The Brevity of Life (Job 14:1–2) - Radical

The Brevity of Life (Job 14:1–2)

“The man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble. He comes out like a flower and withers. He flees like a shadow and continues not.”
-Job 14:1–2

These two verses here at the start of Job 14, as he is talking about the brevity of life. These verses echo truth we see all over Scripture. Maybe best summarized in James 4: that “our lives are a mist, a vapor. Here one second; gone the next.” And in this, we’re reminded: This mist we have, this vapor that you and I are, let’s make this mist count. Our lives are short. They’re so short. We’re here for such a small amount of time. The imagery here: “comes out like a flower and withers. Flees like a shadow.” A shadow’s gone just like that. Or I think about the vapor, that kind of picture of vapor. How does that lead you to live? Does that say, “Okay, I’m just going to waste it?” No, let’s make it count.

Job 14:1–2 Reminds Us of Gospel Work

I think about Vapor Sports Ministries, started by a friend of mine, Micah McElveen. And my older brother serves as a part of that ministry, and they’re doing such good Gospel work, around the world, in different places, and sharing the Gospel on the front lines of urgent need and working to get the Gospel into new places, unreached places in West Africa. Why? Because they know their lives are vapor. Here for a second; gone the next. Let’s make the most of it.

Job 14:1–2 Reminds Us of the Need

So may that be the posture of every one of our lives. How are we spending our time, our money, our energy, our resources, our families, our churches? We live in a world where 3.2 billion people have never even heard the Gospel. Oh, and their lives are vapors, too. They’re here for just a moment and then gone. So God, we pray that in this little bit of time we have here, that You would help us to faithfully do all that You call us to do. Try to help us to live with urgency.

Even today, for the spread of the Gospel around us, God, help us to speak the Gospel with urgency today, knowing there’s not a person we meet today that’s guaranteed to be alive tomorrow. God, help us. Give us urgency in our lives. When we see others’ lives, when we look at the world that we live in, help us to live for what matters forever.

This Verse Reminds Us of God’s Blessing

God, I pray for Your blessings on Vapor Sports Ministry, and I pray for Your blessings on all they’re doing for the spread of the Gospel, the building up of Your church, and for many other ministries like it, and churches. And our lives and our families. God, help us all. Not just for the select few doing ministry in this or that official capacity. God, help us to live lives on mission today, making the Gospel known and taking the Gospel to places where it hasn’t gone, and using our money and our resources toward that end. God, with this mist that is fading away, God, please make these mists You’ve given us count maximally, for Your glory.

We pray in Jesus’ name, the name of the one who gave His life so that we might experience life to the full, following Him, making disciples of the nations. Oh, in His name we pray. Make this mist count for making disciples in His name among the nations. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.


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