“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle and come to their end without hope. ”
“My days pass as swiftly as a hand-loom; but they come to their conclusion without hope. ”
The point is that life is short. The exact method of weaving at 2000 B.C. is one of archeological discussion and interest. However, the point is that a weaver moves quickly with a repetitive motion until the garment is finished and then it is cut from the loom. So each of our lives is being weaved out in our personal short history and then we are cut out of this life by death.
One cannot help but think of the fable of the Parcae or Fates, called also the Destinies or Fatal Sisters. They were the daughters of Erebus and Nox, darkness and night; and were three in number, and named Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Clotho held the distaff; Lachesis spun off the thread; and Atropos cut it off with her scissors, when it was determined that life should end.
Job represents the thread of his life as being spun out with great rapidity and existing on a slender thread, and about to be cut off. The losses of his business, children, and health have forced him to see the reality. Everything is so frail. Life is frail. Most of us avoid this reality. Our prestige, power, prosperity, and position give us an illusion of permanence. Job in losing all of these has gained a face to face reality check. Life is short and uncontrollable.
As Job meditates on this he expresses hopelessness. Job like the writer of Ecclesiastes expresses at time the viewpoint of the pessimistic naturalist of life “under the sun” and at other times the optimistic soul connected to eternity.
The same man in another moment can say:
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,” (Job 19:25-26)
So there were moments when Job remembered the promises of the resurrection from the dead and the return of a perfect Eden to the earth, filled with the very real presence and manifestation of God on the earth. The Kingdom of God will come and God’s perfect moral will be fulfilled on the earth! This is Job’s hope on his days of faith.
But then there the times when we give up hope. We all have such moments. When we are hit hard with painful times and events we find our spiritual wind knocked out of us and our souls become dark and despairing. We lose sight of God’s bigger plan for our lives and know only the pain. At this point we despair.
So we need to see that our battle to maintain hope is not new. It is very human in this “East of Eden” world. We are tempted to depression and despair at our bad moments the same way we are tempted to pride and self-righteousness in our best moments. Every day, good or bad, has within it a testing of our true faith.
How to handle this? Sit down and have a good talk with yourself at your worst moments.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation ” (Psalm 42:5)
Our hope is not in this world being paradise. Our hope is not that there will be no dark days of loss and pain. Our hope is that God is greater than the darkness and the agony. The LORD is with us in the middle of the struggle and singing to us of a better world. The Almighty also promises that all our pain will produce gain for us and the world in the end. Like a difficult pregnancy our lives hold the potential for life.
So we must trust in that good divine purpose and use it to lift up our souls.
Hope in God for the grave is not the last word in your life. A new world is coming and the dead rise to life.