Everlasting Joy (Job 20:5) - Radical

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Everlasting Joy (Job 20:5)

Do you not know this from of old? Since man was placed on earth that the exalting of the wicked is short and the joy of the godless.
– Job 20:5

But for a moment, this is another one of those places in Job, those many places in Job where one of Job’s supposed friends is saying something that is true and applying it unhelpfully and inappropriately in Job’s life saying that his suffering is a result of his wickedness.

Job 20:5 reminds us that the pleasures of this world will not last.

At the same time, I do want us to step back and think about the truth behind this statement. That the exalting of the wicked is short and the joy of the godless is but for a moment. In other words, we must always be careful not to be deceived by the temporary pleasures of sin and the temporary pleasures of wickedness and the temporary pleasures of this world that are fleeting and will not ultimately last.

And when we sin, when we turn from God and his ways to our own ways to what we think is better, we do that, not because we think it’s going to be worse. We actually think it’s going to be better. That’s the way sin works. From the very beginning, Genesis 3, she saw the fruit. It looked good and it was desirous to her. It was pleasing to her eye, and she ate. She gave some to her husband. He thought the same thing he ate because he thought she thought this would be good. That’s the way sin works. I just want to encourage us all today to be reminded it’s not true. Sin does not lead to pleasure. The exalting of sin, of wickedness is short. Joy that comes in godliness is only for a moment. It does not last.

Job 20:5 reminds us that only the joy of the Lord is everlasting.

You want satisfaction that lasts, you want joy that lasts, You want exalting that last? Trust in God, pursue God with all your heart. Obey God today, tomorrow, the next day, the next day, this exalting will last forever. This joy is eternal, is ever everlasting. And Jesus has made this possible for us by paying the price for our sin on a cross, by rising from the dead, by sending His Holy Spirit to live in you and me so that you and I can walk today in holiness and in righteousness and experience an exalting and a joy that far outweighs anything this world could ever offer us.

So God, we pray that you would help us today to resist sin in every way in our thoughts and our desires and our actions and our words, and what we do and what we say and our relationships with others. God, we pray for righteousness and holiness. We pray that you’d help us to resist sin today.

Help us to be quick to confess sin when you convict us of it, but God, O God, help us to see that it doesn’t satisfy, that you alone can satisfy. God, help us to see that you are the one our souls need. You are the one in whom we find ultimate delight and nothing in this world can offer that to us. God, help us to not do what Adam and Eve did in Genesis 3 today, tomorrow, the next day, the next day, to help us to find experience exalt in the satisfaction that righteousness and holiness and obedience bring.

Prayer for the Mangrik People

And Jesus, we praise you for making this possible for us, for putting your Holy Spirit in us, to enable us to experience this. And God, we pray for people around us and people around the world who don’t know your salvation and your satisfaction in Jesus, for whom exalting in joy is short.

But for a moment, God, we pray… Help us to spread the gospel of everlasting joy today through our lives to people who’ve never heard of it. God, for the Mangrik people of India and Pakistan, for 81,000 of them, no known followers of Jesus among them, God, we pray for the spread of everlasting joy in Jesus to the Mangrik people of India and Pakistan, that they might know the exalting and everlasting joy of righteousness in Jesus alone. We pray all of this in Jesus name, according to your word, O God, in Job 20:5. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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