Job 14:7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?
11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up:
12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
In verses 7-9 Job spoke of the science of plants. He was directed to speak about trees. You can cut a tree down but if the roots are strong, they will cause new sprouts to shoot up and a new tree or even several trees can come from that. We have been able to witness this fact as well. God designed trees to work this way.
Job looked at this fact and contrasted that with man in verses 10-12. When a man dies his body begins the decay process. No new person sprouts from the decaying dead body. Man dies and then what?
Job looked at the waters that recede from the sea and compares that to man. Man dies and he does not come back. We know that Job believed in the resurrection of man. We will see that yet. What he is talking about here is that man does not come back to this earth and start over again. No human being dies and comes back to start over in this world.
We know the Hindus and some other false religions believe in reincarnation. They assume that when a person dies they come back as something else. If they were “evil” they might come back as a fly or a rat or some other thing. If they were “good” they might come back as something better than they were when they died.
Job was not a fool. He knew that when a person dies they do not come back to this earth. He was sure of this fact and it is true. We are not coming back to repopulate this earth.
In verse 13 Job asked God to let him die and rest in the grave until His wrath against him would pass. He wanted God to leave him alone until He would look favourably upon him in the resurrection. Job continued to assume that God had it in for him. He assumed that God was not treating him fairly. He wanted to get an answer from God but he was not patient enough to wait for that answer. He was allowing his mind to develop all kinds of ideas about God that were not true. Job also asked God that if He did not want to talk to him, then just let him die and rest. He assumed that eventually God would forget about His judgment against Job and would look favourably upon him in the resurrection. Job had some things to learn here.
In verse 14, Job asked the question about the resurrection and then he answered that question as well. He knew there was a resurrection coming.
It is interesting to note that Job assumed that God was punishing him now. He wished to die and rest in the grave. Somehow, he assumed that his death could mysteriously fix his supposed sin problem and God would raise him up to serve Him in some capacity. Job had some strange beliefs. Time does not fix the sin problem. Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ fixes the sin problem.
The Catholics teach that there is a purgatory. They believe that if the surviving family and friends of the dead person will give enough money to the priest, that possibly the time in purgatory could be lessened and the dead person might end up in heaven at some point.
There is no purgatory. The time for salvation is now. After death it is too late. There is no further opportunity for salvation and no further opportunity to lessen the punishment of sin, after death.
There are others who insist that we must go through the Tribulation now in order to prepare for heaven. They assume that we have to suffer for our sins in some way here. It is true that God judges sin. It is true that there are consequences to sin. It is also true that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. He suffered and died on that cross and He shed His blood on that cross to pay for our sins. That does not give us the right to live wicked lives and assume that everything will be good in the end. Many people today have strange beliefs just as some of Job’s were strange.
Those who are saved need to walk in the fear of God in all things. We need to walk disciplined lives that are humble enough to let God be God. We cannot assume anything. God had declared what is true. We need to forget our supposed wisdom and we need to let God give us His wisdom. That way we can know His peace and blessing and be a blessing to others as well.
In verse 15 Job believed he would be able to hear God’s call to him, even though he were dead and rotting in the ground. Again we see that Job had some understanding regarding the resurrection. The Bible tells us that the New Testament saints that have died will rise again at the rapture. They will receive their new bodies and their souls will be reunited with their new bodies. The living saints will also receive their new bodies at that same time and together, all the New Testament saints will follow Jesus Christ into their heavenly home. There we will dwell with Christ. After the millennium, there will be a new heavens and a new earth and all the saints will dwell in that place for ever.
The Old Testament saints, like Job, will be resurrected at the second coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation. Daniel tells us this. All the saints will be resurrected before the lost are. The lost will be resurrected at the end of the millennium.
The lost will not fare well at all. At the moment of death, the lost person goes to hell. There is no reprieve. There is no opportunity for repentance and salvation after death. The lost will be tormented in hell until the end of the millennium and then at the great white throne judgment they will be resurrected and judged according to their works and then cast into the lake of fire to spend all of eternity in torment in that place. It is a dreadful end for those who reject God’s way of salvation.
Job had some things right, but he was missing some important facts. He was not being punished by God. He was being tested by the devil. He was being protected by God because he was a true child of God.
Some might argue that he was not being protected very well. We tend to look at suffering through a high powered microscope. We do not like suffering. We tend to dwell more on suffering than we do on blessings. Job would learn to change his perspective on life. He would learn to exalt God and trust Him in a far greater way than he presently was.
Things would change quite drastically for Job because God was merciful to him. Job would benefit from God’s mercy and we can learn how to face life with a much clearer understanding, if we are saved. We can know that God is good all the time and that His ways are much higher than our ways. We really have no right nor need to question what God is doing. He is so much wiser than we are. God gives every person the opportunity to know Him and trust Him. It is very unwise to fight against God. When a person truly is saved, God gives them clarity so that they take a much different approach to Him than before salvation.
Jesus was crucified between two thieves. Both railed on Him for a time. One of them “woke up” and realized they both deserved to be on their crosses. They were guilty criminals. He came to see that Jesus was an innocent man. He actually came to see that Jesus was more than just an innocent man. He asked Jesus to remember Him when He entered into His kingdom. He was given enough insight to know that Jesus Christ had the power to save Him. The other thief could also have known that, but he chose to reject the truth.
The one thief on the cross who repented and trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation was blessed with God’s forgiveness and salvation. He took advantage of the truth before it was too late. He discovered that God is truly merciful to those who look to Him for salvation.
Job trusted in God to a certain degree at this time. He would come to see God in a much purer manner through the suffering he faced. The suffering was not enjoyable. However, he was given the opportunity to come through the suffering and be better for it. His three friends did not suffer as he was. They were arrogant and self-willed. They would face God’s rebuke. We do not know if they benefitted from God’s mercy and grace toward them. We know they needed to bring an offering to Job for him to bring before the Lord. God would not receive an offering directly from them.
Today, you and I need to learn to trust God more fully. We never will fully know why God does what He does on this earth. However, if we choose to listen to Him and get saved, we can grow in our understanding of Him and we can rest in Him rather than be frustrated and worried about life. Choose wisely and know God’s peace today.