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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Job

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FRAMEWORKS: Job 14: Job's fourth speech [Part 3 of 3]

 

[Preliminary Comments: In this most remarkable chapter Job confronts mortality

- life comes and goes so easily [v.1,2]

- imperfect, limited-length lives raises big questions [v.3-6]

- nature regrows, but not the human body at death [v.7-12]

- the grave [Jewish belief, Sheol] confronts us, but could there be resurrection [v.13,14]

- if there is a waiting period there might be a time of assessment [v.15-17]

- for this is surely a levelling time for man, all pride reduced to nothing [v.18-22]

 

 

v.1,2 He realises his life is like a fleeting shadow

v.1 “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. 

v.2 They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure. 

 

v.3,4 Humanity is imperfect, what hope is there for them therefore?

v.3 Do you fix your eye on them? Will you bring them before you for judgment? 

v.4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one! 

 

v.5,6 Human life has set times and will die sometime, so why bother with us?

v.5 A person's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. 

v.6 So look away from him and let him alone, till he has put in his time like a hired laborer. 

 

v.7-9 It seems a tree chopped down has more hope of regrowing

v.7 “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. 

v.8 Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, 

v.9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. 

 

v.10-12 But not so with man, when he dies that's it!

v.10 But a man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more. 

v.11 As the water of a lake dries up or a riverbed becomes parched and dry, 

v.12 so he lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, people will not awake or be roused from their sleep. 

 

v.13 Keep me in Sheol if necessary until you are ready to talk to me

v.13 “If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me! 

 

v.14 I keep hoping for the possibility of resurrection

v.14 If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. 

 

v.15 If you thus preserve me you can talk to me, the end result of your work in me

v.15 You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made. 

 

v.16 Then, surely, you'll be more concerned with the end product that is me

v.16 Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. 

 

v.17 And you will have dealt with my sins and got rid of them

v.17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin. 

 

v.18,19 Just as nature is eroded, so you erode man's self-pride

v.18 “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place, 

v.19 as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy a person's hope. 

 

v.20 With only death to look forward to, you deal with their pride

v.20 You overpower them once for all, and they are gone; you change their countenance and send them away. 

 

v.21 Death means being cut-off from ongoing family life and successes

v.21 If their children are honored, they do not know it; if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it. 

 

v.22 With everything take away, they are left to themselves.

v.22 They feel but the pain of their own bodies and mourn only for themselves.”

 

 

[Concluding Comments: We simply recap Job's argument from the beginning of the chapter:

- life comes and goes so easily [v.1,2]

- imperfect, limited-length lives raises big questions [v.3-6]

- nature regrows, but not the human body at death [v.7-12]

- the grave [Jewish belief, Sheol] confronts us, but could there be resurrection [v.13,14]

- if there is a waiting period there might be a time of assessment [v.15-17]

- for this is surely a levelling time for man, all pride reduced to nothing [v.18-22]

 

CONTINUE to Chapter 15