June 7, 2016 • By Ed Wrather
For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant. But man dies and is laid away; indeed he breathes his last and where is he? As water disappears from the sea, and a river becomes parched and dries up, so man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep. Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, that You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, that You would appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man dies, shall he live again? – Job 14:7-14 NKJV.
Have you ever wondered how many shakes it takes for a dog to dry? Apparently, some government scientist wondered the same thing and spent $390,000 to find out. However, the answer must be a secret, because I still cannot find the answer to that question. Have you ever wondered if you could out run a dinosaur? A government scientist also wanted the answer to that question, and spent $1.9 million to find out. Have you ever thought that Facebook might be addictive? Someone in the government, or was it Facebook wanted an answer to that and spent $511,860 to find out. I could have told them the answer to that one for free. Have you ever wondered which has more hairs, a squirrel or a bumble bee? Who thinks up these questions! The government spent $753,000 to find the answer to that one. Then there is the question of the ages, why is yawning contagious? I’ve wondered about that too, but I would not have spent $1,000,000 to try to find out!! These questions all came from Senator Jeff Flakes’ “20 Questions: Government Studies that will leave you scratching your head.” Okay, one more. Why does the face of Jesus appear on toast? I don’t know, but the government spent $3.5 million to try to find out.
Most would agree that Job experienced life at its worst. All of Job’s children were killed, and then the “fire of God” (Job 1:16) burned up his sheep and many of his servants. Next the Chaldeans came, and carried away all of Job’s camels and killed the rest of his servants, except for the one who escaped to share the bad news. If that was not enough, Job was afflicted then with sore boils (Job 2:7) all over his body. In addition, Job’s wife was not all that supportive either (Job 2:9). Perhaps even worse were his “friends” who were miserable counselors with a half-truth theology. W. A. Criswell says this about Job’s friends: “All three of Job’s friends have the same theology: Righteousness will be blessed, and evil will be punished. This is only a half truth. Ultimately, the wicked will be punished and the righteous rewarded, but in the meantime even righteous men will suffer because of sin, testing or the pressures of other men.”
Job has many questions for God, as we would have too, if we had been afflicted like that man. In Job 38 and 39 we have the longest list of questions in the Bible. Government scientists might want to consider some of those questions. We often hear of the “small still voice” of God (1 Kings 19:12). However, God has a different voice that God used to ask His questions of Job. “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind (Job 38:1).” That would get your attention!
God did not answer His own questions for Job, but Job did have the answer to the most important question of all: If a man dies, shall he live again (Job 14:14)? And the answer is found in Job 19:25-27: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”