4. I am flesh and must return
Unto dust, whence I am taken;
But by faith I now discern
That from death I shall awaken
With my Savior to abide
In His glory, at His side.
The fourth verse is interesting in that it takes us to Ash Wednesday, and the imposition of ashes, and the sonorous statement that we are dust and to dust we shall return. There is a magnificent confession of Job even in the midst of what often sounds like unbelief, rings out on these words. Even though the skin worms destroyed this body yet in my flesh will I see my God who mine eyes shall behold and not another. I would submit that this is where hearing the word of God, and the mutual consolation and admonition of the Saints is absolutely important.
In times of difficulty and trials and tribulations, faith needs to be strengthened and informed by the preaching of the gospel. It needs to be reinforced by the living voice of another human being witnessing to us about God’s power and his mercy. There are times in our life where our faith will present to us a God who is what some one called a “nefarious mixture of absence and presence”. I don’t know where I’ve heard that statement. The nefarious mixture of absence and presence is the human situation in which we feel that when God is with us He’s punishing us, and sometimes when we suffer God is absent. That is our human nature and our human mind and the witness of the world and the flesh and the devil going after that faith that constantly needs to be informed by the power of the Holy Spirit. When God seems to be present in punishment, or absent and ignoring our trials, we need to be pointed again to Christ who is never absent from us, and who is actively calling us to His side to be with Him forever.
Job had folks who preached to him. He was missing a Gospel message of redemption. Elihu comes the closest to a Gospel message and a true gift to that suffering man.