Chapter 14:1-6 (ESV) - Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.
He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not.
And do you open your eyes on such a one
and bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
There is not one.
Since his days are determined,
and the number of his months is with you,
and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
look away from him and leave him alone,
that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.
Question to consider: Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that today’s passage is probably considered “hate speech” by our modern culture, and by posting this to social media sites, I’ll probably be warned that it violates some policy or subtly shadow-banned to limit the number of people who can read it. Even the declarative statement “Man who is born of a woman” is considered an offense by our culture even though it would have been assumed to be a definitive statement before 2015.
Job’s point in this passage was that everyone is born into sin because everyone came from sinful parents. If everyone is born into sin, then nobody can stand before God in righteousness, and our time here on earth is limited. Job understood that our hope of eternal life with God was dependent on righteous perfection in our actions and attitudes. Job considered himself blameless when compared with his neighbor, but not when compared with a perfectly holy God. Since nobody can meet God’s standards for eternal life, Job asked that God keep His hand of judgment from people and leave them alone while they walked the earth.
What Job couldn’t have known at that time was that there is One who would be born righteous because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit as the only begotten Son of God. Job lived before this revelation was given to Isaiah about the anointed One, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10) Instead of His days being “limited”, they were prolonged, eternal. Because He lives, we can be made righteous through Him and live also. Our suffering in this life is temporary, and it is being used by God to bring glory to His Son. Let us rejoice in the midst of the storm by looking to the day when we will be raised in glory.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for bringing righteousness out of the unrighteous. Help us to view our suffering in light of the glorious and unlimited future You have for Your people in Christ. Amen.