Today’s reading: Job 14-16.
“Start with the end in mind.” Stephen Covey
We shy away from thoughts of our own death. It’s too unknown, too radical, or too scary. Yet there is power in facing up to death. It’s the power of priority, for death helps us see what’s really important in life. With our end in mind we are motivated to make decisions now that will make our life more meaningful then. Job’s illness forced him to face his own mortality, and even to desire death, because his life had become unbearable.
“Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.” Job 14:1-2
Job summed up man’s life and death in this way:
- Life is short.
- Our days are determined by God.
- Death is final.
- Trouble and hard work are unavoidable features of life.
In spite of his present misery and that gloomy forecast, Job still managed to hope in the future. In particular, he maintained hope for the time when God would not keep track of his sin, when his sins would be tied up in a bag, and be covered over. In the midst of his darkest days, Job insisted he had an advocate in heaven who would testify on his behalf, one who would plead with God for him as a man pleads for his friend (Job 16:19,21). Like so much of the Old Testament, the scarlet thread of Jesus Christ runs heavily through the book of Job. Job’s faith in a redeemer opened up eternity, though he knew life was short and hard, and for that reason he kept hoping.
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