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“Work of His Hands”
Job 14:14-15, “If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.”
This morning, people do different things based on a variety of motivations. Greed, love, pity, and guilt are some of the many reasons – both bad and good – that can stimulate someone to do something. One of the constants for the action is that someone acts towards a person or thing in which they have a vested interest. Maybe the interest does not affect them directly (such as charitable work), but the action means something to them personally which is why they do it. Again, the motives may be purely selfish or completely selfless, but either way, there is an interest of some kind for the work performed. When we think of God’s work upon or towards something, we may scratch our heads at what He does or how He does it, but He has an interest in what He does. To think that God is irrational or chaotic in His dealings is to ascribe foolish or no motivation to Him, which behavior does not reside within His character. He is a moral and rational being that does things for reasons and purpose, whether we can discern what or why He does things or not.
In our study verses, Job postulates on a question that man has been asking for generations. Unfortunately for many men of human philosophy, they fail to see that one of the oldest records still extant actually answered the question posed. Whether man shall live or not after this life is over has fascinated men of various cultures and walks of life, but Job unequivocally answered in the affirmative. Yes, there is life after this one, and it is affected solely by the power of God’s effectual call. Though our bodies may lie in the grave for thousands of years (as Job’s body has), there is coming a time when His voice shall raise those bodies from ashes and death to life and immortality. (John 5:28-29) To deny this concept is to deny the plain declarations from Scripture that the resurrection is a reality, and Paul dedicated a whole chapter (I Corinthians 15) on the subject to address the heresy that plagued the church by some advocating that there is no resurrection.
One of the things I appreciate about hard to understand concepts like the resurrection is the amount of plain ink that God dedicates to subjects like this one. Human minds cannot fathom how God could speak dust out of nothing and then form man from that lifeless substance. It is just as impossible for us to understand the intricacies of how that dust will be raised and re-fashioned into a glorified body that will live with Christ for all eternity. However insurmountable the ability of man to comprehend the “ins and outs” of it, God simply says to us, “I spoke once and gave life in the beginning, and I’ll speak at the end and bring life again at the end.” Nothing more needs to be said. We can see the effects of God’s powerful voice all around us while viewing the creation, and therefore, we have all the evidence that we need that God can do it again, and He will do it since He said He would. Trying to probe further into the details leads to murky thoughts that we need not engage in, and therefore Scriptural ink is used to declare the simple reality of it while also addressing the consequences that it brings about.
At the end of our study verses, we see where God’s interest lies in this work. Years after Job declared these things, the Psalmist asked what about man would make God mindful of him. (Psalm 8:3-4) When we try to fathom the power and majesty of an eternal being contrasted against weak vessels of clay, it is mind-boggling sometimes. However, Job here makes as good and simple a declaration as we can find on the subject. Why would God have such mercy and grace? Surely it is for Christ’s sake yes, but what motivated Him in the beginning to do anything for or to us? Job here says that His resurrection power displayed upon man is for the simple reason that He has a desire toward the work of his hands. Now, we can see from Scripture that creation in general can be considered the works of His hands or His handywork. However, in this context, the work of His hands is simply us. He has a desire towards us!
The word “desire” literally means to long for or yearn after. We think of that type of desire when a young man is madly in love with a maiden. Should his intentions be honorable, he longs to be with her for the rest of his life within the bonds of holy matrimony. While we may not understand why God would have this desire towards weak and broken men, yet Job here says that He does. Resurrection power stems from a motivation of desire. God desires that we live with Him forever. His call is made out of that desire, and the effect will be complete, total, and perfect. When looking at this ruined sod that we live on, there is no doubt that we cause the great grief and turmoil that we see. Yet, in spite of all that, God desires us. The bride sang to her husband that she was his and his desire was toward her. (Song of Solomon 7:10)
While there seems from our vantage point to be no conceivable reason why God would have this desire towards us, one day we will see it and know it in its fullness. Many people howl and moan when we preach that God hates people. Statements such as, “That’s not fair” and “God can’t do that” abound. Yet, the great mystery of God to us is not why He hates certain individuals like Esau. The mystery is why He loves lowlifes like Jacob. Looking at the expanse of my existence here, it befuddles me that God would love me. When thinking about my desire towards my wife before we were married, there was much to desire. She possesses both outward and inward beauty. Man in his weakened condition possessed no beauty that would be attractive to God. The very best we could attain was vanity and filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)
Therefore, God in His great love wherewith He loved us worked upon us first inwardly (regeneration), and will one day work outwardly on us (resurrection). Both of these events will make us shine in the glorious image of His only begotten Son. On that day when we stand perfected in His sight, we will know Him as He knows us. Since He knows us down to the thoughts and intents of our hearts, we will know Him down to the thoughts and intents of His heart. As we look upon Him with adoration for all eternity, we will see, feel, and know the adoration that stimulated His actions to and for us. Until that day, I will await till my change come just as Job did and his body still does. However, while I still live here, I can rejoice in the knowledge of life after death, the source by which it comes, and the motivation behind it. Though I cannot declare the intricacies of how it will happen nor fully understand why it came about, I thank Him and praise Him for the desire that He has toward me that He would want me where He is forever. Praise His holy and blessed name!