Can anyone teach God knowledge, since He judges those on high? One dies in his full strength, being wholly at ease and secure; his pails are full of milk, and the marrow of his bones is moist. Another man dies in the bitterness of his soul, never having eaten with pleasure. They lie down alike in the dust, and worms cover them. (Job 21:22-26)
Job struggles with the calamity that engulfs him physically and spiritually. Three of his friends are feeding his paranoia of why suffering has so overwhelmed him. He treads upon sacred ground to challenge the Lord searching the matters of His wisdom. Why does God allow him to suffer? His children are dead, he has lost everything save his wife and friends are found to be without comfort.
There is no man like Job. He was one of the most righteous men on earth. His thoughts turn to the plight of the wicked compared to the righteous. He reflects upon all he sought to do for God and now his life is nearly destroyed. There are many wicked men who walk about with little or no suffering in life. Why is it that he did all he could for God and he suffers instead of those who live in open rebellion to God? How can he charge the Lord for this seemingly imbalance of life? He cannot.
The book of Job is about victory in the face of suffering. It shows the real purpose of life is not about what we have here but what we gain in eternity. Life for the righteous and the unrighteous can be different but the end is all the same. Many will live righteous lives and suffer little. Such is the case with those who are wicked who live contently in this world. Some who serve God will deep devotion and suffer immense pain dying miserably. Even wicked people can fill their lives with sin and never find peace or happiness. The story of life is not about how a man lives but how a man dies. And that is the meaning of life: all men die the same way.
Life is a whisk of air that appears for a moment and then vanishes without a trace. What separates those who live full lives and those who live unfulfilled lives are those who decide that life is a challenge but dying is the victory. The wicked can live full lives with “pails full of milk” but their death is a horrible reality of condemnation. Those who seek God in life may find suffering but their death is a moment of joy. Job would come to know this more clearly when his trial comes to an end. The lesson is to know how to see life and to know the same end comes to all men: we are covered with worms. The good news is the new body we receive in glory can never be eaten by worms. Live for God. Joy awaits.
That day, which you fear as being the end of all things, is the birthday of your eternity. (Seneca, Epistulae ad Lucilium, Epis. C. 11, c. 63 A.D.)