November 07, 2019

Will They Live Again?

Job 14

“If someone dies, will they live again?”

—  Job 14:14

Job was an upright, wealthy, married father of ten children. Then God let Satan take away all of Job’s livestock, his children, and even his health. Job mourned deeply, and his wife challenged him, saying, “Curse God and die!” But Job did not do that. (See Job 1-2.)

Later Job’s friends came to “comfort” him. But they tried to blame him for the troubles he was facing (Job 4-11). In the midst of his thinking about all this, Job asked, “If someone dies, will they live again?” As a pastor and Navy chaplain, I’ve been asked that question. How would you answer it?

Christians believe and trust the Bible’s teaching about Jesus’ resurrection, and he appeared many times to his followers after rising from the dead. He greeted the women at the tomb, visited his disciples in locked rooms (Matthew 28; John 20), and met many others.

But Job had no proofs; he only had faith—and some questions for God. He asked, “If someone dies, will they live again?” and he waited for “renewal to come.” Job knew something: “My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.” It seems Job was talking about not just life after death but also renewed hope for life before death. And God assured him of that, eventually blessing Job again later (Job 42:12-17).

Today, we can be even more assured than Job, for we have the blessing of the risen Christ!

O God, thank you for raising Jesus not only to show us there is life after death but also to give us new life before death. Help us to truly live! In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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