Answering The Atheist
November 7, 2004 / Volume 4, Issue 45
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Does God destroy both the righteous and the wicked? Some verses say that only the wicked will be destroyed (Ezekiel 18:8-9, 19-20; 33:18-19), but other texts reveal that God will destroy both (Job 9:22; Ecclesiastes 7:15; Ezekiel 21:3). Is there a contradiction?
The nature of the book of Job should cause the reader to approach statements found therein with care, lest the wrong application be derived by their use. A verse pulled from it's context is easily misapplied, even as the questioner has done with Job 9:22. We are reading the words of a distraught man who has lost all his possessions and children. His friends and wife, rather than comforting him bring words of accusation. With a mix of emotions, throughout the book, Job acclaims the righteousness of God, and yet acknowledges the evil which befalls mankind. However, the nature of these evils under Job's consideration which come to the righteous are temporal.
Solomon, like Job, has seen the just man perish in his righteousness. That God allows such to take place is evident and admitted. However, though the righteous may suffer trials, persecution, even death in the present age, none of these are reserved for the faithful in the age to come. God will not allow the destruction of the righteous in eternity.
It may be with some evil men, that they live long and prosper, but we can know for surety that it will not be well with them, though their sentence is not executed speedily. With other wicked men, their days are not prolonged, they receive quick judgment. Regardless which takes place in a given circumstance, we can be assured that God reigns supreme and blesses those who will serve Him.
There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible