Job 14:18-22 [Job continued], “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place, as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy man’s hope. You overpower him once for all, and he is gone; you change his countenance and send him away. If his sons are honoured, he does not know it; if they are brought low, he does not see it. He feels but the pain of his own body and mourns only for himself.”
In the depths of his despair, Job gives expression here to everything that happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam-and-Eve rebelled against God and took things into their own hands. As God had said, the entrance of sin into his perfect world (Genesis 1:31) changed EVERYTHING (Genesis 3:14-19). In its broadest sense, the Second LAW of Thermodynamics, based on widespread scientific observation, says that EVERYTHING is going downhill and wearing out.
Because of the Second LAW, we know that we cannot have perpetual motion, regardless of how carefully and efficiently we might design an engine or system. To keep going, it will need to have an energy input that is expended as ‘heat’ and is no longer available for doing work. For instance, we could never build an electric vehicle that, as well as propelling itself, could keep on recharging its batteries to keep going forever; or a hydroelectric power station that generated enough electricity to supply our general needs and pump all the water back to the source dam to keep on driving it.
As Job reminds his ‘well-meaning’ friends, we live in a world that is wearing out and running down, and we are very much an integral part of it. After we (in our representative ‘head’, Adam) sinned, we were cast out of the Garden and barred from the Tree of Life. So everything Job says is quite true, but, praise God, it is only part of the story!
When God cast Adam-and-Eve out, and placed the ‘cherubim and flaming sword’ to ‘guard the way to the Tree of Life’ (Genesis 3:22-24), he also gave them a promise: “And I will put enmity between you [the serpent – Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) – a promise that Job could only see ‘virtually’: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”(Job 19:25-27), but which we have seen as an historical reality in the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us reflect on all this today as we observe, and live in, a world and a culture that continues to reject God’s answer and sadly experiences the reality of what Job was talking about!
– Bruce Christian