Thursday, February 16, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Job 13-14
We continue our devotional reading in the Book of Job reminding you that, after being assailed by “friends” who came under the guise to comfort him (Job 2:11-13), those same “friends” looked upon Job’s afflictions and judged his troubles were a result of sin (Job 4-5, 8, 11). Job answered the accusations, stating not all troubles are the consequences of sin (Job 12:6) and asserting the sovereignty of God over man (Job 12:14-25).
Job 13 opens with Job answering his “friends” (13:1-12), declaring his innocence and reproving them for their hypocrisy (13:4). He challenged the affront that they would dare speak for God apart from His revelations (13:7-11).
In an amazing statement of faith, Job declares, “Though He [the LORD] slay me [kill; put to death], yet will I trust [hope; wait] in Him” (13:15).
Consider Job’s circumstances: His sons and daughters are dead; his home, possessions, and flocks lost; his body afflicted with sores; his wife taunting him to “curse God”, and his “friends” condemning him. Yet, Job says, “Should I die, ‘yet will I trust [and hope] in Him’” (13:15b).
Reflecting on the temporal nature of this earthly life, Job declared man’s life is “of few days, and full of trouble” (14:1). Like a flower that blooms, but is soon cut down; the bloom and strength of one’s youth passes and we are no more (14:2).
While our day trifles with death and eternity, Job pondered the inevitable reality that man’s days are numbered (Job 14:5)! No wonder anxiety is epidemic in our day! Although our world is dominated by amusements (lit. “to not think”; things that divert one’s thinking), everywhere we turn there are reminders life is temporal. The sound of a siren racing to an accident; the sight of a cross marking the site where someone’s loved one died; or a procession of mourners following a hearse to the cemetery…all remind us our days are numbered (Psalm 90:12) and our lives are like a vapor (James 4:14).
Lest I end this devotion on a hopeless note, I invite you to consider Job’s affirmations in the closing verses of Job 14. Job pondered how a tree that is cut down, will sometimes spring forth into life and new growth (14:7-9). What about man? Can man face death and hope for life beyond the grave (14:10-12)?
Job lacked the full revelation of God’s Word we have in our possession and death and the resurrection were mysteries to him; however, in spite of his lack of knowledge, Job believed God would remember him in death (Job 14:14-15). What a joy to know that, though lacking God’s full revelation of life, death, and eternity, Job believed God was merciful and gracious and would raise from the grave those whose faith and trust is in Him!
What about your earthly life, physical death, and eternity? Like Job, your days are numbered and you will face death. The writer of Hebrews stated the same when he wrote, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). I close with good news: although “the wages of sin is death…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith