Job makes the argument that trees, when cut down, continue to live; new shoots with leaves spring up from the stump and the tree continues to live. People, on the other hand, like dried up rivers, cease to exist. He wonders about the point of it all.
But we have information Job did not have. We have knowledge of Christ who died so that death would not defeat us. We know that death is not the end for humanity.
What will we do with that knowledge? Will we live in this life tolerating our days until that day when we meet Jesus face to face? Or will we make the most of the days we have, living every moment to its fullest? I don’t believe our knowledge of eternal life should mean that this world is a holding pattern – something we endure until real life begins. I believe God gave us this life as a gift. We can let it defeat us or we can embrace it fully. I choose to live.
“A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble, comes up like a flower and withers, flees like a shadow and does not last. Do you fix your eyes on such a one? Do you bring me into judgment with you? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one can. Since their days are determined, and the number of their months is known to you, and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass, look away from them, and desist, that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.
“For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stump dies in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant. But mortals die, and are laid low; humans expire, and where are they? As waters fail from a lake, and a river wastes away and dries up, so mortals lie down and do not rise again; until the heavens are no more, they will not awake or be roused out of their sleep. Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath is past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! If mortals die, will they live again? All the days of my service I would wait until my release should come. You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands. For then you would not number my steps, you would not keep watch over my sin; my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity.
“But the mountain falls and crumbles away, and the rock is removed from its place; the waters wear away the stones; the torrents wash away the soil of the earth; so you destroy the hope of mortals. You prevail forever against them, and they pass away; you change their countenance, and send them away. Their children come to honor, and they do not know it; they are brought low, and it goes unnoticed. They feel only the pain of their own bodies, and mourn only for themselves.”