Job believed he would be resurrected and see the Messiah someday. This is amazing since Job is an ancient book. Some believe it was written as the same time as Moses wrote Genesis thru Deuteronomy. Some consider it even older. Let’s examine Job and the Resurrection.
Job and the Resurrection
The Resurrection of the righteous occurs immediately before the Rapture, so there is a great deal of interest in what Job has to say about the Resurrection.
Man lies down and does not rise until the heavens are no longer, He will not awake nor be aroused out of his sleep. “Oh that You would hide me in Sheol, that You would conceal me until Your wrath returns to You, that You would set a limit for me and remember me! If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes. You will call, and I will answer You (Job 14: 12- 15)
This passage is highly confusing. It almost sounds as if Job’s resurrection happens AFTER the wrath of God is poured out. And in fact, this is the position of many pretribulation and postribulation rapture enthusiasts. So let’s examine this passage and see what it truly says.
First, we know from 1 Thess. 1:10 that God will rescue Christians prior to God pouring out his wrath, and from 1 Thess. 4:16-17 that the Resurrection occurs prior to that rescue. Second, Rev. 6:17 informs us that the day of that Wrath begins right after the sixth seal is opened. So this is timing of the resurrection of the righteous – after the sixth seal and before the seventh. God’s wrath is poured out after those seals.
However, if we look at the above passage in Job, we see Job desiring to be hidden in the grave until God’s wrath passes. What are we to make of this? Will Christians actually be present on the earth during the wrath? The short answer is “no.”
Understanding Job 14
There are three reasons that this common post-tribulation, post-wrath position is not correct.
ONE – IT’S ONLY JOB’S REQUEST- HE DOESN’T PROPHESY IT
The first reason is that this verse isn’t a prophecy of Job’s, rather it is a request – a request based on human understanding. Job asks, “Oh, that you would hide me . . . ” Job desires to be hidden until God’s wrath passes. This isn’t a prophetic understanding. Righteous men frequently make requests of God that don’t match God’s will. Moses and Elijah both asked to die, but that was not God’s will for them at that time. This is Job’s request to die as well, which also wasn’t God’s will.
TWO – JOB’S UNDERSTANDING OF “SOUL SLEEP” IS MISTAKEN
Second, Job requests he be hidden in the grave (Sheol) until God’s wrath passes. We know from the New Testament (2 Cor. 5:8) that once our souls are absent from the body we are present with the Lord. So Job’s understanding of what happens after death is not biblical. If he didn’t have a biblical understanding of this concept, why should we expect a biblical understanding of the timing of the resurrection?
THREE – JOB WAS NOT DISCUSSING THE FINAL ESCHATOLOGICAL WRATH OF GOD, JUST A TEMPORAL WRATH HE WAS UNDERGOING AT THAT TIME
Finally, Job was likely not asking to be hidden from the final eschatological wrath of God. He had no knowledge about these final end time events. Rather, he was asking to die and be relieved from his current situation which he “believed” was God’s wrath. Job was even mistaken about this aspect. Job 1-2 clearly demonstrates that it was Satan’s wrath causing Job’s distress – Satan’s wrath with God’s permission.
What Job Got Right
Job was mistaken about some things, but did get some things right. It is amazing that he understood and had faith that he would be resurrected. He also understood that he would be redeemed, and that he would see his savior stand upon the earth once he was resurrected.
As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God (Job. 19:25-26)
Notice the great difference between this passage and the earlier one we examined. Notice the earlier one was a request from a human standpoint. This one is a statement, and a prophetic one at that.
It is important that we carefully examine Old Testament books, especially ones like Job that involve flawed human conversations, to determine what is a prophetic utterance and what isn’t.