I think it is at least possible this is Divine timing. As we begin Holy Week, with Resurrection Sunday in view, we also naturally, in our study, come to the first resurrection promise to Job. Most of us are familiar with the promise that comes later that was made famous by Handel’s Messiah (I know my Redeemer liveth…) but we are not so familiar with the amazing passage we are going to probe this week. What comfort it will bring to you as you think of your loved one who has died, if that is your situation — or of your own impending death, which is all of our situations!
Though it is tempting to spell it out for you, I know you will learn more if you dig it out yourselves, and I think this will be a sweet devotional time over the first part of this Holy Week.
I am so thankful to God for the many sisters of depth He has led here, that we may encourage one another in this journey. In this post I especially encourage you to go through the questions methodically so you can really see this clearly. You can do them all at once or little by little. Because this is Holy Week, let’s spend extra time with Him. To finish by my next post on Good Friday, pace yourself so you get to the glorious end! I really think these are some of the most fascinating passages in all of Scripture and have the potential to make this Holy Week very meaningful.
BACKGROUND QUESTIONS FOR UNDERSTANDING JOB’S PERSPECTIVE
Job is one of the earliest books. It is important to realize that Old Testament saints did not have the understanding that we have been given, this side of the cross. Their view of the afterlife was shadowy at best, and their thoughts about it often seem plagued with doubts and fears. The writer of Ecclesiastes is often very mournful, because he has blinders on, and has so little hope of the afterlife. His words are often similar to those of Job. He often asks mournful questions in his prayer journal. Find the doubting question or statement in Part A, and then find the New Testament answer in Part B.For our musically inclined participants, if you can think of a song that shares the promise of Part B, tell us! We can be singing through Holy Week.
1. What’s it all about?
A. Ecclesiastes 1:2
B. Colossians 3:1-4
2. Is there an afterlife?
A. Ecclesiastes 3:19-21
B. John 11:25; John 14:1-3
3. Is there no Comforter?
A. Ecclesiastes 4:1-3
B. John 14:16-18; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
TURN TO JOB 14 and find the doubting or mournful statement in part A, and the New Testament promise in part B.
4. Is there any hope of forgiveness at life’s end?
A. Job 14:1-4
B. Romans 8:1-2; 1 John 1:9;
5. Is there any hope we will have new bodies?
A. Job 14:7-12
B. 1 Corinthians 15:35-55
JOB’S LAMENT AND PLEA
6. Job rejects suicide, but does wish God would take his life. But then he is afraid of even that, for his view of the afterlife is so shadowy. So in his lament, he expresses what he wishes God would make happen. Find it in Job 14:13.
7. Find the question he asks of God in Job 14:14a.
THE GLORIOUS REVELATION
8. As can happen in a lament, the Spirit of God now speaks to the lamenter. Job’s doubt begins to turn to hope in the last part of Job 14:14. Find it.
9. Here is the glorious promise, beginning in Job 14:15.
A. What does Job realize is going to happen after his death and why? (verse 15)
B. Contemplate this phrase “you will long for the creature your hands have made.” If you are a mother or a spiritual mother, compare this to your feelings about your “child.” Though you didn’t “make your child” you surelyhad a part in what she or he has become. What does this phrase mean to you?
C. This is exactly what happened to Lazarus in John 11. How did Jesus feel about Lazarus? What did He do?
D. How does Jesus feel about Job? About you? About your loved one in Him? What will He do?
10. What does God also reveal to Job in Job 14:16?
11. And what else in Job 14:17?
12. How will you apply this to your heart?
13. What psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs remind you of these promises? What are some good versions of them on you-tube or other places that we might watch?