Daily Words of God | "God Himself, the Unique III" | Excerpt 132
Job’s Pursuits and Gains in Life Allow Him to Calmly Face Death
In Scripture it is written about Job: “So Job died, being old and full of days” (Job 42:17). This means that when Job passed away, he had no regrets and felt no pain, but departed naturally from this world. As everyone knows, Job was a man who feared God and shunned evil when he was alive; God commended his righteous deeds, people remembered them, and his life, more than anyone’s, had worth and significance. Job enjoyed God’s blessings and was called righteous by Him on earth, and he was also tried by God and tested by Satan; he stood witness for God and deserved to be called a righteous person. During the several decades after he was tried by God, he lived a life that was even more valuable, meaningful, grounded, and peaceful than before. Because of his righteous deeds, God tried him; because of his righteous deeds, God appeared to him and spoke to him directly. So, during the years after he was tried Job understood and appreciated life’s value in a more concrete way, attained a deeper understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty, and gained a more precise and certain knowledge of how the Creator gives and takes away His blessings. The Bible records that Jehovah God bestowed even greater blessings upon Job than He did before, putting Job in an even better position to know the Creator’s sovereignty and to face death calmly. So Job, when he grew old and faced death, certainly would not have been anxious about his property. He had no worries, had nothing to regret, and of course did not fear death; for he spent all his life walking the God-fearing, evil-shunning way, and had no reason to worry about his own end. How many people today could act in all the ways Job did when he confronted his own death? Why is no one capable of maintaining such a simple outward bearing? There is only one reason: Job lived his life in the subjective pursuit of belief, recognition, and submission to God’s sovereignty, and it was with this belief, recognition, and submission that he passed the important junctures in life, lived out his last years, and greeted his life’s final juncture. Regardless of what Job experienced, his pursuits and goals in life were happy, not painful. He was happy not only because of the blessings or commendation bestowed on him by the Creator, but more importantly, because of his pursuits and life goals, because of the gradual knowledge and true understanding of the Creator’s sovereignty that he attained through fearing God and shunning evil, and moreover, because of the wondrous deeds of His that Job experienced personally during his time as a subject to the Creator’s sovereignty, and the warm and unforgettable experiences and memories of the coexistence, acquaintance, and mutual understanding between man and God; because of the comfort and happiness that came from knowing the Creator’s will; because of the reverence that arose after seeing that He is great, wondrous, lovable, and faithful. The reason that Job was able to face death without any suffering was that he knew that, in dying, he would return to the Creator’s side. And it was his pursuits and gains in life that allowed him to face death calmly, to face the prospect of the Creator taking back his life, with an even heart, and moreover, to stand up, unsullied and free from care, before the Creator. Can people nowadays achieve the kind of happiness that Job possessed? Are you yourselves in a position to do so? Since people nowadays are, why are they unable to live happily, like Job did? Why are they unable to escape the suffering from the fear of death? When facing death, some people wet themselves; others shiver, faint, lash out against Heaven and man alike, even wail and weep. These are by no means the sudden reactions that occur when death draws near. People behave in these embarrassing ways mainly because, deep in their hearts, they fear death, because they do not have a clear knowledge and appreciation of God’s sovereignty and His arrangements, much less truly submit to them; because people want nothing but to arrange and govern everything themselves, to control their own fates, their own lives and death. It is no wonder, therefore, that people are never able to escape the fear of death.