Summary: Job illustrates the answer to, "what is reality".
Even Great Faith Struggles with Hard Truths!
Please turn with me to Job 14. Have you ever experienced a run in with reality? The reality that life is tough and no matter what you do it remains tough… Have you noticed that your body is decaying and you can’t stop it? Job is desperate! He is experiencing one tough life experience and it is not getting any better. We pick up the dialogue in this chapter as Job continues pouring out his complaint directly to God. He is mourning over the nature of life…its inevitable hardships and the fate of man. “What is reality?” Job illustrates the answer in this chapter. We are in Job 14.
Luis Palau, "Experiencing God’s Forgiveness", Multnomah Press, 1984 )
A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death.
"But I don’t ask for justice," the mother explained. "I plead for mercy."
"But your son does not deserve mercy," Napoleon replied.
"Sir," the woman cried, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for."
"Well, then," the emperor said, "I will have mercy." And he spared the woman’s son.
The reality of our life is that we all have committed offenses against the Living Word of God. Reality faced squarely leaves us in a most miserable position before a holy God. Apart from the intervention of Christ justice requires our death…we as Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans are all found wanting.
PROPOSITION: Because Christ is merciful, you must look to Him for mercy especially during periods of hardship.
Through the lens of hardships Job is able to see the human condition with clarity. The hard facts of human life bring spiritual reality.
Job speaks of man’s life. (14:1-6) …Of man’s death. (14:7-15)
By sin man is subject to corruption. (14:16-22)
Job’s hardships give clarity to the true human condition. This is a “Spiritual wake-up call”.
LAST WEEK we learned because Christ is your Savior, look to Him for hope. What is A FOUNDATIONAL ingredient for this hope? MERCY! We don’t get what we deserve!
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
“What is reality?”
I. Consider your condition without God’s mercy. 14:1-12, 18-22
The plight of the human race.
A. Your life is frail (1-6).
1. Life on earth is brief (1a, 2).
a. born of a woman – captures our mortality
b. few of days – life is measured in small increments (days).
Isaiah 40:6-8; Ps 103:14-16
Life is a dot on the timeline of eternity.
We know life is short but it seems very long. We live and think as if life will never end. We need to be reminded of this obvious truth which we seem to ignore.
2. Life on earth is full of trouble (1b, 3-6)
General truth is that many days have at least a small amount of turmoil.
a. Man is born at a disadvantage (3).
God greatness – man’s weakness.
No way Job should go to court with Him!
Sin and trouble go together (1b, 3b). Ge. 3:17-19; Acts 14:22
In light of man’s weakness, Job questions the need for God’s continual scrutiny.
God keeps His eye open over this poor child of man, who is a perishable flower, and a fleeting shadow”, to watch for and punish his sins, and brings Job to judgment before himself, His tribunal which puts down every justification.
Psa 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. David
b. Man is born sinful (4).
He belonged to a race that was sinful and depraved. Connected with such a race, how could it be otherwise than that he should be prone to evil? Why then did God follow him so unrelenting? Why did he treat him as if he ought to be expected to be perfectly pure, or as if it were reasonable to suppose he would be otherwise than unholy?
Man is a sinner; and that it could not be expected that anyone of the race should be pure and holy.
Psa 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
c. Man is born with a fixed amount of time (5-6).