Summary: Life does not cease at the period of pain, failure, and tragedy.
If there was any biblical character in scripture that had every reason and rationale to just resign from life and live forever in total resentment for the rest of their days, it was Job. Job’s saga and story is definitely an unfolding drama of unbelievable trouble and tragedy. It’s absolutely incomprehensible by my mortal mind to read the events of Job’s life and yet see Job in the light that the scriptures portray.
Some people would suggest that Job was not a real person, and that the story of Job was just some Eastern allegory, to attempt to explain or raise the question of the perplexity of human suffering and how could a loving God permits such an ordeal at the expense of a human. That is what some people would say.
But James, the brother of the Lord Jesus is not in that some people class. James the Pastor of the church in Jerusalem obviously believed in the man and message of Job. When James wrote his epistle to the Hebrews scattered abroad in verse 1 of chapter 1, he calls them the 12 Tribes. He tells these people who like him born into the Jewish faith, revered the rituals and the tenants of Judaism, but had discovered that Christianity (the faith built on the Christ) had a greater impact that they now embraced. When James wanted to use an example to extol an aspect of the faith, he selected Job.
He did not use Abraham the father of the faithful.
He did not site Moses the Emancipator of Israel.
He did not refer them to King David a man after God’s own heart.
He did not invoke the honorable name of any of those men, he used Job. Yes, Job was real to James. And Job is real to me. When he was exhorting the believers to endure, he encouraged them to wait like Job: James 5:11
Behold, we count them happy who endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful and tender mercy.
You know the saga of Job:
He had been assaulted by the uncertainties of life.
(That is why I believe in Job, because the uncertainties can catch any of us).
He had been afflicted by unplanned health issues.
(That is why I believe Job’s story was real; our physical status can change in a twinkling of the eye).
He had experience what I am absolutely sure is any parents nightmare and deepest pain. He had to stand at the gravesite of his own children to bury them).
His own spouse had railed against him in such away that I am sure it caused compound grief.
Some individuals came to visit him when they heard of all the stuff that he was going through, they supposedly came as comforters, but they were more of a discomfort. They actually made the situation uncomfortable. Their assessments were that the results of Job’s experience must be because he had sinned terribly. In other words, his present situation was because of past sins.
Job is bankrupt, he has lost everything. He is no longer the man that all admired and revered. He is no longer the celebrated man of Uz. When he walks the streets they whisper instead of speak to him. Given his circumstances, they can not believe that he is still enduring or standing on his feet. His life has been ransacked; his whole world had been totally altered. He has been at the threshold of death, destruction, desperation. Everything that was once important and helped define who he was is gone. His resources gone, his investments gone, his family gone, his health gone (sores over his entire body), his possessions are gone. His line of credit gone, his accounts are closed.
Then somehow another chapter 42:16 finds its way into the story. God and Job have an encounter beginning in chapter 37. But the end results come out in the text. And that is where I want to anchor the rest of my time in these next 10 minutes (give or take a few). As I am reading and thinking about what Job has gone through, and what has gone through Job’s life, and praying and processing the story. I am asking God for some fresh illumination of this story. There it was, in the last chapter verse 16. Listen to how the translations worded that verse.
NIV: After this, Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children to the 4th generation.
Bible in Basic English: And after this Job lived 140 years of life (emphasis on life), and saw his sons, and his son’s son, even the 4th generation.