A life-threatening experience has a way of rearranging one’s priorities. That was true in the lives of former Texas Governor John Connally and his wife after he was wounded by the assassin who took the life of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. In an interview, Connally ex … More
In this passage Job turns from confidence that he could win his court case against God to a complaint about life’s futility and death’s certainty. He says that life is brief and full of trouble (v. 1). There is nothing any truer than that; trouble is the common denominator of mankind. All of us have had trouble. Sickness, loneliness, disappointment and death cause Job to say that life is not fair. He states that no man is perfect, or sinless, so what harm would there be in dealing with all men less severely.
Like a flower, man is born to die. He disappears like a shadow (v. 2) or like evaporating water (v. 11). Man’s days are numbered (vv. 5-6), but does he have a future? Job’s strongest image is that of a tree (vv. 7-12). Chop it down and its stump remains, and there is always a possibility that the tree might sprout again. The tree has hope, but man has no hope. When he dies, he knows that God is going to call him, and he will answer the call. In other words God is not through with us at our death. God leaves no stump behind. Man is more like water that evaporates or soaks into the ground; it can never be recovered again ( v. 11). Job just wants to be remembered (v. 13).
When I must endure suffering, I have an advantage over Job. I know that the dead in Christ will rise again. My hope is based on Christ’s promise in John 14:19.
"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."
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Job 11:1-20The First Speech of Zophar
Job 12:1-25Job Replies to His Three Friends
Job 13:1-16Job Takes His Case to God
Job 13:17-28Job is Asking For a Showdown With God
Job 14:1-15Job Speaks to God About Death
Job 14:16-22Job Asks if Humans Will Live Again
Job 15:1-16Eliphaz Gives a Second Speech
Job 15:17-35Eliphaz Tells Job to Listen to His Great Wisdom
Job 16:1-22Job’s Second Reply to Eliphaz
Job 17:1-16Job Complains to God