Dried Shoots

Because he has stretched out his hand against God and defies the Almighty, running stubbornly against him with a thickly bossed shield; because he has covered his face with his fat and gathered fat upon his waist and has lived in desolate cities, in houses that none should inhabit, which were ready to become heaps of ruins; he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure, nor will his possessions spread over the earth; he will not depart from darkness; the flame will dry up his shoots, and by the breath of his mouth he will depart.
Job 15:25-30
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Dried Shoots
Once more we see Eliphaz equate wickedness with earthly troubles.  He claims erroneously once again that only the wicked suffer and they never prosper.  A cursory glance at our world today is all one needs to know that Eliphaz is once again wrong in his assertion.  The wicked often prosper and gain great wealth and prestige in this life.  And this is where Eliphaz gets confused.  For the wicked are not always punished for their wickedness in this life.  They will however face an eternity of punishment if they die unrepentant.  For the springs of good fortune and abundance found I this life quickly evaporate like dried shoots when subjected to the flames of hell.  Thanks be to God that the faithful do not face the prospect of eternal torment, as our Shoot did not wither when faced with temptation from the devil.  As was foretold, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:1-2).  Christ was that shoot.  He is the True Vine and through our Baptisms we are grafted into Him.  Therefore, though this life may have its fare share of troubles and pain, we know that in faith we are continuously watered, so that we do not dry up and wither from the heat of sin, death, and the devil.  We have a Springs of living water (John 7:38) which never dries up.  For Jesus promises us, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
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