The book of Job, chapter eleven. Job is a man who has been caught in a interesting situation. Because of the uprightness of this man, God has been bragging on him in the courts of heaven. There, Satan challenges the estimate of God, concerning Job. Satan suggests that Job only is serving God for the benefit, the blessing, the perks. He said, “Let me take away all these things, and he will curse you to your face”. So, God allowed Satan to take away from Job, to strip from him, all of the earthly possessions that he had.
Still Job maintained his integrity. In all of these things, he did not curse God, nor charged God foolishly. But having heard the word of the loss of all of his goods, he knelt down and worshiped the Lord, and declared, “Naked I came into the world, naked I will go out. The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord”.
So as this controversy continued between God and Satan over Job, Satan then suggested that, “Skin for skin, a man will give all that he has for his life. You’ve not let me touch him. Take your hand of protection from him. Let me touch his body, let me afflict him, and he will curse you to your face”. So God let down the hedge, so that Satan could afflict Job’s body. He was covered with boils, he was in a miserable, loathsome state. Job couldn’t understand what was going on in his life, there was no explanation for him, only knew that death was preferable to life, at this point.
Three men came to comfort Job in his grief, and in his sorrows, in his loss. When they came and saw the condition of Job, this miserable condition, physically. Covered with boils, smelly, loathsome, horrible, ugly! They sat in astonishment for seven days, after which time, Job opened up his mouth, and he cursed the day that he was born. He wished that he had never existed. Life was intolerable. He expressed his question over why this could happen to him.
Thus these three men, began their discourses with Job, as they sought to dispute the words of Job, as they sought to rebuke him. Rather than comforting the man, they were only rebuking Job, so that, he finally declared, “You are all a bunch of miserable comforters! You haven’t helped me one bit!” There comes sarcasm in their exchanges back and forth. For they are living under the premise that no one could suffer as Job was suffering, unless he was exceedingly wicked. Surely, what he is going through has to be some kind of judgment of God upon him, for some hidden sin, or some secret wickedness that he has been practicing. Innocent men don’t suffer, as Job suffers.
They did not know the whole story. They were judging from only observation, partial knowledge. It is always dangerous to judge from observation, and partial knowledge, as we see in the case of Job, because they misunderstood the case completely. Their philosophy was wrong.
Good people often suffer things, and we don’t know the reasons why. Because a person is going through heavy affliction, heavy trials, because a person has lost everything, does not mean that they were filled with pride, and God is somehow judging them. We do not know the whys of God, or the ways of God. Often times when we are judging another person’s condition, not having all the facts, we are prone to judge wrongly, as did Job’s friends. They accused him of secret wickedness, they accused him of hypocrisy. They make all kinds of accusations against Job, because they reason, “No one would suffer as he is suffering, unless God was really angry with him, and coming down with a heavy hand of judgement”.
Through it all, Job knows nothing that he has done that would provoke this kind of judgement upon him. He protests that he is innocent, which only angers them the more, and causes them to be more vehement in their denunciations of him. The third, and probably the youngest of the three friends now speaks. His name is…
Zophar [and he] said to Job, Should not the multitude of your words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified? [“Can you justify yourself because of your speeches? Your many speeches? You think that, that should justify you, just because you’re a talker?”] Should your lies make men hold their peace? [Now you see, Job was correct in his evaluation. That’s pretty miserable kind of comfort. You’re hurting! You don’t know why you’re suffering, but you know you’d rather be dead at this point, because of all of the pain and suffering, the loathsomeness of your own body. This guy comes along, and is calling you a liar, supposed to be your friend.] when you mock, shall no man make you ashamed? For you have said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes (11:1-4).
Now Job did not say his doctrine is pure. He did declare that he didn’t know what he had done wrong, that would justify this calamity that he’s experienced.
But [Zophar says] oh that God would speak, and open up [And let him, and let us know his charges against you. “You’re definitely guilty Job! And if God would just speak!” Now, God did speak concerning Job. He spoke to Satan, said, “Have you considered my servant Job? He is a good man, he’s upright, he’s a perfect man, upright. He loves good, and he hates evil”. Now his friend is saying, “If God would only speak”,] open his lips against you; If he would only reveal the secrets of wisdom that he has, the knowledge that he has of you, [“Man you are twice as bad as we even can think you are!”] Know therefore that God has exacted of you less than your iniquity deserves (11:5- 6).
“Man Job, you haven’t received the half of what you deserve!” “Miserable comforters are you all!” For sure! Now, there is a truth to this however. None of us have experienced half of what we deserve. David, in writing of the mercies of God said, “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high is thy mercy towards us. For you have not punished us according to, or, you have not rewarded us according to our iniquity”. God has shown His grace towards us. God has shown His mercy towards us. I think only a fool would come to God and say, “Lord give me what I deserve”. Whenever I come to God, I say, “God have mercy, be merciful”. He asked an interesting question.
Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty unto perfection (11:7)?
These are sort of rhetoric questions, the answer is obviously, no. “Who by searching can find out God, can know God completely?” No man, by searching, can understand fully the nature of God. God reveals Himself, and we can only know of God, as He has revealed Himself to us. You can begin a mental quest, to seek to understand and to know God. But apart from God’s revelation of Himself, you cannot really know God, you cannot understand God. But God has revealed Himself to us, and the bible is that revelation.
There have been many people, who have begun a quest for God. Intellectually, trying to bring God within the confines of their intellect, and their understanding. Impossible! God said, “My ways are not your ways, my ways are beyond your finding out”. No man through a intellectual quest, can really come to a true understanding, a full understanding of God. To really know God, it takes God to reveal Himself to us, which He has done in order that we might know Him. But, “Who by searching can find out God, can you find out the Almighty unto completion or perfection?”
For the knowledge of God is as high as heaven; it is as deep as hell; what can you do? what can you know? The measure of it is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea (11:8-9).
Paul the apostle, in talking about the love of Jesus Christ, in his prayer for the Ephesians, and I think you ladies studied it, did you not, this last week? Kay, I think gave you quite an exposition on that. “That God would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by might, by His spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. That you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and the length, and the depth, and the height, and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.” The love of Christ passes knowledge. It’s more than a man can know. But Paul is praying that they might know it. The length, the breadth, the depth, the height. Zophar puts it in another way, he said, “It’s higher than heaven. It’s deeper than hell. It’s broader than the earth, the knowledge, the understanding of God”.
If he cut off, and shuts up, or gathers together, who can hinder him (11:10)?
The sovereignty of God, that awesome sovereignty of God. Who can stay the hand of God? Who can stop the purposes of God?
For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not consider it? [God knows, and God sees.] If you prepare your heart, and stretch out your hands toward him; And if iniquity be in your hand, then put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in your tents (11:11-14).
So he again is saying to Job, “Look if you’ll just stretch out your hands to God, and forsake your iniquity. God knows what’s going on in your life”.
For then you shall lift up your face without spot; and you shall be steadfast, and you shall not fear. Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away: And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; and thou shalt shine forth, and shalt be as the morning (11:15-17).
Now over in the previous chapter, Job, and his complaint, verse twenty one, said, “Behold, I go where I do not return, from where I do not return, even to the land of darkness”. The guy says, “Look you just get right with God, you’ll be like the noonday, you will shine forth, and be like the morning”.
You will be secure, because there is hope; yes, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety. Also you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; yes many shall make suit unto you. [In other words, “They’ll begin to seek your favor again”.] But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost (11:18-20).
“Your hope is as death.” Now if he had just left off that last verse, he was, he was coming along alright. He was giving some pretty good advice to Job. “You know, just seek the Lord, lift up your hands, and God will turn things around for you. Things will be, He’ll put away the darkness, it’ll be like the noonday, and you’ll be secure, because there is hope, you will dig around you”. The idea is that of, “you’ll, you’ll have a protection around you like a moat you’ll be protected. You’ll rest in safety, your fears will be gone. People will seek you out, and you will not be afraid”. But then he lapses back in his accusations, and he says, “But the eyes of the wicked”, and the insinuation is that Job is wicked. “They shall fail and shall not escape, and their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost, so as death.”
So Job answered and said, No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you (12:1- 2).
I’ve met some of these people. They feel that they have all of the answers, you know. They only know what’s right, and they’ve got life all figured out, and there’s a few people that I’d like to say this to also. “No doubt, you’re the people, and wisdom will die with you.”
But I have understanding as well as you; I’m not inferior to you: who doesn’t know these things that you’re saying so far? [“I mean, what do you take me for?”] I am as one that is mocked by his neighbor, who calleth upon God, and he answers him: and the just upright man is laughed to scorn. [“I am just, I am upright, you guys are just mocking me. You’re laughing me to scorn.”] He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease (12:3- 5).
It’s easy for a fellow who isn’t having any problems to have all the answers, all the little cliches for the guy that’s hurting. “It’s easy for you to just give these pat little answers.” “Hey you get right with God, and everything will be okay.”, and give these cliches to the guy who is really ready to slip.
The tabernacles [And now Job is showing really, the inconsistency of their argument. “If you just serve God you’ll be rich! Riches are a sign of godliness. Prosperity is a sign that everything is good between you and God. Poverty is a sign of sin in your life. Trouble is a sign of sin in your life. Being at ease is a sign that you’re righteous and holy.” But Job put that whole trip down. He said, “The tents”,] of the robbers prosper, and those who provoke God are secure; [These fellows who pirated the caravans, these robbers who laid in wait, their tents were full of, of gold, and jewels, and treasures that they had taken illegally. “Men that provoke God are secure.”] into whose hand God bringeth. But ask the beasts, and they will teach thee; the fowls of the air, they will tell thee: Speak to the earth, and it will teach thee: the fish of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind (12:6-10).
“Consult nature, you’ll see that God is in control. God rules.” Our lives are dependant upon Him. When Belshazzar, that Babylonian king, towards the end of his drunken revelry, with a thousand of his lords and princes, in his drunkenness, he ordered that they bring to him the gold and silver vessels that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem. That they might drink their wine out of these sacred vessels. As they drank they praised the gods of gold and silver, and there came upon the wall, on the plaster of the wall, a hand. It wrote words that they could not understand. The king, when he saw it, it says, “The joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees began to smite against each other”. Began to shake. He asked for an interpretation from his wise men, and counselors, they were not able to give it. The queen mother said, “In the days of your father’s reign, there was a man of the Hebrews who was skilled in interpreting dreams and all. He can probably tell you what it says”.
So they called for Daniel, who came into this scene. Before he interpreted the writing for Belshazzar, he said, “When you were small and nothing in your eyes, God gave to you this great kingdom of your father, grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar”. He had learned that God reigned and ruled over the nations of the world. Now you have brought in, these vessels of gold and silver, and you’ve praised the gods of gold and silver. But the God in whose hand your very breath is, you have not glorified. Here Job declared that, “The breath of every living thing is in the hand of God”. Daniel is saying to the king, “The God in whose hand your very breath is, you have not glorified”.
Our lungs are an involuntary muscle. They are not attached to the skeleton, and they’re not controlled by a direct action of the brain. In our body we have voluntary and involuntary muscles. The voluntary muscles are attached to the skeleton, they are controlled by the brain. Involuntary muscles, not attached to the skeleton, not controlled by the brain. Your heart is an involuntary muscle, your lungs are involuntary muscles. Interesting, those muscles on which your life depends, God doesn’t put in your control. Ha, ha! Wisdom there! You don’t have to think to breathe. God is in control of your breath.
“The God in whose hand your very breath is, you have not glorified.” In fact he had used that breath to praise these gods of gold and silver, and has refused to praise the true and the living God. Here Job acknowledges that all of us are dependant upon God for our continued existence. I depend upon God for my very next breath. We are all in God’s hands. So who knows not all, “That in all of these that the hand of the Lord has wrought this, in whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind”.
Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat? With the ancient is wisdom; and in the length of days is understanding. With him is wisdom and strength, and he has counsel and understanding. Behold, he breaks down, and who can build again: he shuts up a man, and there can be no opening. Behold, he holds back the waters, and they dry up: also he sends them out, and they overturn the earth. With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leadeth counselors away spoiled, and he makes the judges fools. He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle. He leadeth princes away spoiled, he overthrows the mighty. He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and takes away the understanding of the aged. He pours contempt upon the princes, and he weakens the strength of the mighty. He discovers the deep things out of the darkness, and brings out to the light the shadow of death. He increases the nations, and destroys them: he enlarges the nations, and straightens them again. He takes away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no path. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them to stagger as a drunken man (12:11-25).
So he just points out the sovereignty of God over His creation, over nature. He observes the floods. He observes how that the Tigress and the Euphrates filled up, and caused earth dams, and create deltas, and so He moves back the seas. But then he sees how the great floods come down through those valleys, and overturn everything. God is in control. God rules! He allows nations to be built up, but then brought back down again. God reigns, God controls, God rules. Job speaks here of God’s sovereignty over His creation, over the nations. God rules. Job continues…
My eye that seen all this, my ear has heard and understands. What you know, I also know: I am not inferior to you. Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I would desire to reason with God. [“I don’t want to bring my case before you guys! I would like to bring my case before God. I would like to come to God and speak to Him about what’s going on.”] Because you guys are forgers of lies, you are all physicians of no value. [“You can’t heal anybody.”] O that you would hold your peace! it should be your wisdom (13:1-5).
In other words, “Better to keep your mouth shut, and let people think you’re a fool, then to open it and remove all their doubt”. Ha, ha! “If you guys would just keep your mouth shut, it’d be the wisest thing you could do!”
Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him (13:6-7)?
Interesting question, and it is a question that should be taken very seriously, by people who are propagating weird and spurious doctrines, heresies. People that would say, “Well, thus saith the Lord”, and are speaking out of their own hearts. Weird ideas, speaking deceitfully for God. Some of these doctrines that are being espoused. Doctrines that really come from the friends of Job. “That if you’d just make the positive confessions, things would be okay. Negative confessions you’re gonna bring upon yourself those things that you fear.” They make a liar out of you! If you’re feeling miserable, it’s not bad to say, “I’m feeling miserable!” That’s truthful. If you’re feeling miserably, and you say, “Oh I feel great!”. That’s a lie! It’s not a positive confession, it’s a lie! There are those that speak deceitfully for God, and Job is challenging these guys. “Will you, will you speak for God, words that are deceitful or wicked?”
Will you accept his person? will you contend for God? [“Will you try and defend God?”] It is good that he should search you out? or as on that mocketh another, do you so mock him? He will surely reprove you if you do secretly accept persons (13:8-10).
Now it is interesting that when God finally, and it’s, by the time He gets on the scene, we’ll be glad to see Him. But when God finally comes on the scene, and begins to speak to Job, and challenge Job, that in the end, God says to these guys, “Now you better repent and have Job pray for you. You guys are in serious trouble!”.
Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you? Your remembrances are like unto ashes, you bodies to bodies of clay. [“Fragile.”] Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will. Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand? Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: [What a statement of faith!! Job, in all of this misery, all of this pain, all of this confusion, still trusting. “Though he slays me, still I’ll trust Him.”] but I will maintain my own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him (13:11-16).
“God will, God will be my salvation. I’m going to trust Him, He’s going to maintain my ways.”
Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears. Behold now, I have ordered my cause: and I know that I shall be justified (13:17-18).
Job is maintaining steadfastly, his innocence in these things. That’s what’s making the guy so angry. It’s completely opposed to their doctrine. “Surely a righteous man should not suffer, if you have enough faith, you’re not going to suffer. You can overcome anything with your faith. You can just command God to do what you want.” This is the philosophy that these men were holding.
Who is he that will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I’ll die. Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee (13:19-20).
Now Job has turned to God. He’s through talking to his friends, he wants to talk to God. He is saying to God, “Now look, there are two things that I ask you don’t do. First of all, give me a breather.”
Withdraw your hand from me: [“These boils, this pain, this suffering that I’m going through, please, for a time, withdraw thy hand far from me”,] and let not thy dread make me afraid. [“I don’t want to be afraid of just what God may do.”] Then call, and I will answer: [“Give your charges, give me a chance to answer you Lord. Tell me what’s wrong. Show me where I’ve failed. Show me where I’ve gone wrong. Let me, let me have a chance to answer you.”] or [“Turn it around Lord. Let me plead my case with you.”] let me speak, and then you answer me. How many are my iniquities and sins? [“Lord, what have I done? Show me where I’ve gone wrong.”] make me to know my transgression and my sin. Why do you hide your face, and hold me as your enemy? Will you break a leaf that is driven to and fro? [“God, I’m so feeble! I’m like a, I’m like a leaf, a dried leaf in the fall, that is just crushed under the step. Will you break me like a leaf driven to and fro?”] or will you pursue dry stubble? [“Lord, I’m nothing!”] For you write bitter things against me, and you make me to possess the iniquities of my youth (13:21-26).
So Job says, “Is it something that I did when I was a kid? Are you bringing up now, the past, that which was way back there?” Now everybody has things in their youth that they would like to bury. When David was praying he said, “Remember not the sins of my youth”. But Job goes back, “Lord was there something when I was a child, that I’ve done that, that you’re punishing me for now?”
You put my feet also in the stocks, [That was a thing that was practiced way back then.] you look narrowly [upon] unto all my paths; and you set a print upon the heels of my feet. [The feet that were in the stocks, and they print against the heel.] And he, as a rotten thing, [He’s talking about his body. It was rotting. “And he, as a rotten thing”,] consumed, [“My body is being consumed by the horrible, loathsome boils.”] as a garment that is moth eaten (13:27-28).
Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble (14:1).
That’s Job’s outlook on life at this point. You know, somehow life always seems short. As I am getting to that place where I can look back so much further than I can look ahead, it seems that life has been very short. There are so many things that I would like to do, that I plan to do. One day I said, “I’m gonna do that”, but I’ve never gotten around to doing it. Now, as time is slipping away, I realize there are a lot of these things I probably never will do. Life is short.
I would imagine however, if you talked to Methuselah, when he hit his nine hundred and sixty fifth birthday, and asked him about life. Say, “Well it’s just really too short to do everything that you wanted to do”. “I really had some high plans and all, but looks like I’m not gonna make it”. You know. I think that is an awareness that everybody has. That somehow life is too short to fulfill all of the dreams and all of the desires and ambitions that we may have had. “Man who is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.”
Jacob when he came down to meet the Pharaoh, the father of Joseph, and he was brought in and introduced to the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh said, “How old are you sir?”, and he said, “The days of my pilgrimage have been a hundred and sixty five years. Few and evil have been my days”. A hundred and sixty five years old! “Few and evil.” Much as what we read here in Job. “Few days full of trouble.”
He comes forth like a flower, but is cut down: he flees also as a shadow, and continues not (14:2).
These are two figures, poetic, that are used of the brevity of life. In the Psalms it speaks of life being as a flower that bursts forth, and then fades away. The grass of the field that comes forth and is green, but withers and dies so quickly. In Isaiah he uses the same figure. It’s used in the new testament. Jesus uses it, it’s used in the epistles of Paul. It’s a very poetic figure of speech kind of a thing, it speaks of the shortness of life. “But like the flower, it blooms and, the wildflowers, they’re there for a couple of weeks, and then they’re gone. Like the shadow. “Life is”, James said, “like a vapor that appears for a moment, and then disappears”. The shortness of life. Only one life. It’ll soon be past. But only what you do for Jesus Christ is going to last. Remember that.
Dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bring me into judgement with thee? [“Lord who am I? I’m really nothing! Are you observing me to bring me into judgement?”] Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing? not one. Seeing that his days are determined, and the number of his months are with thee, thou has appointed his bounds that he cannot pass (14:3-5);
God has determined my days. The Bible says it’s appointed unto man once to die. “You have appointed his boundaries.” God has appointed how, God knows exactly when and how I’m gonna pass from this life. He’s appointed my boundaries, and I can’t pass over them. When the time comes for you to go, you’re going to go!
Turn from him, [he says] that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as a hireling, his day. [“God give me an opportunity just to fill my day.” But you know, the hireling always looked for the end of the day. When the, when the labor would be over, “When I collect my pay, and go home”.] Now there’s hope for a tree [He says. “No hope for man. But there’s hope for a tree.”] that if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and the tender branch will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant (14:6-9).
You can cut down a tree, and so often times even from the roots, new branches will spring up. The moment they’re watered, new branches will come on up out of the roots. So there’s hope for a tree if it’s cut down, that it might continue to survive, that it might continue to live, that it will bring forth a new life.
But man, he dies, and wastes away: yea, man gives up the ghost, and where is he (14:10)?
Giving up the ghost is giving up the spirit. As they reference so often in the scriptures to death, in fact, even within the text here, I think in the text tonight, three times, where he speaks about giving up the ghost, or dying. It’s a reference to dying. My spirit departing from my body. The body isn’t the real me. The real me is spirit. My spirit lives, or dwells in this body. One day, my spirit will move out of this body, when it does, my body will cease to function. I will cease to breathe, my heart will cease to beat, when my spirit moves out of the body. Now he asked the question, “When the spirit leaves the body, then where is man? Where, where is the spirit, where does it go?”.
As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lies down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep (14:11-12).
“Long after the universe flickers and dies, man will remain in his sleep. Man dies, he wastes away. His spirit leaves his body, where does it go?”
Oh that you would hide me in the grave, that you would keep me secret, until your wrath is over, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me (14:13)!
“Oh God, that I could just hide for awhile in the grave, and let your wrath pass over, and then remember me!” An interesting thing here, that the scripture tells us, that God’s wrath is going to come upon the earth, and after that, the resurrection. After the great tribulation. Job is sort of asking for that. But then he asks the question…
If a man dies, does he go on living? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come (14:14).
“If I just could believe this, it would help me tremendously. I could wait, I could endure, it would give me the strength to go through. I would just wait for this whole thing to be over. I could understand things better, if I knew that life continued after death.” That is the question of course, that lies deep in the heart of every one of us. It is a question that surfaces, every time a friend of ours dies. Every time we hear of a death, of someone that’s been close to us, someone we knew. When they die, the question flashes back, “Is that the end? Is that all? Is, is it all over? Or, does life continue? If a man dies, does he go on living?”. This question of Job, was not answered for Job. It remained only a question.
However, when we get to chapter nineteen, we will find Job making a very interesting statement, verse twenty five, he said, “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh, shall I seek God; whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. Though my reins be consumed within me.” So Job, rising out of this despair and all, comes forth with this glorious statement of faith. But at this point, it’s just a question. “If a man dies, does he go on living? If I could only accept, and believe this! Then, I would just wait for the changes to come. The metamorphosis.”
You will call, and I will answer thee: you will have a desire to the work of thine hands. For now you number my steps: but are you watching over my sin? My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and you sew up my iniquity. And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place. The waters wear the stones: you wash away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and you destroy the hope of man. You’ve prevailed for ever against him, and he passes: and you change his countenance, and send him away. His sons come to honour, and he doesn’t even know it; and they are brought low, but he perceives it not of them. But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn (14:15-22).
Oh what a, what a dirge, you know. What a hopeless kind of a, as Job said, “You, you, you know, you just brought me to this hopeless state”. He observes again nature. How that, the processes of nature just wear things down. “The canyons have been formed by the streams. The rocks have been removed”, the canyons have been sort of, oh the word that I want, I can’t grasp–that’s age. Carved out, yes. “The canyons have been carved out by the rushing streams. Rocks wear away in time, with the constant friction of the water going over them. Forms little ridges in the rocks, things go on. But you’ve left man. Your forces that are constantly pushing, leave us, you know, they, they wear us down. You prevail against him, as nature prevails against that in its path. As the aeromocasisis slowly destroying all of the things of the earth. He passes, and he changes his countenance, he sends them away. His sons come to honor”. He doesn’t realize, you pass away and the world goes on, life goes on, but you’re not aware of it anymore. His flesh has pain, his soul within him won’t.
What a sad thing when there is no hope. What a sad thing when there is no gospel of Jesus Christ. How dark is life, apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ! Job lived apart from the revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of this misery and suffering, is born out of the darkness in which he lived. The darkness in which the world around you lives, who has not the hope of Jesus Christ.
Oh how this should bring us to a greater appreciation of that hope that we have in Christ tonight! If a man dies, does he go on living? Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and he who lives and believes in me, shall never die”. There’s a hope, there’s a promise, there’s an affirmation to us from Jesus Christ. So that as we face these many difficulties in life, we face them with a hope! This life isn’t all!
As Paul the apostle, “For we know that the present sufferings, which are but for a moment, cannot be compared with the eternal weight of glory, that shall be revealed. We know”, Paul said, “that if we suffer with Him, we will reign with Him. Our light affliction, but for a moment, is working this eternal weight of glory. The present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that’s going to be revealed”.
Oh what a difference the gospel of Jesus Christ makes in my attitude towards life! In the way that I face these difficulties in life. Job lived without the hope, and it’s expressed in the writings, and we see this total despair. The only hope is in the form of a question. There’s no assurance. But God has given us His word, the glorious assurance of the word of God. That we shall spend our eternity in the glory of His presence, in His kingdom. We who live and believe in Jesus Christ, shall not die, we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. We shall be like Him. For this corruption, we’ll put on incorruption, and this mortal, we’ll put on immortality. Thus our hope, gives us a whole attitude towards life, of victory, and of glory. We know that when we are at the end of the road, we will be ushered into His presence, and the glory of His kingdom! Thank God for the hope that is ours, in and through Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t give up that hope for anything!
May the Lord bless you, and keep His hand upon your life as you walk in fellowship with Him. May you be strengthened day by day, by the work of His Spirit within your life, and may you begin to experience His victories, His power over sin. May the love of Christ, and the peace of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, rest and abide with all of you, while we are absent from each other. May God draw us together again, that we might grow in our knowledge and understanding of His love, and grace, through Jesus Christ.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7159