Friday

“If mortals die, will they live again?” (v. 14)

Job 14:1-14 Friday 30 January 2015

Psalm: Psalm 91


Background

As we considered on Wednesday in relation to Job's openingoutburst, Job's perspective differs greatly from that of modern-dayChristians as he is unable, in his suffering, to cling to thepromise of eternal life. It is very difficult to place ourselves inJob's shoes and to understand his pain and loss coupled with thebelief that after death comes only the oblivion of sleep (verse12). Several of the Psalms reference Sheol (verse 13) as a sort ofcommunal grave, where every person (be they king or slave) isbeyond God's reach after death. While a tree that has been choppeddown may sprout again (verse 7), in Job's eyes, there is no hopefor renewal for humans beyond the grave. Job maintains that, giventhe shortness of a human life, he has suffered enough and that God(who set the limit on the human lifespan) should now ceasepunishing him.

Job is still unable to understand why God is punishing him(despite his friends' assertions that he simply must have committeda terrible sin for which is now being disciplined), but he clingsto the hope that God's anger will be temporary, and that if hecould only hide away (perhaps in the refuge of Sheol) for a periodof time, God would then seek him out again (verse 13). Although Jobcannot cling to the promise of eternal life, he still hopes thatsomehow, he will find his way back into God's favour and once againbe acknowledged as God's own creation (verse15).


To Ponder

  • What do you think the resurrection means for people who livedbefore Jesus' time on earth?
  • What does the promise of eternal life mean to you in the faceof earthly suffering? What difference would it make if, like Job,you knew of no such concept?
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