The entirety of this chapter is directed toward Almighty God by Job, seemingly indifferent to his friends. What a pessimistic note to begin Job’s discourse toward the Lord; “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” He’s here today and gone tomorrow.
Does God even open His eyes on such man, referring to himself; in that state, He brings judgment against Job as well. He realizes that no one can be made righteous (clean) by anyone except the Lord. His days “are determined”; God has set the limit of time on earth that can’t be passed.
Verse seven has one of the most powerful verses of “hope” in all of scripture. “There is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again and that its tender shoots will not cease.” Yet when Job views mankind in contrast to what he’s just stated, “man dies and is laid away”. Job’s affliction prompted him to view everything in a negative light. The evaporation process is referenced in verse eleven, which causes the river to dry up. As with the river, man will die and not rise again or be “roused from” his sleep.
He longs to be hidden in the grave so that God’s wrath would pass over him. Job then asks the question of all mortals, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” Keep in mind that Job had but a small amount of the Word of God, if any at all as we know it. However, with all going in his life, when God called, Job would answer.
In his conversation with God Job viewed his sins kept in a sealed bag that would be ever before him. Unlike us, our sins and transgressions are covered by the blood of Jesus, never to be remembered. There is a glimmer of expectation his part when he says “You cover my iniquity.” Perhaps that was a prophetic statement that God would cover his sin when Jesus came?
Job is up and down; in a down moment we read that he felt God destroyed “the hope of man” (vs. 19). When he’s in the grave he doesn’t know the life of his sons or children. If they die, man is unaware of it.
Let’s go back to verse seven; “there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease.” Friend you and I have felt cut down, without hope; yet the hope is found in verse nine, “at the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth branches like a plant.” Did you see that? “At the scent of water”! The Word is water, which revives our hope and our life. The water is what stirs us so that we can be productive. Your branches may seem as though they are fruitless and useless; but when we get in the Word, that status turns around.