Job 21:3   Bear with me while I speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.

Job continues to contend with his ‘comforters’, and in this chapter he tries to get them to see that their major premise is flawed and therefore their conclusion is nonsense and falsehood: “So how can you console me with your nonsense?  Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!” (34).

[The syllogism which has been the basis of all their ‘logic’ is:
Major Premise: The righteous prosper and the wicked suffer;
Minor Premise: Job is suffering;
Conclusion: Job is wicked.’ – QED]

Job’s own observation, which any traveller will confirm (29), is that there are many wicked people who are going from strength to strength!  Vladimir Putin is a good current example for us!

So the important lesson Job is teaching us here is that we don’t have to win arguments with opponents of the truth – God’s truth stands firm for itself regardless of paltry human efforts to undermine and deny it.  I am encouraged by the verse in Faber’s hymn, ‘Workman of God, O lose not heart’ which says: “Then learn to scorn the praise of men and learn to LOSE with God; for Jesus won the world through shame and calls you to his road.”

We should always seek opportunities to state our case clearly (cf 1 Peter 3:15 – “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, …”), but we need to leave the convincing and convictin to the Holy Spirit.  In the meantime, we need not be perturbed if the mockers mock on!  We can save ourselves a lot of anxiety, frustration and anger by adopting Job’s approach, and just letting God’s truth and his Word defend itself in the power of the Holy Spirit.
– Bruce Christian