“Surely He would not stretch out His hand against a heap of ruins, if they cry out when He destroys it. Have I not wept for him who was in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? But when I looked for good, evil came to me; and when I waited for light, then came darkness. My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest; days of affliction confront me. I go about mourning, but not in the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help” (Job 30:24-28).
As Job finishes his discussion with his three friends, to God he says, “"I cry out to You, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You regard me. But You have become cruel to me; with the strength of Your hand You oppose me. You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride on it; You spoil my success. For I know that You will bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living” (Job 30:20-23). Job had been searching for God to give him answers as to why all these terrible things have happened to him, but God has been silent. Job doesn’t understand it has been Satan who has been attacking him in an effort to turn Job from following God (Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5). Job believes his death is near and God will soon bring him to the “house appointed for all living (i.e. the grave).
As the opening verses above indicate, what appears to distress Job the most is the apparent injustice of all that has happened to him. What Job’s friends thought was Job had committed some great sin and God in His justice was punishing Job. They thought Job wanted to escape God’s justice for his supposed sin! In fact, Job welcomed God’s justice! Job said, “"If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor's door, then let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down over her. For that would be wickedness; yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment (Job 31:9-11). Job wasn’t trying to run from God’s judgment; He was desperately searching for it: “Let me be weighed on honest scales, that God may know my integrity” (Job 31:6).
In what Job thought would be his final words to his friends before he died, he cries out that after he dies, justice would occur, and Job would be shown to have been faithful to God. Job was at the point he did not think he would get justice in this life. He hoped justice would occur following his death.
Justice doesn’t always occur in this life. The babies who are murdered by abortion don’t get justice in this life. The people who die in terrorist bombings don’t get to see their murderers convicted in a court of law while they are still alive. God’s people cry out for justice even after they are dead: “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed” (Revelation 6:9-11).
Today, I acknowledge God’s justice doesn’t always happen on my timetable. Like Job this can create a lot of frustration in me if I allow it. I believe with all my heart God is just (Romans 3:25-26) and He will execute judgment one day for all men (Matthew 25:31-46). Today, I will strive to live in a way that I will welcome that Day of Judgment and not want to run from it!
“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).