Job Continues: Death Comes Soon to All
14 “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not.
And do you open your eyes on such a one
and bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
There is not one.
Since his days are determined,
and the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
look away from him and leave him alone,
that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.
“For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put out branches like a young plant.
But a man dies and is laid low;
man breathes his last, and where is he?
As waters fail from a lake
and a river wastes away and dries up,
so a man lies down and rises not again;
till the heavens are no more he will not awake
or be roused out of his sleep.
Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my service I would wait,
till my renewal should come.
You would call, and I would answer you;
you would long for the work of your hands.
For then you would number my steps;
you would not keep watch over my sin;
my transgression would be sealed up in a bag,
and you would cover over my iniquity.
“But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
and the rock is removed from its place;
the waters wear away the stones;
the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so you destroy the hope of man.
You prevail forever against him, and he passes;
you change his countenance, and send him away.
His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
He feels only the pain of his own body,
and he mourns only for himself.”
Job 14 Commentary
by Hank Workman
I remember sitting at a conference in a large stadium. The speaker at one point said to imagine a long wire stretched from one end of the wall to the adjacent. Then he said to imagine a small pin attached on the wire. “That is your life in the scheme of eternity. Compared to the greatness of what was and what is to come, our life is nothing more than a pin point.” This has always stuck with me.
We live life in all the ups and downs, all the heartache and joys, all the suffering and wellness and in light of what is after this life, it is simply a small dot. Our life is brief. I think we need to be reminded of this. What we do with this life we have is of utmost importance. Many times we all become lax in our following Jesus. We think there’s time later to make a difference. We get so caught up in some situation we lose track of the brevity of life itself.
Job has been struggling with sickness, pain, loneliness, disappointment and so far has really spoken toward the unfairness life can suddenly bring. What is so astounding here in his lament about death is he hopes for a resurrection from the grave. Why this is significant is within the Old Testament, there’s not a lot said about the resurrection of the dead. Jesus had not come yet. He had not conquered the grave. Yet Job spoke with hope of something greater beyond this life.
“Oh that You would hide me in Sheol, that You would conceal me until Your wrath returns to You; that You would set a limit for me and remember me! If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes. You will call, and I will answer You. You will long for the work of Your hands.” – Job 14:13-15
As Job is in the middle of such intense suffering he has a budding hope: If only God would hide him with the dead and then bring him out alive again!
God offers tremendous hope amid our own struggles and hardships. There is life in eternity. This is truly where our hope must be – not in answers to our current struggles, although we certainly long for that, but the fact this life is brief in the arena of eternity and there is something far greater beyond. Where are you placing your hope these days? How are you living in the matter of eternity with the choices you make, the calling you have, the one life you have?
Job 14 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Be quiet and give me a chance to speak, and let the results be what they will. 14 I am ready to risk my life. 15 I’ve lost all hope, so what if God kills me? I am going to state my case to him. 16 It may even be that my boldness will save me, since no wicked person would dare to face God.Job 13:13-16 GNB
Job has had enough from his windbag friends. He knows they don’t speak on behalf of God because their actions aren’t consistent with God’s character. In reality, he is confident enough in his own faith as well as God’s justice to stand before Him and accept whatever God would hand down to him.
Let’s not forget, in the OT, Salvation was credited by faith.
Now, it is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, “Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live.”Galatians 3:11 GNB
Job could have accepted his friends’ theories. He could have given up on his faith. There is something deep within Job’s soul that will never completely lose trust in God. He wants to go directly to the source because Job’s view of Salvation is not based on the law like his friends. He has true faith! He knows that the main argument is not about the law, but about faith.
Don’t miss this.
Job’s friends believe he must have some kind of secret sin in his life. The law condemns him, so God condemns him, right? Though it is true that no one is righteous before God, Job has exemplified a saving faith throughout this entire process. So, although we maybe haven’t considered this, the book of Job is a story that contrasts genuine Salvation by faith with a false, works-based, law-abiding, man-made salvation.
Can we say the same? Are we eager to go before the Lord knowing that by faith, we will be justified by the blood of Christ? This doesn’t just mean we believe, but that we have lived our lives according to that saving faith. Job’s friends are banking on their good deeds and retribution theology. But by their own words, they have demonstrated a weak faith. When you think about facing up to God and the fact that nothing will be hidden from Him in that moment, what will be left standing before the holiness of God?