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Why Do the Wicked Prosper? (Job 20:1-21:34)

Robert E. Bell, 04/28/2019
Part of the Job series, presented at a Sunday Morning service

Today's scripture is Job 20 & 21. The eleventh sermon in Pastor Bell's "Job" series.

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Job 20:1-21:34

1Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, 2Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste. 3I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer. 4Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, 5That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? 6Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds; 7Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he? 8He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night. 9The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him. 10His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods. 11His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust. 12Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; 13Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: 14Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him. 15He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly. 16He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him. 17He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter. 18That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein. 19Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not; 20Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired. 21There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods. 22In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand of the wicked shall come upon him. 23When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating. 24He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through. 25It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him. 26All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle. 27The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him. 28The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. 29This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God. 21:1 But 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? (KJV)

Robert E. Bell
About Robert E. Bell: Born in Toronto, Ontario, Bob grew up in Rhode Island where his father pastored the same church for almost 50 years. The oldest of five sons, Bob attended Philadelphia College of Bible and graduated with a B.S. degree in Bible and Christian Education in 1973. He earned his M.A. in Christian Ministry from Wheaton College Graduate School in 1974. After marrying, Bob and his wife Melody moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His first full-time church ministry was at Westminster Presbyterian Church where he served as the assistant-to-the-pastor and later as an elder. Daughter Alison arrived in July 1977 and son Andrew in March of 1981. In August of 1981 the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri where Bob enrolled in Covenant Theological Seminary and graduated with his M.Div. degree in 1984. While in seminary he served as the Church Administrator while their church was without a pastor and then worked as an Admissions Counselor for the Seminary. Their son Aaron was born soon after graduation. Bob has since served churches in Ruston, Louisiana and St. Peters, Missouri. He has been the pastor of Aisquith since December 1994. His two oldest children are married and live in the Baltimore area. He and Melody have seven grandchildren.
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