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Job 14: A Reflection

Ruby is a freelance writer from the Philippines. Besides writing, she enjoys gardening and studying the Scripture.


Job 14:1-5 (NLT)

1 How frail is humanity!
How short is life, how full of trouble!
2 We blossom like a flower and then wither.
Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.
3 Must you keep an eye on such a frail creature
and demand an accounting from me?
4 Who can bring purity out of an impure person?
No one!
5 You have decided the length of our lives.
You know how many months we will live,
and we are not given a minute longer.

Few days and plenty of trouble: Job here elaborates on the notion of the fragility of mankind in general and his own frailty in particular. He believes that a person's time on earth is finite and frequently troubled.
He stops there and disappears like a shadow: Job made assumptions about what would happen to people after their weak and brief lives, contemplating the possibility that they would not continue.

Stark facts of life

As I ponder on this passage here, I would say that agree with Job. I too realize that what Job mentions in this chapter is all true. Job, who has known and experienced so much suffering and sorrow in his life, speaks about three stark realities in this passage. He talks about facts in human life that are so obvious as we see them today. Let's take a closer look at these facts Job has stated here one by one:

Humans are frail

First, Job declares that, humans are weak.

The frailty of humans that Job states here is just undeniable. Whether physically, emotionally, or mentally, humans are frail. Think of our body and our health. We may appear healthy today, but it is a fact that anytime, our health may fail and soon sickness may strike us. Thus, Job is right.

Life is short

Second, Job says that life is brief.

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Life is short and it is a fact. Job compares our life to a flower and a shadow. Both objects do not last long. They pass so quickly before our very eyes. We see it today even right before us--in our neighborhood, in our very own surroundings. Someone you may see now is healthy. Then suddenly one day, that person is gone in just a wink of an eye. An accident or sickness may strike that individual, then off he goes.

Life is full of troubles

Third, Job realizes that life is full of troubles.

As we observe around us, human suffering is everywhere. Calamities strike anywhere, anyone. We see fires, typhoons, floods, earthquakes and wars. They all bring trouble to all people just anywhere in the world. All of these different natural disasters bring sorrow and pain to humanity. They cause sadness, heartache, and even death.

The good news

But then, take courage. Despite all the human suffering that we experience every now and then, there is hope. God himself--the One who created us speaks to us and assures us saying:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me" (John 14:1, NLT).

"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).

"This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NLT).

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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