The Temporary Triumph of the Wicked
Job 20:5-20
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

Zophar now comes forth with wise words; but they are as arrows, slender, strong, and sharp, which, though drawn upon a strong bow, yet miss their mark. Only too true is his assertion of the brevity of the triumph of the evil-doer, the momentary joy of the hypocrite; only too accurate his forcible setting forth of the state and portion of the ungodly. Job has to hear again cruel words. His patient faith has yet to be further tested; his final triumph is postponed.

I. HIS HONOR IS TEMPORARY. If he raise himself so that "his head reach unto the clouds, yet he shall perish for ever;" "he shall fly away as a dream," so short is his grasp of any position of honour.

II. HIS FAMILY PROSPERITY IS BUT BRIEF. The goods he has gained by his ungodliness "his hands shall restore," and his children crouch to appease the poor. Ill-gotten gain is held by uncertain hands. For a time the ungodly seems to prosper, but it is that he may be consumed out of his place.

III. HIS LIFE IS WASTED AND PASSETH AWAY. Even his youthful vigour fails him. it shall speedily "lie down with him in the dust." The practice of wickedness brings punishment on hint who offends. The tendency of wrong-doing is ever to prey upon the strength of the life.

IV. THE PLEASURES OF SIN TO HIM ABE BUT FOR A SEASON. Though he 'hide" wickedness "under his tongue," though it be "sweet in his mouth," yet shall it be turned to "the gall of asps within him."

V. THE POSSESSION OF RICHES IS PERMITTED ONLY FOR A BRIEF PERIOD. Though he swallow them down, "he shall vomit them up again." Nothing has permanence with him. Changes come over him from sources he cannot trace and certainly could not foresee. His toil is fruitless. "That which he laboured for shall he restore... he shall not rejoice therein." Wickedness eats into the strength and joy of life. It exposes life to innumerable evils and robs it of its chief good. The wicked man has no pledge of permanent blessing. "He shall not save of that which he desired." Truly "the triumphing of the wicked is short." - R.G.

Parallel Verses
KJV: That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

WEB: that the triumphing of the wicked is short, the joy of the godless but for a moment?

The Short Triumphing of the Wicked
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