Job 14: 1 – 22
“Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. 2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue. 3 And do You open Your eyes on such a one, and bring me to judgment with Yourself? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one! 5 Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass. 6 Look away from him that he may rest, till like a hired man he finishes his day. 7 “For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. 8 Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, 9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant. 10 But man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last and where is he? 11 As water disappears from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dries up, 12 so man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep. 13 “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, that You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, that You would appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. 15 You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands. 16 For now You number my steps, but do not watch over my sin. 17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and You cover my iniquity. 18 “But as a mountain falls and crumbles away, and as a rock is moved from its place; 19 As water wears away stones, and as torrents wash away the soil of the earth; So You destroy the hope of man. 20 You prevail forever against him, and he passes on; You change his countenance and send him away. 21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; They are brought low, and he does not perceive it. 22 But his flesh will be in pain over it, and his soul will mourn over it.”
In today’ study we are going to learn an important biblical truth. We are going to talk about our future resurrection. Job will let us in on this fact as he reveals in verses 14 and 15, -14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. 15 You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands.’
Some religions talk about reincarnation which says you will live again as something else. Other religions talk about you rejoining the ‘force’ of energy like we see in the popular ‘Star Wars Movies’. Another says that you will be in Paradise if you kill innocent people. Then there is one who says that you will get your own planet. Amazingly people buy into these tales.
I like what was revealed to us by the apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Job had turned from speaking to his friends, finding it to no purpose to reason with them, and here he goes on to speak to God and himself. He had reminded his friends of their frailty and mortality in chapter 13 verse 12; here he reminds himself of his own, and pleads it with God for some mitigation of his miseries. Job wants to talk about the shortness and sorrow that life presents.
“Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.
Have you ever thought how frail our lives really are? Living in this cursed world we are prone to serious injuries or death from accidents, diseases, plagues, weather, and attacks from animals and humans. If you stop and really think about this then you must see the merciful hand of God protecting us.
Our Great, great ….. Grandmother as you know was Eve. She was the mother of all living. Of her, who being deceived by the tempter was first in the transgression, we are all born, and consequently derive from her that sin and corruption which both shortens our days and affects them with troubles. Our habitual corruption is derived with our nature from our parents, and is therefore bred in the bone. During these few days life is full of trouble, not only troubled, but full of trouble, toiling or fretting, grieving or fearing. No day passes without something going wrong, some hurry, some disorder or full of commotion.
2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue.
Many of us are familiar with the famous verse from the book of James chapter 4 verse 14 “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. We also learn here that the nature of human life is compared to a flower and a shadow. Have you ever noticed the photos of obituaries? An older person has withered from the beauty of their youth. So, family members want to remind the current generation how attractive the person was during his or her younger days. The flowers fade and all its beauty soon withers and is gone. The shadow is fleeting, and its very being will soon be lost and drowned in the shadows of the night.
I enjoy doing memorial services because I have a captured audience. These services are for those of us who are ‘left behind’. The one who has died is not aware of what is going on. I like to get people to think of their own lives and how they stand with our God Most High. I remind all of the shortness and uncertainty of human life: Man is of few days. Life is here computed, not by months or years, but by days, for we cannot be sure of any day but that it may be our last. These days are few, fewer than we think of. Man sometimes no sooner comes forth than he is cut down —comes forth out of the womb than he dies in the cradle. If not cut down immediately, yet he flees as a shadow, and never continues in one stay, in one shape, but the fashion of it passes away; so do this world, and our life in it.
3 And do You open Your eyes on such a one, and bring me to judgment with Yourself? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!
Job is battling his thoughts as to why God should not be so strict in scrutinizing him and of his slips and failings. He is saying, "Since I have such a corrupt nature within, and am liable to so much trouble, which is a constant temptation from without, why do you O Holy One open Your eyes and fasten them upon such a one, extremely to mark when I mess up or I righty should call sin?
To a large degree Job is questioning our Holy Maker why He even bothers to look upon such pitiful creatures as we are. Job has thought about and commented how we are such insignificant creatures that are here today and gone tomorrow. We are born in inherited sin and have troubles throughout our lives. Having these strikes against us Job is amazed in his thoughts that God knowing all this would still look upon us and then bring judgment against us. The consideration of our own inability to contend with God, of our own sinfulness and weakness, should engage us to pray, Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant.
In a way Job is saying that all this is not fair. We are born behind the eight ball. It is not right. We inherited all this evil nature from our parents. Actual transgressions are the natural product of habitual corruption, which is therefore called original sin, because it is the original of all our sins. Thanks a lot grandma and grandpa.
Look at how he continues this thought in considering how unclean we have always been. Clean children cannot come from unclean parents any more than pure streams from an impure spring or grapes from thorns. Who can make a man clean that is polluted with sin?
I applied this rational in dealing with married couples. Looking at a man and a wife I think in mathematical terms and that is a person who is imperfect added to another person who is imperfect does not equal perfect. I and so have you found the right answer. When you add the Lord Jesus Christ to this formula, then imperfect plus imperfect now equals perfect.
5 Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.
One thing that you can know for sure is that you will not die before the time allotted by God is up. The only problem with this is that our Holy Creator did not tell us how many days He gave us.
There are three things taught to us here
(1.) That our life will come to an end; our days upon earth are not numberless and are not endless, no, they are numbered, and will soon be finished.
(2.) That it is determined, in the counsel and decree of God, how long we shall live and when we shall die. The number of our months is with God, at the disposal of His power, which cannot be controlled, and under the view of His Omniscience, which cannot be deceived. It is certain that God’s providence has the ordering of the period of our lives; our times are in His hand. The powers of nature depend upon Him, and act under Him. In Him we live and move and have our being. He kills and makes alive. Nothing comes to pass by chance
(3.) That the bounds God has fixed we cannot pass; for His counsels are unalterable, His foresight being infallible.
6 Look away from him that he may rest, till like a hired man he finishes his day.
Job pleads with our Holy Master to let it suffice that his life, at best, is as the day of a hireling, a day of toil and labor. He is content to accomplish that, and will make the best of the common hardships of human life, the burden and heat of the day. I have heard a great amount of godly Christians say this also but with different words, ‘Lord, let me be able to finish this race.’
7 “For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. 8 Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, 9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant. 10 But man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last and where is he? 11 As water disappears from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dries up, 12 so man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep.
Job had already shown that death will come, and that its hour is already fixed. Now here he shows that death is a removal for ever out of this world.
If the body of the tree is cut down, and only the stem or stump is left in the ground, though it seem dead and dry, yet it will shoot out young boughs again, as if it were but newly planted. The moisture of the earth and the rain of heaven are, as it were, scented and perceived by the stump of a tree, and they have an influence upon it to revive it; but the dead body of a man would not perceive them, nor be in the least affected by them.
Job is now looking at life and death. He thinks about the things that happen in life; then what happens at the point of death; and considers is an after death experience.
We can go to the gym. Get our cardio work outs. Utilize plastic surgery or Botox and dye our hair to keep that younger look but in reality we are wasting away.
In death: we give up the ghost; the soul leaves the body, and returns to God who gave it, the Father of spirits. We learn about this from the writing of Solomon in his book of Ecclesiastes chapter 12, ‘6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. 7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.’
Then Job wonders that -After death: Where is he? He is not where he was; his place knows him no more; but is he nowhere? The spirit has gone back to God, gone into eternity, gone to return no more to this world.
Every night we lie down to sleep, and in the morning we awake and rise again; but at death we must lie down in the grave, not to awake or rise again to such a world, such a state, as we are now in, never to awake or arise until the heavens, the faithful measures of time, shall be no more, and consequently time itself shall come to an end and be swallowed up in eternity; so that the life of man may fitly be compared to the waters of a land-flood, which spread far and make a great show, but they are shallow, and when they are cut off from the sea or river, the swelling and overflowing of which was the cause of them, they soon decay and dry up, and their place knows them no more.
13 “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, that You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, that You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
Yet we know and even did Job understand during his lifetime that there will be a return of man to life again, at the end of time. Then they shall awake and be raised out of their sleep. The resurrection of the dead was doubtless an article of Job’s creed, as appears, and to that, it should seem, he has an eye here. Job gives a humble petition for a hiding-place in the grave. It was not only a passionate weariness of this life that he wished to die, but in a pious assurance of a better life, to which at length he should arise.
The grave is not only a resting-place, but a hiding-place, to the people of God. God has the key of the grave, to let in now and to let out at the resurrection. He hides men in the grave, as we hide our treasure in a place of secrecy and safety; and he who hides will find, and nothing shall be lost. All our petitions should be to our Holy Master God, "O that You would hide me, not only from the storms and troubles of this life, but for the bliss and glory of a better life! Let me lie in the grave, reserved for immortality, in secret from all the world, but please never from You O Lord God, not from those eyes which saw my substance when I was first curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth,’’
‘There let me lie, until Your wrath be past.’ As long as the bodies of the saints lie in the grave, so long as there are some remains of that wrath which we all were by nature children of, so long as we all are under some of the effects of sin. Then I pray You at the time You appointed that You remember me and not forget me in the grave
14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. 15 You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands.
Job’s friends have proven themselves to be miserable comforters. Job thinks and decides to comfort himself by yearning for the expectation of a change. I do not think it is relative to having another chance in this world. These guys flattered him with hopes of that, but in reality, Job didn’t accept those vain comments.
Here is something to consider in our own lives. Comforts founded upon uncertainties at best are uncertain comforts or ‘pie in the sky’ thinking.
The change Job waits for is twofold. He is first of all waiting for the change that death makes. In death there will be freedom from the pain he is currently experiencing. Secondly Job is waiting for all things becoming new in the resurrection
This is why in verse 15 He takes comfort with a joyful expectation of bliss and satisfaction of these occurring. Job comforts himself that our Holy Father will call and that he will be able to answer.
In the bible we see something that relates to this marvelous happening. Starting at verse 1 chapter 11 of the Gospel of John we read, “1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” 12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” 17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.” 32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” 37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” 38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.fn And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
So what is the point that I am making here. Have you noticed that our Lord said that Lazarus was asleep and that He was going to go wake him? If you go through the bible amazingly everyone who has professed their belief and trust in the perfect sacrifice of The Lamb of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it says that they are asleep.
On one occasion an unbeliever who was trying to trip me up threw this question at me, ‘you talk about the resurrection like it is a shore thing, since you have never experienced this firsthand how you can be so confident of it actually happening?’ ‘That is easy to explain, I replied, ‘In fact our Great and Holy God shows us all every day, even non-believers, that there will be a resurrection. Each night you fall what? – Asleep! Then you experience a resurrection the next day – you wake up! For those who have died there will be a time when the Creator calls and all will answer, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting damnation.
It is all our duty to wait for our change. There are a few things to consider in doing this.
1. We must expect it will come and to think much of it. Our natural bent is not to think about it.
2. We must desire that it will come – too long to be forever with our Master and King – The Lord Jesus Christ.
3. We must in the mean time occupy or be busy in serving our King
4. We must be ready for His Coming. We must give diligence to get our houses in order.
16 For now You number my steps, but do not watch over my sin. 17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and You cover my iniquity. 18 “But as a mountain falls and crumbles away, and as a rock is moved from its place; 19 As water wears away stones, and as torrents wash away the soil of the earth; So You destroy the hope of man. 20 You prevail forever against him, and he passes on; You change his countenance and send him away. 21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; They are brought low, and he does not perceive it. 22 But his flesh will be in pain over it, and his soul will mourn over it.”
Satan at this time must have given Job a shot of pain which brought him out of his comfort zone. This caused him to return to this complaints. He again believes to think that God is still settling old scores and is rolling out His justice. He longs to get our of this world where God’s wrath will be a thing of the past. – We read this in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 32, “ 34 Is this not laid up in store with Me, sealed up among My treasures? 35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them.’36 “For the LORD will judge His people
Job was correct in thinking that he deserved nothing good. That he missed the mark of perfectly obeying our Holy Master. Therefore, in a way, he felt like many of us do, that he deserved the punishment he was getting.
Job however was wrong in suggesting that our Holy Merciful and Loving Father would mark every step he made. If he veered off the path then wham! – God whacks him. In all truth we are punished less than our sins deserve. Our Holy God does indeed seal up against the day of wrath, the transgression of those un-repentant but our sins He has cast them all as far as the east is from the west.
Who can bear up against the Lord? The answer of course in – no one! In verse 18 and 19 Job recognizes that time destroys all things,. Nothing will last always for we see even mountains disintegrate and come to nothing. By the continual battering of the sea, rocks are eroded. On this earth everything is the worse for the wear. The things which grow out of the earth and seem to be firmly planted and rooted are sometimes washed away by excessive rain.
Therefore, since we also are made of the earth, it is no marvel that we also decay.
It is amazing how hard we fight to stay just a little longer here on earth. If we say we love the Lord and cannot wait to be with Him and our loved one who are with Him, then why do we fight so hard to stay here. I deal with a lot of people who have come up with the big ‘C’ – cancer. Before they tell you their medical condition you can see it displayed on their countenance. I watch these people go through brutal treatment to get a few more years here on earth.
Job is not far off when he seeks the new life.