Are the Good Punished?

Behold, God will not reject a blameless man, nor take the hand of evildoers.
Job 8:20

There are many examples of a bad character that appears to get away with evil while a good character is punished even though he is innocent.

A favorite story of mine about this is the plot in the movie The Count of Monte Cristo.

count_of_monte_cristoFernand Mondego and Edmond Dantés are friends. But when Edmond tells Fernand of his intention to marry Mercédès – a woman Fernand lusts after – Fernand plots to have Edmond falsely arrested and imprisoned for life on a remote island in the Mediterranean Sea.

At first it appears that Ferdand gets away with this crime. Edmond is imprisoned and Ferdand marries Mercédès.

Now, that’s the epitome of injustice.

And since I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story, I’ll recommend you rent The Count of Monte Cristo starring Jim Caviezel.

The question of justice is on the minds of Job’s three friends.

In Job 8, another of Job’s so-called “friends” speaks to him.

I really don’t know why I’m calling these guys his “friends.”

Job’s children – seven sons and three daughters – have just been killed in a tornado.

Here’s what Bildad says to grieving Job:

“If your children have sinned against [God], he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.”

Wow. Just, wow.

Bildad goes on to make his case that only the sinful and evil suffer in this world.

If you suffer, you have sinned. If you don’t suffer, it is because you are righteous.

Oh, if only life were so simple!

But, alas! It is not so simple.

It is true that sometimes evil people are punished and righteous people are rewarded.

But it is also true that sometimes innocent people are punished even though they did nothing wrong and guilty people get away with doing something wrong.

Job is the poster boy for this latter truth.

Job’s “friend,” Bildad, doesn’t believe that, however.

Sometimes good people suffer. Sometimes bad people get away with being bad. But the Book of Job was not written to try to explain why.

Instead, the Book of Job makes us confront the question, “Why do the righteous believe in God?”

When Bildad says that God will not reject a blameless man nor take the hand of evildoers, he’s kind of right but also misses an important aspect of it.

God will accept us as blameless but only because we have faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was the blameless man that God did reject, on the cross.

But the rejection of Christ was our salvation! That’s why Jesus was born, lived, and died, in order to take our sins away.

Without faith in Christ, we continue to be evildoers, and God will not “take our hand” if we reject Christ. Evildoers may get away with it during this lifetime but they will not in the hereafter.

The Book of Job can encourage us to never give up our faith, never give up on God. He will not reject us and that is because we are blameless – because of Jesus Christ!

©2017 True Men Ministries

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