Job 14 - Life's Trials
Job 14 1Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. 2He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. 3And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? 4Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. 5Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; 6Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. 7For 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. 8Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; 9Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. 10But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: 12So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 13O 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! 14If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 15Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands. 16For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin? 17My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity. 18And surely the mountains falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place. 19The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man. 20Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away. 21His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them. 22But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.
Today's Scripture Meaning Job speaks of man's life. (1-6) Of man's death. (7-15) By sin man is subject to corruption. (16-22) Verses 1-6: Job enlarges upon the condition of man, addressing himself also to God. Every man of Adam's fallen race is short-lived. All his show of beauty, happiness, and splendour falls before the stroke of sickness or death, as the flower before the scythe; or passes away like the shadow. How is it possible for a man's conduct to be sinless, when his heart is by nature unclean? Here is a clear proof that Job understood and believed the doctrine of original sin. He seems to have intended it as a plea, why the Lord should not deal with him according to his own works, but according to His mercy and grace. It is determined, in the counsel and decree of God, how long we shall live. Our times are in his hands, the powers of nature act under him; in him we live and move. And it is very useful to reflect seriously on the shortness and uncertainty of human life, and the fading nature of all earthly enjoyments. But it is still more important to look at the cause, and remedy of these evils. Until we are born of the Spirit, no spiritually good thing dwells in us, or can proceed from us. Even the little good in the regenerate is defiled with sin. We should therefore humble ourselves before God, and cast ourselves wholly on the mercy of God, through our Divine Surety. We should daily seek the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and look to heaven as the only place of perfect holiness and happiness. Verses 7-15: Though a tree is cut down, yet, in a moist situation, shoots come forth, and grow up as a newly planted tree. But when man is cut off by death, he is for ever removed from his place in this world. The life of man may fitly be compared to the waters of a land flood, which spread far, but soon dry up. All Job's expressions here show his belief in the great doctrine of the resurrection. Job's friends proving miserable comforters, he pleases himself with the expectation of a change. If our sins are forgiven, and our hearts renewed to holiness, heaven will be the rest of our souls, while our bodies are hidden in the grave from the malice of our enemies, feeling no more pain from our corruptions, or our corrections. Verses 16-22: Job's faith and hope spake, and grace appeared to revive; but depravity again prevailed. He represents God as carrying matters to extremity against him. The Lord must prevail against all who contend with him. God may send disease and pain, we may lose all comfort in those near and dear to us, every hope of earthly happiness may be destroyed, but God will receive the believer into realms of eternal happiness. But what a change awaits the prosperous unbeliever! How will he answer when God shall call him to his tribunal? The Lord is yet upon a mercy-seat, ready to be gracious. Oh that sinners would be wise, that they would consider their latter end! While man's flesh is upon him, that is, the body he is so loth to lay down, it shall have pain; and while his soul is within him, that is, the spirit he is so loth to resign, it shall mourn. Dying work is hard work; dying pangs often are sore pangs. It is folly for men to defer repentance to a death-bed, and to have that to do which is the one thing needful, when unfit to do anything.
Today's Scripture Application Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Job with Chapter 14. In our text today we see Job continuing to address his friends with a truth that life is brief and comes with troubles and these troubles drive you can drive you closer to God. In making application we see that our troubles and trials can do as Job driving us closer to God or like Job's wife, further from God. How about you? How do you react to the trials that will come your way? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Job to remember that we all have trails and the correct responce is to get closer to God.
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Sincerely, Dr. Dave Burnette Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.