Job Speaks of the Finality of Death
14 “Man, who is born of woman,
Is [a]short-lived and full of turmoil.
2 “Like a flower he comes forth and withers.
He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.
3 “You also open Your eyes on him
And bring [b]him into judgment with Yourself.
4 “Who can make the clean out of the unclean?
5 “Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
And his limits You have [c]set so that he cannot pass.
6 “Turn Your gaze from him that he may [d]rest,
Until he [e]fulfills his day like a hired man.
7 “For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not [f]fail.
8 “Though its roots grow old in the ground
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
9 At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant.
10 “But man dies and lies prostrate.
Man expires, and where is he?
11 “As water [g]evaporates from the sea,
And a river becomes parched and dried up,
12 So man lies down and does not rise.
Until the heavens are no longer,
[h]He will not awake nor be aroused out of [i]his sleep.
As Job mourns the brevity of human life, he sounds a bit like Solomon who would later say “vanity, vanity, all is vanity…” Solomon would continue by asking “what does man gain by all his toils?” Or in Jobs words “Man expires, and where is he?” That is the single most important question in all of life, because for all Job’s knowledge, his view was a bit shortsighted.
While our body expires, our soul lives on for eternity. We were not designed for such a short life, and while some before the flood reached 900+ years, even that is not our destiny. Paul said it succinctly, “to be absent from the body, is to be present with Christ.” That is our greatest hope and what God destined for us.
Yet, that brings in Job’s other vital question, “Who can make the clean out of the unclean?” No one that Job knew had or could accomplish such a feat, but Jesus did that for Job and all those who believed without seeing. And He did it for us once and for all when He took our sins to the cross. To realize our destiny, we need to know how to get there, and it is only possible through the life and death (and life again) of Jesus.
When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, and choose to live for Him, our fate is sealed, and in the best way possible. He offers us a life far beyond anything we will experience on this earth. Amazing as this Creation is, and surely God laid out quite the smorgasbord for our physical bodies, He has something more incredible planned for our eternity. Life everlasting, and life to the full, for all who accept His gift and choose Him. That choice will transform the futility of this life into a mission to build God’s kingdom and share the good news with everyone around us.