Job 21:8 Their children are ever with them, and their offspring before their eyes.
Job 21:9 Their houses are free from fear, and the rod of God does not come on them.
These three little verses today caught my attention, you see I was led to Job three days ago and had read Gods answer to Job first. It was then that another verse caught my attention (42:7). In this verse God chides Jobs friends for not speaking correctly about Him as Job had done, yet I couldn't really make sense of that since Jobs friends discourses don't really sound much different than much of what we hear from the pulpit today and much of what I read of Jobs discourse sounded much like an arrogant man defending his position of innocence, claiming righteousness and claiming that an injustice had befallen him, basically judging God as unjust.
At the moment I am using the New Jerusalem Bible for my daily readings and while many protestant churches fault the Catholic church for many incorrect doctrines (who am I to judge fellow believers) a few words had been changed in verse nine that brought the whole book into understanding for me. Those words read “the rod of God is not for them”. Now I could see what God meant when He said Job spoke rightly of Him and the others didn't.
Jobs friends assumed that God judges all men by the same standard and can therefore assume that Job is not righteous, that he did sin and is being punished for it.
As we learned in the covenant with David the Rod of God is for His people that error, and in the New Testament we are told that God chastens those He Loves. So the New Jerusalem Bible seems to have it right here that indeed Gods rod is not for the wicked.
Now, Jesus story about Lazarus and the rich man takes on a new meaning as well as His story of the two men at prayer. While God showers His blessings on all men the wicked seem to get away with their wickedness because they have separated themselves from God so God honors their decision and leaves them to their own devices. Most importantly they have received their reward so when it's over for them it is over, period.
For us believers, when we are out of line we are chastened and if we learn from it we are rewarded not just here but in the life to come.
Oh and by the way, Job never did fault God for injustice as it first appeared to me. When I reread it I finally saw Job was only asking to be informed of just what it was he was being punished for, that in searching himself he couldn't find anything that he had done to bring such misery on himself.
I had also wondered how this book could possibly start with the conversation between God and Satan when it struck me that the writer put this information in at the beginning as a way of introduction when in fact it was information that God gave Job at the end of their conversation thereby answearing Jobs questions.
So what do you think?