Dave Burnette's Commentary

Job Chapter 21

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Unknown, possibly Job, Moses, Solomon, and Elihu
Date Penned: (2000-1800 BC)
Overview: Faith in God's Sovereignty Through Trials (c 1-42)
Theme: Three Friends Answer Job (c 3-31)
Message: Job's Second Discussion (v 1-34)

Job 21 Commentary

(21:1-34) God Sees the Heart - Job refuted Zophar's idea that evil people never experience wealth and happiness, pointing out that in the real world the wicked do indeed prosper. (See Psalm 73 for more on the apparent prosperity of evil people.) God does as he wills to individuals (Job 21:22-25), and people should not use their circumstances to measure their own goodness or God's--they are sometimes related, but not always. To Job's friends, success was based on outward performance; to God, however, success is based on a person's heart.

(21:22) Trust the Lord - Although baffled by the reasons for his suffering, Job affirmed God's superior understanding by asking, "Shall any teach God knowledge?" The way you respond to your personal struggles shows your attitude toward God. Rather than becoming angry or resentful with God, continue to trust him, no matter what your circumstances may be. Although it is sometimes difficult to see, God is in control of everything. We must commit ourselves to him so we will not resent his timing.

(21:29-33) A Future Reckoning - If wicked people become wealthy despite their sin, why should we try to be good? The wicked may seem to get away with sin, but God has a higher standard, and there will be a future reckoning (Revelation 20:11-15). The final settlement of justice will come not in this life but in the next. What matters is how we view God, whether in prosperity or poverty, not the prosperity or poverty itself.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Can the Wicked Prosper?

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Job with Chapter 21. In our text today we see Job replying to the comments of Zophar explaining that in this world the wicked can prosper. In making application we see the same principle today. Some wicked people will prosper here on this earth but that prosperity will end here on earth while those things we do for Christ will last for eternity. I think we all have seen others cheat or be dishonest in business and seem to get ahead but that advantage only lasts a little while what we do for Christ will last forever. How about you ? Are you tempted to follow the world when it appears that they are getting ahead? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Job to remember that even though the wicked may prosper on the earth only things we do for Christ will last throughout eternity.


Job 21

Job 21

 1But Job answered and said,

 2Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.

 3Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.

 4As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?

 5Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.

 6Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.

 7Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?

 8Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.

 9Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.

 10Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.

 11They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.

 12They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.

 13They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.

 14Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.

 15What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

 16Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

 17How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger.

 18They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away.

 19God layeth up his iniquity for his children: he rewardeth him, and he shall know it.

 20His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.

 21For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off in the midst?

 22Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high.

 23One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.

 24His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow.

 25And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure.

 26They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.

 27Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me.

 28For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? and where are the dwelling places of the wicked?

 29Have ye not asked them that go by the way? and do ye not know their tokens,

 30That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

 31Who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay him what he hath done?

 32Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.

 33The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, and every man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him.

 34How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?