Job 17:12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.
13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.
14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.
Job continued to judge the response of Eliphaz and his accomplices. They were twisting things around. They were turning truth into lies and lies into truth. They had developed a false theology and they were working together to make that false theology the only thing to consider. They dismissed the truth and insisted on their faulty line of reasoning.
Job was resolved to what he saw as the end of his life. He could not see how he could last much longer. His physical problems were taking their toll on his body. His mental state was also wearing him down. A person that has no hope does great harm to his life. A depressed person affects his health with his mental state.
Job’s life was not as bad as he thought it was. He was forgetting that God is greater than any trouble we face. The important factor is to know the true God and to trust Him regardless of our circumstances.
Job expected the worms to be eating him soon. He saw nothing else ahead for himself. In verse 15 he wondered where his hope was. He could not see any light in his current situation. As we will see, he still had hope in God after death, but he was convinced that his end was near in this life. Job lost sight of any hope for a recovery in this life. Things were just too dark for him. Job did not believe that anyone would see him restored. He believed that death was imminent and that was it.
In verse 16 he stated that his hope was going down to the bars of the pit. The word translated as “bars” has the meaning of being alone and of separation. Bars in a prison certainly separate the person behind them from those outside. Being locked up can also bring loneliness and add to the despair that a person might already be in. Death certainly separates the living from the dead. The pit is a reference to death. It is going to the place of no return.
Occasionally we hear of someone who claims to have died and gone to heaven and then come back. The apostle Paul spoke of seeing heaven for a moment in time. The reports we here now are distorted. We know that due to the erroneous accounts given of what people claim to have seen or heard.
Jesus Christ came from heaven and He ascended back up to heaven. He is coming back in the clouds to take the New Testament saints out soon. He will come back seven years after that to establish His Millennial kingdom on this earth. However, those who die now do not come back to this present earth. Death here ushers in the next phase of the person’s life. The saved go directly to heaven. The lost go directly to hell.
Job had a hope of seeing his Redeemer in his flesh. He believed in a resurrection. He lacked some details in regard to God’s preparations and His work in the meantime. Job understood that all people will face death at some point. He claimed that death was the great equalizer. Death is not the great equalizer. As we have mentioned death is certain for all. Those who are saved have a glorious future ahead of them in heaven. Jesus Christ will be there to judge the saints as to their place in heaven, but heaven is assured for all those who turn to God in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
Death for the unsaved is a tragedy. It does not put a person into purgatory. There is no such place. Augustine developed that heresy and the Catholics were happy to accept that heresy as part of their false teaching. Augustine knows better now. He has been suffering in torment now for a long time and he will never be relieved of that torment. He sealed his eternal state by rejecting the true God and His way of salvation. No person can earn heaven. No person can work to pay for their sins. Jesus Christ died on the cross for sinners. He shed His blood on the cross to make it possible for people to be saved. Those who reject that work, have no recourse. They will be in hell for all eternity. This is not what God wants for anyone. He wants all to be saved. However, in order to be saved, a person must turn to God in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. There is no other hope.
Job was in a dark place at the present time in our text, however, God would revive his hope and would show him how important it was for him to humble himself and not assume things he knew nothing about. Job imagined that his life was nearing the end. He would discover that God had other plans. God knew what He was doing and Job was guessing at things, rather than trusting in God. There are so many important lessons to learn from the book of Job. The devil would want us to dwell on the dark things. God would want us to look at His hand in this book. He works all things for His glory. When a saved person chooses to glorify God, He blesses and directs that person with His peace. Job lacked that for a time. That was his choice. As we apply the truths given to us in this book, we can choose to trust in God even in the midst of difficulties. He will bring us through them and we will be better for it if our trust is in the Lord.