Read: Job 21, 22; John 4
They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’ Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? The counsel of the wicked is far from me. (Job 21:14-16)
Job again defends himself before his “miserable comforters” who call themselves friends. As these words are spoken, it seems to nee that they are specifically directed at Zophar following his attack of words against Job. He claims the wicked will suffer in much the same way Job has suffered.
Yet Job states that sometimes the wicked prosper, not only does their wealth multiply, but the children live well and ultimately receive an abundant inheritance when their evil father dies in peace. It is as if Job looks at Zophar and says, “You’re a wealthy old man who has stored up much wealth for your family, but when your life is over, are you really so confident of your righteous standing before God?”
Job says, the wicked say to God “Depart from us. We do not desire the knowledge of your ways.” These are not actual words spoken; few would be so brazen as to verbalize such a rejection of the LORD. However, the actions of the wicked speak louder than words, a life of disobedience and rebellion echoing through heaven.
God not only sees how the wicked live their lives and hears the words they speak, but the LORD also knows their motives and secret thoughts. God looks deeper than any man can see; we judge by outward appearances, but God judges the heart.
We might say that Job tells Zophar, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.” If we are going to know the truth about a person we cannot base our thoughts on mere appearances. Just as it takes time to read a book to make an accurate judgment, so to we must look deeply and across the span of a man’s life to know the truth about him.
It has been said that just because someone attends church does not make them a Christian any more than living in a garage makes you a Cadillac (or a Ford or any other car of your choice). One is not known to be righteous or evil just by looking at the cover; you have to take the time to turn some pages.
The last year has been hard and I’m sometimes tempted to judge people based upon the last “page” or “chapter” of their life than the previous chapters I know about them that more fully defines the person he or she really is. I must guard my heart and not make quick judgments based only on appearances or worse my feelings. Instead I need to be careful to examine all the evidence and perhaps look back and review some forgotten pages that help define the truth of who a person is.
Yes to Yield
LORD Jesus, forgive me for making hasty judgments and even at times hardening my heart. I don’t want to be judged based upon a single moment, but desire to be known for the person I am. Thank You LORD, that You know me completely. Your grace has covered my sin and made me new. Holy Spirit continue to shape me in the image of Jesus; empower me to live in obedience to His word in all I do and say.
And LORD, thank You for the blessings You have given to me and my family. I recognize that all we have belongs to You. May we be faithful to use the material possessions in our control as You desire.