“Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?” (21:7). Job had been taught that evil actions would bring about trouble. As his friend Zophar said, the wicked “swallow down riches and vomit them up again” (20:15). But Job knew from observation and experience that life is not so well-ordered. Rich people sometimes die in undeserved comfort (21:23), and the righteous endure suffering. Job insisted that his friends admit the truth: we can’t always point to the “root cause” of trouble (19:28, 21:34).
“You may know there is a judgment” (19:29). Job warned his friends to stop criticizing and start examining their own lives. God is the only wise and perfect Judge.