The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; He covereth the faces of the judges thereof: If it be not he, who then is it?Job 9:24 ASV
If one accepts the ancient view that whatever happens is God’s will, because he allows it; and reasons from this view that God actually does all things that are done, then Job was profoundly correct in his statement here that God had turned the world over to the wicked, that the crooked judges had no regard for justice, and that the innocent and the guilty alike perish together in the great scourges that have plagued humanity.
A flood, an earthquake, a deadly epidemic, a tornado, or the wholesale destructive bombing of a great city – all of these are bona fide examples of the innocent and guilty perishing together without discrimination. With this observation, Job completely destroyed the basic argument of his friends. What is wrong with the theory? It is false.
Modern men, as well as did Job, have trouble accepting such facts as those just cited. And the definitive answer to the problem lies in the existence and malignant activity of Satan.
The evil one was responsible for what happened to Job; and there’s many a disaster today that must be laid squarely at the feet of him who is viciously angry with mankind, “Knowing that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12). It is amazing to us that so few of the writers we have consulted take any account of the true source of Job’s wretchedness.
“The helpers of Rahab do stoop under him” (Job 9:13). The reference here is to an ancient Babylonian myth. “Rahab here, like the dragon in Isaiah 51:9 is the ancient mythological name of Tiamat, the original Chaos, whom God conquered in the Creation.”
In Hebrew literature it was sometimes used as a synonym for Egypt. However, “Ancient allusions to mythology by the sacred writers no more implies their acceptance of such myths than does John Milton’s allusions to classical mythology imply his acceptance of it.”
Job’s argument here is that, in spite of his certainty that it is not his wickedness that has resulted in his distress, he nevertheless feels that he is too weak to contend with God about the matter. `If great dragons like the helpers of Rahab were utterly crushed and destroyed by God, how could any mortal man hope to contend with God, regardless of the justice of his case’?
“In his heart, Job is still convinced that he has wrought no evil; but he will not say so.”
The great marvel is that even in the bitterness of his bewilderment, he nevertheless clings to that integrity from which Satan was powerless to remove him. Job must be hailed indeed as that faithful man who trusted where he could not see.
Van Selms wrote that, “God, yes, God is the cause of all these wretched conditions. If he is not, then what is he? A God who cannot rule the world? Are not all things that happen on earth the effects of his will”?
Philosophical observations such as this betray a fundamental ignorance. God gave unto men the freedom of the will; and therefore, when evil men will to do that which is contrary to God’s will, they are, of course, permitted to do it. It was that freedom of the human will that led to Adam’s election to forsake the government of God and accept in the place of it the government of the devil.
The scholars who do not understand that, will never be able to make any sense out of Job. Due to Satan and to wicked men who follow him, countless things contrary to God’s will occur constantly. Yes, God could prevent such things, but not within the context of the freedom of the human will.