In Chapter 17 Job was giving up hope of any earthly restoration of wealth or family. At this point he, along with his friends, was focused solely on this life. Truthfully, if this present life was all there was, at times it would indeed be hopeless. Job's situation surely would have been! But, thankfully, this life is NOT all there is. And even Job recognizes this, in Chapter 19.
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.
And what a tremendous statement of faith it is! We, of course, have the benefit of living on this side of the NT, but in Job's time, Israel didn't have a well developed doctrine of the resurrection and eternity. But, even though Job struggled with the idea that God was currently against him, he firmly believed that in the end God would be with him, and that he would live with him in eternity, and in a resurrected body. How Job knew this we don't know, but what tremendous faith!
A good reminder that I need to accept the Bible's Word on faith. We know so much more than the OT saints did - how much more should we live in faith and hope!
Our NT passage speaks about the permanence of the marriage covenant. Both marriage and singleness are gifts from God, and both can accomplish God's purposes. It is easier for single people to devote themselves wholeheartedly to God's service, without the added responsibility of spouse and family, like Paul did. However, marriage was designed by God for companionship and procreation, and is a beautiful thing - indeed, it is a picture of the gospel and the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.
God designed sex to be a beautiful celebration of love between married couples, and it certainly is a great benefit to being married. Paul was not advising people to marry the first person they found if they had trouble controlling themselves sexually. Obviously, it's better to deal with that desire than to deal with an unhappy marriage. But those who do want to get married, shouldn't wait forever for the perfect moment, and frustrate their normal sexual desires.
The marriage is covenant is intended to be lifelong. The only allowances for divorce are in cases of adultery, or if non-Christians want to divorce their Christian spouse. But Paul's purpose in writing this was to urge couples to seek unity, not separation. It is sad how rampant divorce is in our society today, mainly due to the misunderstanding of what love and commitment are, and the idolization of self and living for our own personal happiness no matter the cost to others. It makes me very thankful for Nathan and our marriage! We need to remember to pray for the marriages of our fellow believers!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Job 20-21, 1 Corinthians 7:20-40