Chapter 1.
Here, Gone, and Here Again

Job 14

One of the great truths of the Bible for the Christian today is the fact that we are here, and will be gone one day, but we will be back here again. We can say that with confidence, cheer, and conviction because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross and by rising from the grave. Because of Christ, the Christian is here, then gone, but will be here again. Those basic principles are found in the book of Job: life, death, and resurrection. Let’s take a look at three important truths about our lives: here, gone, and here again.

I. Here

Job 14:1-2,5,16

Job addresses four truths about our “Here” in this chapter.

1. Our “Here” is Swift (vs. 1a,2)

Job 14:1a-2—Man that is born of a woman is of few days… 2He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

We have stated it many times, “Life is fast.” Job told us that our days are few, we are like a flower that blooms and then withers. Our lives are like a shadow, that is here and then gone. God reminds us repeatedly of the brevity of our lives. Why? He does not want us to waste our “Here.”

Psalm 39:5—Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.

Psalm 89:47a—Remember how short my time is…

Psalm 102:3a—For my days are consumed like smoke…

James 4:14—Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Psalm 90:4-6,12—For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 5Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. 6In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth…12So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Because our “Here” is quick, God instructs us to number our days. What does he mean? The word “number” is derived from the Hebrew word manah {maw-naw'}. It not only means “to count, but to prepare, reckon, to assign.” We are to not waste our lives. We are to make preparations to live each day to the best of our ability and also prepare for eternity. Organize the tasks that need to be done, and to the best of your ability, get them done. Make sure they are tasks that are worthy of the time you spend upon them. Don’t waste your time on frivolous, sinful living. Use your time wisely. Number your days.

Moses said,

Psalm 90:10, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

If you have lived 80 years, you are greatly blessed. Some have lived longer. Thomas Parr, who died in 1635, lived to be 152 years. Henry Jenkins, who died in 1670, lived to be 169 years, but these are rare instances.

Let me add here that if you are blessed to live 70 years, you will live 25550 days. At the time of this writing, I have lived 20955 days. That means I only have 4595 days left if I live to be 70. That does seem like very many to me. I also understand the reality of life and that I may only have one day left. The same truth holds for you no matter what your age. If you do not know the Lord as your Savior, then be sure you do not delay another day. Put your faith in Him. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.”

2. Our “Here” may be Stressful (14:1b)

Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.

Our days are few, and the few that we have can be stressful and full of trouble. The word “trouble” is from the word rogez {ro'-ghez}. It means “trouble, turmoil, agitation, raging, and trembling.” Don’t we all know what this is all about? When you think back on your life and what you remember, how many of your days were filled with frustration, with fury, or with fear? Can you count them?

I remember some bad days, but thank the Lord He has helped me to forget most of them. Thank the Lord, we do not have to deal with trouble every day, but times like these do come into our lives. Life has stressful times created by things like sickness, death, financial setbacks, war, betrayal, and accidents. Praise the Lord, He enables us to go through the dark waters of stressful times.

Isaiah 43:2—When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

3. Our “Here” is Sinful (14:4,16b)

Job 14:16—“…dost thou not watch over my sin?”

Job 14:4—Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

We are all sinners. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing? The answer is not one person can cleanse his or her self from any sin. No one can save themselves from Hell. Christ, however, can forgive and cleanse a man of his wickedness and give him eternal life. What man cannot do, Jesus can.

Matthew 19:26—But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Isaiah 64:6—But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

4. Our “Here” is Set or Settled (14:5,16a)

Job 14:5—Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;

Job 14:16a—For now thou numberest my steps…

Job said our days are “determined.” This word is derived from the Hebrew word charats {khaw-rats'} which means “to cut, to sharpen, to decree or decide.” It was the same word used to describe a cutter engraving his images into stone. God has engraved His plan for our lives into the sands of time. He knows how many months, days, and hours that we will live. They are under His control for He has set the limits or the boundary of our personal lives. Our steps and days are numbered or counted by Him and we will be unable to pass the time He has set for us.

Job 7:1—Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

Psalm 39:4—Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.

Daniel 5:26—This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

Luke 12:20—But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

Job 23:14—For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

You may not acknowledge God’s authority over your life, but whether you like it or not, He is still in control. The best thing you can do is yield your life to His care and plan for your life. Just because God controls the length of your life does not mean you have no choices on what to do with your days. You are not a robot. You can choose to do what is right or what is wrong. You can choose to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and live your life for Him or you can choose to live in sin and reap the dire consequences of such a choice.

The best thing you can do is to not throw away the time God has given to you. When you check your back account, you know how much money you have left in it. When it comes to the time you have left to live your life, you don’t have that luxury. Such knowledge is a mystery. That is why you had better make each day count for God because it may be your last.

II. Gone

Job 14:2,10-13,18-22

Job 14:2—He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

Job 14:10-13—But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: 12So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 13O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!

Job 14:18-22—And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place. 19The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man. 20Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passeth: thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away. 21His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them. 22But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.

The difficult part of life is dealing with death, especially the death of people we love dearly. We are like fading flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow. We are also like swift shadows that vanish into the darkness of the night. Our time on this earth will be over in this mortal body. If our children receive honor or suffer failure, we will not know, for we will be gone.

Job asked, “Where is a man after he gives up the ghost or dies?” That is a very important question. The answer recorded here is not the New Testament answer which was changed by the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Old Testament, the spirits of those who were wicked went to a place called Hell, Sheol or Hades. It means "invisible or unseen" and refers to the place where the spirits of the dead resided. Before the time of Christ and during His ministry on earth, Hades was divided into two areas as far as we can possibly tell. The righteous dead went to a place called Paradise or Abraham's bosom, and the wicked went to the place of fire and torment. In this place, those who were tormented by fire could see those who were righteous and comforted. They could not touch them for there was a great valley or gulf that separated the two regions in the underworld.

Luke 16:23-26—And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

To this day, the wicked are still in the flaming portion of Hell and are still tormented. Today, if a person dies without Jesus Christ as his Savior, no matter how good or religious he or she may be, they go to Hell and are tormented in its flames. They will remain there until the Great White Throne Judgement where the degree of their eternal punishment will be determined. All of those in this place called Hell will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity and will suffer with Satan whom they have followed.

Revelation 20:10-14—And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, He went to the other section of Hades called Paradise.

Luke 23:43—And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

All of the righteous dead from the time of creation were in this place awaiting the day of their redemption. When Jesus came to Paradise after His crucifixion, He proclaimed His victory that the price for sin had been paid. When Christ arose, He delivered these souls from Paradise and took them to Heaven with Him.

Ephesians 4:8-10—Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Jesus could do this because He had the power to do it.

Revelation 1:18—I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

When a person has keys, it indicates that person is either owner of the property or has authority on that property. Christ is the owner of the universe and has authority in all things, even over Hell. So when a Christian dies today, he does not go to Paradise, he goes to Heaven to be with the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:8—We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

If Jesus tarries, you are going to be “Gone” one day. Where are you going? Heaven? Hell? If you want to go to Heaven, you must put your faith in Christ.

John 3:36—He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

III. Here Again

Job 14:7-9, 14-17

Job 14:7-9—For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. 8Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; 9Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.

Job 14:14-17—If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 15Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands. 16For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin? 17My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity.

Just as a tree is cut down, yet, sprouts again, Job expressed his hope for his resurrection. He desired that the Lord let him rest in the grave until His anger had passed and then raise him up. Job asked a vital question, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” It was Job’s hope for a resurrection. Such hope would help him to cope with the struggles he was facing until his appointed time with death, when he would be changed to dust, awaiting his resurrection. God would call and he would answer the Lord. His sins would be concealed and he would be free of guilt and the suffering he faced. Job had hope for a resurrection because he believed the Lord was his redeemer.

Job 19:25-27—For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

If you know Christ as your Savior, you will be resurrected one day at the Rapture of the church. You will be given a new, glorified body. The Bible is very clear about this. If Jesus tarries, we will be here, gone, and here again.

1 Corinthians 15:51-54—Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

We have victory in Jesus Christ!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18—But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Because of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are here, gone, and here again!