Pictures of Secret End Unpunished Evil-Doers
Job 24:13-25
They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.

I. THE MURDERER AND THE ADULTERER. (Vers. 13-17.) A class of the wicked different from the foregoing is now placed before us; rebels, revolters against the light, who refuse to know anything of the ways of light, and to abide in its paths. These are the "children of darkness," so emphatically contrasted in the New Testament with the "children of light" (Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:8, etc.; 1 Thessalonians 5:5). Before the morning breaks, the murderer rises, to strike down the poor and needy, and at night he carries on the trade of the thief. The adulterer waits for the dusk, and veils his face (Proverbs 7:9). In the darkness houses are broken into by men who have shut themselves up during the day - men who have no affinity with the light, as the description repeats (ver. 16). To these malefactors the dense darkness is their morning; for then, when others sleep from daily toil, their vile work and trade begin, "because they know the terrors of the gloomy darkness' (ver. 17), being as. familiar with them as others are with the bright daytime. The joyous consciousness, the cheerful spirits of the children of the light, are contrasted with the fear, the anxiety, the incessant terrors of the children of darkness. Conscience, that makes cowards of all, will not suffer the most hardened to escape. "Certain dregs of conscience' will remain even in the most imbruted; the murderer will start at the shadow of a falling leaf. When the light that is within a man has become darkness, the very blessed day itself is turned to night. In their revolt from God, the eternal Light, they carry about night in their bosom, and all their terrors are present to them in the brightness of the day (Matthew 6:23; John 11:10).

II. JUDGMENT ON THESE EVIL-DOERS; ITS CERTAINTY. (Vers. 18-21.) They pass away swiftly as upon some gliding flood (Job 9:26; Hosea 10:7). His portion in the land being cursed - either by men or by God, or by both - the wicked man no more bends his steps to his vineyard and his other beloved possessions. Then - a powerful comparison - as dryness and heat carry away the short snows of winter, so the sinner evaporates as it were into hell (Psalm 49:14; Psalm 21:9). Forgotten by a mother's womb! Deserted even of the most tenacious affections the human heart can know, worms make a dainty repast upon his flesh. He is like a blasted tree upon the heath, or a felled trunk in the forest (Job 19:10; Ecclesiastes 11:3; Daniel 4:10). For he was rotten at the core; the heart of kindly affections was eaten away; he had plundered the childless and dealt cruelly with the widow.

III. JUDGMENT, THOUGH CERTAIN, IS DELAYED. (Vers. 22-24.) "God maintains the tyrant for a long time by his power," does not execute judgment at once (Isaiah 13:22; Psalm 36:11; Psalm 85:6). Although the oppressor is sometimes in despair of life, yet he rises up and flourishes again. God grants him safety, and he is supported, and God's eyes are upon his ways to protect and to bless. But it is for a little while only that this recovery and this security last - then they vanish (Genesis 5:24). Oppressors are bowed down, perish, pass away like ears of corn. Conclusion of Job's address. "If it should not be so, who will punish me for lies, and make my speech as nought?" It is a triumphant expression of his superiority, maintained in these lessons of experience on the incomparable dealings of God in the destinies of men. Because sin seems unpunished, it is not forgotten. Retribution is certain, though it may be delayed. The "treacherous calm" is more to be dreaded than the "tempests overhead." The greater the forbearance and the long-suffering shown by God towards the wicked, the more severe their punishment in the end. - J.

Parallel Verses
KJV: They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.

WEB: "These are of those who rebel against the light. They don't know its ways, nor stay in its paths.

Light Used Figuratively
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