Showing posts with label Judgment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Judgment. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Merged into the Mob

It’s kind of breathtaking watching the news these days, isn’t it? So much mass craziness in such a little time!

Of course, there’s the hysteria surrounding COVID-19. First, we were told it was all a racist plot, then that it was an international pandemic, then that we were all going to die, then that we all had to wear masks ... or not ... and then go back to work and school ... then not ... that there will be a cure ... then that all cures are poisons ... that the economy is collapsing ... then that it must collapse, so we can all stay safe.

Who do you believe? Which side do you choose? What do you support? What do you do?

Friday, March 15, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: The Discipline of Discipline

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Immanuel Can: The only verse in the Bible that everyone today seems to know is “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

Tom: Sounds about right.

IC: Okay, so that verse seems to people to be conveying something important. Maybe it needs some closer examination.

Tom: Fair enough. Well, it seems to me there’s an obvious incentive on the part of those who use it to rebut any potential critique of their own behaviors — or the behaviors of those for whom they choose to be advocates. I mean, quoting a verse to an unbeliever would carry no weight at all, so it’s clearly a device to disqualify dissenting Christian opinion and shut down any debate before it begins.

It’s saying to you and me, “Aha, see, you’re not allowed to have a view on this.”

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Reasoning About Reasons

Years ago, I sat on a civil court jury. A fellow had incurred a fatal injury and his family was looking for monetary redress from a panoply of defendants.

The duty assigned to me and to my fellow jurors was first to assess the evidence and determine if, in fact, there was any blame to be allocated. But the job was a great deal subtler than that. If we determined that something or someone was to blame for this man’s regrettable demise, our second task was to allocate responsibility between the guilty parties, using a number for each culprit less than and totaling 100 (say, for example, 50% to the victim, 25% to his employer and 25% to the company that leased the equipment on which he died).

Apparently, basic math was a prerequisite for jury duty. Who knew?

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Anonymous Asks (281)

“What’s the difference between legitimate criticism and the kind of judgment Jesus condemned?”

Judge not, that you be not judged,” said the Lord Jesus, providing critics of the Christian faith with their all-time favorite verse, which they translate into something like “Never form an opinion about how we live or what we are doing, and definitely never express one.”

Well, we know the Lord didn’t mean that. He also said, “Judge with right judgment,” so the first verse is manifestly not intended to be taken as a blanket statement.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Things NOT Done in the Body

One night in my late teens I found myself facing a temptation that is probably better not described in excruciating detail. Let’s just say it was a temptation common to young men. The other party was ready and willing and very much to my taste, there were no adults around to complicate matters, the situation was intimate and comfortable, and there was every natural reason to carry right on with what was already well underway.

For reasons I was unable to adequately spell out at the time, I didn’t. I’m not sure there’s a heavenly reward for that exactly, but I can tell you without even a shred of doubt that I did save myself a great deal of earthly emotional distress, guilt, ongoing complications and probably several courses of antibiotics.

If you must know, I blame my parents for that one. There’s probably a reward coming for them, if not for me.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Passing Thoughts on Fred Phelps

Nearly nine years have passed since Fred Phelps went to meet his Maker, and it’s fascinating to observe how abruptly and extensively the acceptable bounds of public discourse have narrowed in the interval. Homosexuals are far from the only identity group it is no longer permissible to criticize, and many other subjects are now off the table. Still, more than a few of the thoughts expressed in IC’s post from 2014 remain relevant. — Tom

Fred Phelps, notorious pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas has died at age 84. I doubt many people are ready to cry much about that. According to The Independent, he rose to national notice after becoming the subject of the Louis Theroux documentary The Most Hated Family in America (2007). But for most, he is the man remembered for showing up at the funerals of dead homosexuals to exhibit a sign reading “God Hates Fags.”

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Bedsheets, Breeches and Bema

“The unexamined life,” said Socrates, “is not worth living.”

Well, he didn’t actually use those precise words, but that’s how it’s been quoted since — in books, on coffee mugs and t-shirts, and in the common memory. The essence of his words has remained, even if the particulars are a bit sketchy.

How seriously ought we to take that? True, he’s called the Father of Philosophy, and he was notoriously smart. But the guy wore bedsheets, and died a long while ago. How seriously can you take a guy dressed in bedsheets?

Monday, September 26, 2022

Anonymous Asks (216)

“Why did God kill Ananias and Sapphira for lying?”

The first eleven verses of Acts 5 tell the story of Ananias and Sapphira, two married professing Christians in the early days of the first church in Jerusalem. As we find out at the end of the previous chapter, these early Christians were in the habit of sharing “all things in common” in the sense that they sold excess possessions and properties and gave the proceeds to God by laying them at the feet of the apostles, who ensured they were distributed to believers in need.

The Part and the Whole

Ananias and Sapphira conspired to enhance their good name among the believers by pretending to do the same. They sold a piece of property, kept back part of the proceeds of sale, and brought the rest to the apostles, representing it as the whole amount. All of this may be inferred from Peter’s rebuke of Ananias: “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal?” Challenged independently of one another, Ananias and Sapphira stuck to their lie and were stricken in some miraculous way. The text says they fell down and breathed their last.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

It’s Official ...

It’s easy as pie to find information about the number of women sitting as members of the 44th Canadian Parliament, especially those who ran as candidates for the victorious Liberal Party. Depending on the website you browse, commentators are either delighted so many of the fairer sex were elected last September or outraged that more women were not. So far as I know, the question that so perplexed US Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her hearings (“Can you define the word ‘woman’?”) has not been raised to any of these ladies, let alone have they been asked to nail down their preferred gender identity.

We Canadians may have bought into the Social Justice program hook, line and sinker, but the websites that celebrate or lament the sexes of our MPs are still running a little behind.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Straight Talk

Some years ago, Dr. Gordon Marino, the ethicist, wrote an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education called “Before Teaching Ethics, Stop Kidding Yourself”.

In this article, Marino complained of the cottage industry of posers and pseudo-experts we have today who dispense advice to us about how we ought to conduct our moral lives. Ethics, he argued, are not so much a matter of specialized knowledge as of ordinary people doing what they already knew to do.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Judgment and Discernment

Christ’s followers are forbidden to judge. He warned them against it, saying if they did they must expect the same measure would be used with reference to themselves. He then exposed the hypocrisy involved in professing concern about a speck in another person’s eye while ignoring the plank in our own.

I have a dear friend who I have every reason to believe is a devoted follower of Christ. Discussions with Rick have sometimes touched on the danger he believes is involved in coming to conclusions about other people, as to whether they are truly saved, merely church-goers, backsliders, adherents of a cult or whatever other pigeonhole we decide to place them in.

Rick thinks this too judgmental.

Thursday, April 07, 2022

The Laughter of Jackals

When I was young, back in the 1970s, disaster movies were in vogue. Perhaps the most memorable was Jaws (1975), but before that were such noteworthies as The Omega Man (1971), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Airport and Earthquake (1974). Afterward came such screen gems as Rollercoaster (1977), Meteor, Hurricane and The China Syndrome (1979). All in all, there were more than fifty such major Hollywood disaster productions released in the period.

And everybody was going to see them and talking about how great the special effects were or how spectacularly people were shown dying in them.

Odd, don’t you think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Levitical Interlude #1: Nadab and Abihu

The first historical interlude in the book of Leviticus is the longest of the three and culminates in the judgment-by-incineration of Nadab and Abihu, the elder two sons of Aaron, high priest of Israel.

This is neither the first nor the last time in scripture that God has introduced something new to human society only to have mankind promptly make a shambles of it.

Making a Shambles of It

We do not know the time interval between creation and the Fall, but it is not unreasonable to assume it was a comparatively short period. Man’s first mistake occurred at the first possible opportunity. The first murder occurred in the very first generation after the establishment of the new order brought on by Adam’s transgression. And when God rebooted the world with a global flood, Noah promptly got drunk and ended up cursing his own grandson.

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Doesn’t Always Mean What We Think It Means (8)

Compare the usage of the word “condemn” in the following two passages:

“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death.”

“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.”

Assuming you are familiar with both verses in their original contexts, you will probably agree with me that the word is being used to describe two distinct degrees of hazard, one considerably more severe than the other.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Candles and Flags

“So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, ‘Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.’ But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.”

On the bright side, at least Lot didn’t have to start with an explanation of who “the Lord” was. He had at least that much of a testimony: that he was a worshiper of Yahweh, as opposed to whatever god or gods were worshiped in Sodom, where he had rather unwisely made his home.

Evidently his prospective sons-in-law knew that much about him.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Hatred of King Jesus

“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

These “companions” were not bad guys.

The psalmist is probably speaking of other Israelite royalty, so Jesus had something significant in common with them despite their human failings: they were all kings. People like David, Solomon and Hezekiah. They served God, they honored God, and they led his people out to victory.

Not bad guys at all, some of them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Judgment and Clarity

I know a man whose whole view of God was shaped by his religious family’s reaction to the death of his mother from cancer early in his childhood. When she became ill, various devout family members offered speculation and conjecture about what the poor woman had done to incur God’s ire.

Appalled at their rush to judgment, the boy rejected Christians and everything we believe. Today, he still gets worked up if God’s name is mentioned even in passing.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Scales and Panes

I was chatting with a young man yesterday.

He considers himself a Christian. And maybe he is. I hope he is. But he’s certainly confused about something very basic to salvation; and maybe it will surprise you what it is.

He doesn’t really understand sin.

Now, understanding what it is we are saved from is pretty necessary to salvation, so I’m concerned. I want him to have a correct grasp of how sin relates to the holiness of God. And I’m troubled that his teachers have not taught him this.

So I’m going to try to do a short explanation for you. And I’m going to start with this question:

How bad is sin?

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Fearful Expectation of Judgment

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”

What does it mean to “go on sinning deliberately”? That’s a very important question. Our sense of security in Christ and our enjoyment of the experience of following him in this world depend on how we answer it.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Commentariat Speaks (21)

A letter to Doug Wilson from an Australian named Ben poses a familiar question:

“Since I, like everyone else (except Adam and Eve), am born into this sinful state, how can God truly be just in judging me for committing sins I was destined to commit?

Our ‘free-will’ is not really free at all. I think our will is like a set of old-fashioned scales, then our scales are definitely not on the level. They are heavily weighed down towards the selfish side, causing most, if not all, of our choices to be made with a selfish heart; a heart I didn’t ask for or have any say in receiving. I was just dumped into this wretched state, into a wretched life, and then at the end destined to be judged by The Most High, for breaking laws I had no chance of keeping.”

Bound to get interesting, wouldn’t you say?

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Mining the Minors: Amos (15)

Like most fathers, I disciplined my children when they were young and disobedient.

We can think about discipline in either of two ways: firstly, as punishment for sinning, which it most certainly is. When an evil act is committed, it deserves a penalty. Justice cries out for it, and if justice doesn’t make its voice heard, a child’s siblings generally will. But secondly, most acts of discipline are also designed to encourage repentance. A good father desires that the offender learn his lesson and stop offending, both for his own sake and for the sake of those he offends against.

Both these aspects of the disciplinary process are in play in God’s dealings with Israel in Amos 4.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Two Suppers

The differences between the things that are and the things we perceive are probably too great to enumerate.

In North America many of us live in suburbia alongside what appear to be perfectly pleasant, civil human beings. And by the standards of our day they are. Sure, like everyone they have secrets — desires that they wouldn’t express during a family get-together and things they have done about which nobody is aware — but by and large these are pretty normal, civic-minded, responsible individuals.

Have they sold their souls to Satan? We would say it’s unlikely, even absurd.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Mining the Minors: Amos (10)

God doesn’t enjoy punishing people, even when they are unusually wicked. He takes no pleasure in the death of anyone, preferring that they change their ways and prosper rather than get what is coming to them. This is a well-established principle of scripture; both prophets and apostles testify to the fact that our God lets us off the hook every single time he can possibly justify it.

As the psalmist put it, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Mining the Minors: Amos (9)

Actions have consequences. Some things follow inevitably from others. In his third chapter, Amos takes a series of illustrations from the natural world and uses them to demonstrate that when presented with the evidence of one’s eyes and ears, certain conclusions ought to be drawn. He does this by asking seven questions to which every answer is an obvious “No” or “Of course not.”

It may be that the content of the questions is less important than the rhetorical flourish they achieve cumulatively; that each statement is intended to build upon the previous one and together reinforce the certainty of the prophet’s concluding statement. However, when we look at the content of each line more closely in the light of other Old Testament scriptures, it does not seem unreasonable to view them as different ways of illustrating the inevitability of Israel’s coming judgment.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Mining the Minors: Jonah (14)

As finite beings of time and space, we cannot really know what God’s emotional life is like, or understand the way in which the Divine Mind makes choices. To imagine we can is simply projection.

In describing these incomprehensible things for us, the writers of the Bible have painted their picture with the very limited palette of human language. Moreover, the Spirit of God chose ways of expressing God’s feelings and actions that would communicate effectively to men and women of widely different cultures across a period of thousands of years.

I think the result is marvelous. Still, there are passages with which we struggle. The final verse of Jonah 3 may be one of them.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: Where Would You Like to be Judged?

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Not all religions acknowledge coming judgment, but Christianity does.

Tom: As we discussed last week, Immanuel Can, the Bible teaches there is both a general judgment of sinners and a separate, distinct judgment of Christians. That division was not clearly traced in our Old Testaments, and most Jews know next to nothing of it.

But it’s there in our New Testaments, and getting rid of it involves ripping out whole pages of Paul’s epistles.

Immanuel Can: Lay it out for us, Tom: what’s the difference?

Friday, December 04, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: The Judge of All the Earth

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

On her way to work a few months ago, a Muslim driver urged my friend to reconsider her ways in view of coming judgment. The driver knew nothing at all about his passenger, but he was convinced his god will one day be both her judge and the judge of all mankind.

Tom: Not all religions acknowledge judgment is coming, I suppose, but many do. It is not an exclusively Christian teaching. But there are some things about biblical judgment that make it distinctive, Immanuel Can, and perhaps we can explore some of those today.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Anonymous Asks (116)

“How can you worship a God who could send your loved ones to hell?”

There is a something about the generosity of spirit in this frequently-heard and more-frequently-unheard complaint that I would hate to disparage. Loyalty to friends and kin is commendable, and self-sacrificial loyalty — the sort that feels uncomfortable partaking of a good thing from which others are excluded — is more commendable still.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Merged into the Mob

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Above My Pay Grade

“That’s above my pay grade,” said the former senator.

It was 2008. The subject was abortion. Presidential candidate Barack Obama had been asked, “At what point does a baby get human rights?”

At bare minimum, his response indicated an aversion to being pinned down on the subject and a desire to avoid conflict over the issue as he campaigned to be president of the United States of America. There were “larger issues” at stake, he undoubtedly thought. He was prepared to let evil slide for the sake of what he perceived to be the “greater good”, which presumably included his assumption of the presidency.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

John Piper’s God

John Piper’s God is not someone I find particularly appealing.

Piper’s Calvinist determinism makes his version of heaven a scary place where every microscopic detail of human existence is examined, and from which God himself administers rough justice to his subjects on the spot as he sees fit, to believers and unbelievers alike, sometimes in the form of really bad weather.

A rash of tornados across the U.S. in 2012 prompted Piper to express his opinion in this post.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Courting Judgment

It is estimated the kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria in 722 BC. The kingdom of Judah came to its own rather ignominious end 126 years later, in 586 BC — but it did not fall to Assyria. Rather, it was the Babylonians who destroyed Jerusalem and carried its people into exile.

This was not for lack of trying on the part of the Assyrians. The Assyrian Empire was a massive undertaking, lasting 300 years, spanning the Middle East and beyond. It has been referred to as “the most powerful empire in the world”.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: The Discipline of Discipline

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Anonymous Asks (71)

“Is God mad at me?”


The doctrinal portion of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans begins with these words:

“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

Monday, December 02, 2019

Anonymous Asks (69)

“If it is true that ‘whoever says, “You fool!” will be liable to the hell of fire,’ then why did both Jesus and his apostles call people fools?”

Normally the questions answered in this series of posts come from anonymous sources, all of whom are (at least to the best of my knowledge) actual people. Their problems may be real or hypothetical (or, in at least one case, just plain old trolling), but I answer them here because their writers make a decent effort to submit questions we have good reason to believe might be of concern to our readers or people they know.

In this case, I freely admit I submitted this one to myself just for the dubious pleasure of working it through.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Anonymous Asks (57)

“Isn’t hell an unreasonable punishment for not believing in a specific set of truth claims?”

If not believing a specific set of truth claims is all there is to it, perhaps our questioner has a point. But is that really what the Bible teaches: that the ‘idealogically unsound’ will be banished from the presence of God for eternity?

Let’s consider ...

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Bea tweets, “If god hates gays why do we keep winning?”

Good question. It sounds an awful lot like a punchline with which marauding Philistines might have taunted Israelite farmers around 1070 BC in the midst of plundering their produce and livestock with impunity: “If the God of Israel really hates the practices of the Canaanites, why is it we are running roughshod over his people?

“And by the way, your mother wears army boots!”

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Straight Talk

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Day of Big Things

A handful of times throughout our earth’s history God has made major public statements. Big things.

The Bible records a number of these great and unambiguous events: the Flood; the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; and Israel’s delivery from Egypt, passage through the Red Sea and miraculous conquest of Canaan. Even when Israel and Judah went into their various captivities, God still made appearances to miraculously shut the mouths of lions, walk around in fiery furnaces and write on the walls of pagan kings.

Then came the first century miracles of Jesus, and later his apostles. Big things.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Inbox: Blaming the Buzzsaw

Concerning the judgment of the Egyptian firstborn in Exodus 12, Qman writes:

“I would say that many people would sort of be appalled at the fact that the Egyptian firstborn (mostly politically innocent; depending on age, this could be into young adulthood) had to bear the brunt of this whole affair. What would the conversation between God and that creature be when they met? God to firstborn: ‘Sorry I just had to kill you because your king had a major attitude.’ How would that go over?”

Good question.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Spirits in Prison

Yesterday I pointed out that the apostles use the word “gospel” in slightly different ways at different times, emphasizing certain aspects of what we might consider an acceptable presentation of the good news and omitting others entirely.

Never is this more evident that in the third of Peter’s four references to the gospel found in his first epistle. His use of the word, and the context around it, open up what may be described as a theological can of worms.

Or perhaps later commentators on 1 Peter opened that can all by themselves.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

How Not to Crash and Burn (44)

Two of our final five entries in Solomon’s Thirty Sayings speak about the future. Their point? That those who act wisely have one, while evil men do not.

The Hebrew word translated “future” is 'achariyth. It means an end, a latter time, or a posterity. In brief, the idea is that Someone Transcendent is governing time and watching over the world. Nothing done or not done adds up to nothing. All is being tabulated and will have its consequences down the road.

It therefore makes sense to govern ourselves accordingly, no?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Things Ovine and Caprine

Schindler’s List was a very successful 1990s movie about a German businessman and member of the Nazi party who saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish refugees during WWII. While the screenplay certainly received the Hollywood treatment and has been criticized for a taking a variety of storytelling liberties, one of which was being overly sentimental, the story upon which it is based is said to be substantially true.

So there is a real-world precedent for the scenario I am about to lay out for you.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Passing Thoughts on Fred Phelps

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Does God Judge Nations?

A question from a list of what Andy Stanley refers to as “old covenant leftovers”, various ways he believes the modern church mixes what he calls “obsolete” theology with the New Testament teaching of Christ and his apostles:
  • “Why would a Christian believe God judges nations at all?”
Stanley intends this as a zinger, but I’m not at all sure it zings. It may be a bullet point in a bulleted list, but it has the pinpoint accuracy of a wet snowball lobbed by a lethargic six-year-old in a too-tight snowsuit.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Scales and Panes

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Awfully Specific for a Parable

I find the account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 a little unusual for one of the Lord’s parables, if indeed it is a parable at all.

For one thing, it employs plain language rather than the symbolism consistently associated with parables. Secondly, is not called a parable. Third, there is no ‘such-and-such is like’ to introduce it. Fourth, there are some awfully specific details given: The poor man, Lazarus, is named, something I’m not aware of the Lord doing anywhere else. Abraham, father of the Jewish nation, appears. The rich man has ‘five brothers’, rather than just ‘family’. Finally, it seems unlikely to me that the Lord would use a real, historical Hebrew saint with whom he had — and continues to have — a relationship as a mere character in an otherwise-concocted narrative just to make a moral point.

Personally, I lean toward thinking of the anecdote as historical. At very least, ‘story’ seems a better word for it than ‘parable’.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

On the Mount (32)

The world is brim-full of good causes. There’s no end of things with which a genuine altruist may busy himself in seeking to do good to his fellow man.

In the Christian life, few truly “good” works involve status or recognition, but those which do almost always attract the worst elements. Simon the magician was so entranced at the prospect of being able to confer the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands that he begged the apostles, “Give me this power also.” Likewise, the seven sons of the Jewish high priest Sceva got excited about driving out evil spirits.

You may remember both stories ended badly for the would-be doers of good.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Bubbling Under the Surface

Sometimes God gets angry. Sometimes his righteous and thoroughly justifiable anger is even directed at his servants:

“The Lord was angry with me because of you.”

“The Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him.”

“The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord.”

“He has cut down in fierce anger all the might of Israel; he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob, consuming all around.”

But the consequences of God’s anger (not to mention its duration) are not always precisely the same.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Transgression Bag

The eye of faith is an amazing thing.

In all his bitter distress and confusion, Job never completely loses sight of the character and purposes of God. Like most sufferers, he talks at length about how things appear to him: “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.”

Yep, can confirm.

But nowhere in all of his inquiries does it occur to Job for a moment that God may not be there at all. That’s one big difference between the righteous and the wicked. “There is no fear of God before their eyes,” as Paul puts it. They do not consider God in the slightest. “They did not see fit to acknowledge God.” God and eternity have simply been dismissed from their calculations.