But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place, as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy man's hope.Job 14:18-19
Here we have in Job a vivid expression of what is wrong with our view of life. Job is looking at life as a natural man, and he sees it as the world sees it, that everything is for now. This life is the wholly important thing, and the reason you were brought into existence is to make something out of this present experience--you never get another chance. We are reminded of that on television:
You only go around once! If you are going to live, live with gusto. We are constantly exhorted by the world, with its distorted understanding of life, to seize the present moment--you will never get another one.
If you don't make it now, it will be too late. This is one of the major reasons even Christian couples are divorcing, sometimes after twenty-five or thirty years of marriage. People begin to feel the force of this argument, and they believe it. They think the only thing left, if there is to be any pleasure and enjoyment in life, is to seize the present moment.
I have not been able to put it all together in all this time, so I'm going to leave and start over. Many a marriage is broken on that rock.
What God is teaching Job in this book is that living for today is not what it is all about. This is not why human existence is given to us; this is but the school time, a time of preparation to get ready for the real life that lies ahead. Compare Job's view of life with the revelation of the New Testament and the view of New Testament writers as to what lies beyond death, and you see a stark and vivid contrast. They look forward to something so beautiful and grand and glorious breaking upon them that they could hardly wait to seize it! But here you get only the idea that everything must be done now.
I think this is why we get upset with ourselves and with life at times. We feel life has been put together backwards. You have to make all the major decisions at the time when you know practically nothing, when you are so callow and uninformed that you can hardly even see things right. You have to choose the wife of your youth at a time when you are not able to judge yourself, let alone anyone else. This is what Job is feeling here; there is no way back.
Lord, thank You that though now I see only in part, the day will come when I will see clearly that all You do is for my good and Your glory.
Are we seduced by the world's philosophy about seizing each moment for our own selfish pleasure? Do we live in frantic subservience to the pressure of illusory time?