1 ¶ Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. 2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. 3 And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. 5 Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; 6 Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day.
Some other verses in Job are brought to mind by verse one.
Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
And a doctrine spelled out very clearly in the Bible that man is born a sinner.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
We are born and it is but a short time in the scope of years that our strength or beauty fades and we are weak and die. It is hard to understand when you have your whole life in front of you how fast it will pass by. We are frail and have no power to retain our life by our own will when it is over. It is so important to do the right thing every minute and not play with sin as it will consume you and either end your life early or cause you to be a bitter old person, full of sorrow and regret.
Again, verse 3 brings to mind other verses in this book.
Job 7:17 ¶ What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? 18 And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?
Job 13:25 Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?
It brings to mind other verses in the rest of the Bible, as well.
Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
Romans 3:19 ¶ Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
No one can stand before God’s judgment. Verse 4 presents the fundamental problem of a sinful human race. Who can make you spiritually clean? What can you do that will remove the taint of rebellion against your creator that is your genetic and spiritual inheritance? Again, one is reminded of what we must repent of, to change your mind about, in order to be saved, that which we were counting on to cleanse us and make us right before God, turning to faith in His righteousness, not our own.
Hebrews 6:1 ¶ Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
The Bible teaches that you cannot justify yourself. You being a good person or doing good things does not justify you before God. It is only by faith in Christ’s righteousness and not your own that you can be saved. You first must believe that God exists and that He is not some impersonal force but a person and that He will respond to you.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Ps 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
You then realize that you are born a sinner, in rebellion against God, from your birth.
Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
1Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
The only way you can be saved from the consequences of what you are is by faith in the visible image of the invisible God, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His sacrifice on the Cross for your sins and in His resurrection from the dead, rejecting all those things, those dead works, that you trusted in before to say, “Hey, I’m okay.”
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Every person is born of the flesh or born of water as the Bible says and must be born again spiritually. Without the second birth you are lost as a goose in a horse race. Notice the parallel phrasing that unites being born from your mother’s womb, of flesh, and being born of water.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
If you are not born again spiritually you will die carrying the taint of sin with you.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Then, rather than being judged by Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection and His perfection, you will be judged by your own perfection or lack thereof and have no hope.
Revelation 20:11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Only God can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, and this is the way He has done it.
Verse 5 seems to reinforce that our time on earth is limited by God, not by chance. It is a restatement of this idea.
Job 7:1 ¶ Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?
If I understand this correctly and your time is appointed on the earth then there is little you can do to prolong it. However, lest we take this doctrine too far let us remember that, because of free will, everything that God ordains does not happen. This doesn’t mean that God is somehow less than all-powerful but only that He obviously permits or suffers our choices to a certain extent.
1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
So, take that, Calvin. But, essentially you were born with a date-stamp somewhere on you (of course, I say that figuratively not literally) but, because of your choices, the date for your demise is not absolute. Although it is impossible to thwart God’s will or what He chooses to do because of His will and His foreknowledge we are able to shorten or lengthen our lifespan by things as far apart as lifestyle choices or, perhaps in the future, genetic manipulation.
The point here in this verse in Job is that your time in the biological phase of your life, walking around in frail flesh, is limited and no amount of scientific mumbo-jumbo by the witch-doctors of theoretical science will ever permit you to live forever in the flesh you inherited by sinful Adam.
In verse 6, Job once again wants God to leave him alone. Give me a break, he says, let me rest. This is a common theme with Job, along with demanding an audience with God.
Job 7:1 ¶ Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling? 2 As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work…16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity…19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?
Job 10:20 Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,
As David cried in one of his Psalms;
Psalm 39:13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.
Job speaks of death and resurrection next.