Summary: This is a study into Job chapter fourteen.
1 "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?” Job 14:1-3 (NKJV)
THE FELLOWSHIP OF MANKIND
Job continues his response to Zophar. (Chapters 12, 13 and 14) In this chapter the emphasis is on the mortality of man. Verse one Job shows the condition of man. "We’re all adrift in the same boat: too few days, too many troubles.” Job 14:1 (MSG) There is such a thing as the fellowship of being human. As mankind we are all in the same boat – too few days – to much pain. In the first Adam we are destined to pain and sorrow. In the second Adam we are destined to be children of God. In Christ we are in the same boat.
“Picture fellowship this way - we are on the same ship. We are fellow passengers. We have the same destination. The relationship that we have with Christ puts us in same boat. Our sins have been forgiven, we have a purpose for living, and we have a home in heaven. We have the same Savior. We have the same goals: to glorify God, to worship Him, to learn more about Jesus and become like Him, to use our gifts and talents for the building of God’s kingdom and to share the good-news with everyone we meet. We have the same Father. We have the same Savior. We have the same destination.” (From My Sermon – Three Benefits Of Fellowship)
A flower will fade and a shadow will disappear – they are short when compared to the life of a man. Yet, how short is the life of man in the big scheme of things. On this earth we are but a blink of the eye. The shortness of man’s life on earth is certain. But from the time of our conception we are destined to eternity. We will live forever or will die forever. We are created for eternity. From the time of conception we are now eternal. Where we spend eternity is a choice we make in our lifetime. It is a decision that we make in our life times on earth – the most important decision we will ever make.
Verse three reminds us of: “What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” Psalms 8:4 (NKJV) The Holman translation of verse three says, “Do You really take notice of one like this? Will You bring me into judgment against You?” Job 14:3 (HCSB) God does take notice of us. He has created us in His image after His likeness. Do we think that we will go unnoticed? We feel unnoticed sometimes – but reality is more than just feelings.
In a short paraphrase of these verses Job seems to be saying: “My life is short. Why don’t You let me live it in peace?”
4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one! Job 14:4 (NKJV)
Job asks a profound question in verse four, “Can anyone make a clean thing from the unclean?” His answer is that, “No one can.” This is not the Christian message. The Christian message is that a transformation can take place in ones life. It is a rags to riches story. One can be changed by God’s power. But let us be very careful with this. It is not the transformation that saves us. We should be transformed – that is the work of the Holy Spirit – but we are saved because of the sacrificial work of Jesus. God sees us as pure because of the purity of Jesus. In other words I am not saved because I have become transformed – I am saved therefore I should become transformed. I am saved because I have accepted what Christ has done for me. This is salvation by grace. Because I have accepted Him I become transformed. Matthew Henry’s commentary says; “The Chaldee paraphrase has an observable reading of this verse: ‘Who can make a man clean that is polluted with sin? Cannot one? That is, God. Or who but God, who is one, and will spare him?’ God, by his almighty grace, can change the skin of the Ethiopian, the skin of Job, though clothed with worms.” “Can an African change skin? Can a leopard get rid of its spots? So what are the odds on you doing good, you who are so long-practiced in evil?” Jeremiah 13:23 (MSG)