After Job shares of his hope in God in spite of his circumstances in chapter 13, he then talks about the inevitability of death. He goes back to that hope in verses 7-9, illustrating how a tree that’s cut down still has roots underground and can still sprout later but how there’s more of finality in death on this earth. When Job asks “where is he?” in verse 10 when talking about death, he is not specifically talking about the afterlife, and questioning whether there is a heaven or hell (which he alludes to in verse 12), but instead is making a point in showing that there’s only one life for us on this earth.
Verses 15-17 are important in this chapter, for it shows how one longs for forgiveness of sin in this life and how God gives it but it doesn’t take away from how hard and tough life can be (v. 18-22), even comparing it to water eroding rocks and mountains falling. One can easily read this chapter and wonder where the hope we proclaim through the Gospel of Jesus and victory over death in the resurrection is but we must keep in mind of the context of Job’s suffering. He is not talking about the after-life in such ways but the reality of a hard, hard life that many of Christians have and are currently living under persecution, disease and other sufferings, some more than others, all with the hope of what’s to come after this life in mind. If anything, by the end of this book, we should be encouraged, knowing that others have suffered as we do where God is sovereign in the end and knowing that such trials are limited to this one limited life we live, looking forward to the eternal life to come through the Gospel of Jesus.
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor