), and pushing the needy aside from the road (ruthless). The poor, Job says, are left to only hide themselves from these evil men. The destitute are left like wild donkeys in the wilderness going back and forth seeking food as scavengers for their children. They do slave labor for the wicked wealthy, and they end up spending the night naked, without clothing or covering, in the cold. These poor are wet with mountain rains and hug the rock in desperate want of a shelter. Then, Job returns to his expose of the wicked. They snatch orphans from the breast, and take pledges against the poor. In other words, they do people exceedingly wrong. Again, they don’t care if the poor go about naked without clothing, and they take sheaves from the hungry. Within walls, the poor produce oil for those they are indebted to. They tread wine presses, but they thirst. In other words, they are given no benefit from their labors. Job wrongly surmises, “From the city men groan, and the souls of the wounded cry out; yet God does not pay attention to folly (Job 24:1-12).” God actually does pay attention (Psalm 33:13-15; 94:11).
-Job continues on with his observations of the wicked. They are called rebels against the light, and they do not want to know the ways of light, nor abide in its paths. They are murderers who rise early in the morning to kill the poor and the needy. At night, they are like thieves, stealing away and pilfering. He mentions the adulterer, whose eye waits for twilight saying, “No eye will see me.” He disguises his face in his brazen acts of unfaithfulness. While it is dark, the wicked dig into houses and shut themselves up by day. Sounds kind of like an underground type of rebellion here, much like what we see with the organized crime outlets in diverse places in the world today. They are secretive and terroristic, not coming out to expose themselves to the righteous. In Job’s words, “They do not know the light.” Job goes on concerning the wicked, “For the morning is the same to him as thick darkness, for he is familiar with the terrors of thick darkness (Job 24:13-17).”
-One final stanza in this chapter furthers the marks of the evil ones and a possible recompense by the Father. Job calls them “insignificant on the surface of the water.” Their portion is cursed on the earth, and these wicked men don’t care to have stability, like planting a vineyard, where it takes work and sustained effort. Job sums them up like this in poetic language: “Drought and heat consume the snow waters, so does Sheol those who have sinned. A mother will forget him; the worm feeds sweetly till he is no longer remembered. And wickedness will be broken like a tree. He wrongs the barren woman and does no good for the widow (Job 24:18-21).” However, a contrast takes place as Job now focuses on the attributes of the LORD to correct this situation. God drags off the valiant by His own power. When He arises, no one has assurance of life. While the LORD provides the wicked with security and support for a season, His eyes are on their ways (see how Job has contradicted himself compared to earlier statements, refer back to Job 24:1, 12). They are exalted for a little while, but then they are wiped out, gone. They are brought low and like everything, gathered up as the heads of grain to be cut off. Job finishes with a bold assertion, “Now if it is not so, who can prove me a liar, and make my speech worthless (Job 24:22-25)?”
-*Application* God does pay attention to folly even though He is patient with the wrongdoer to bring them either to their: 1) full extent of an evil end, or 2) a chance for turning and redemption. We have all seen people, who prospered for a while as corrupt-vile creatures, finish with a climatic, cataclysmic, and infamous demise. We have also observed the heart-tugging and uplifting stories of those who started in sinful fashion only to repent and finish with a faithful flourish. God doesn’t give up on people. He calls out to them as long as they have breath. Even the Islamic terrorists who are wreaking havoc on the world’s stage these days can have a conversion and come to Christ, clean and freed from all the effects of sin and the crimes they’ve committed in the afterlife. Think about the thieves on the crosses beside Jesus, two men, two destinies, which illustrate this point beautifully (Luke 23:39-43).
Verse to Memorize: Job 24:23