IT IS painful to watch a loved one suffer and die. We naturally grieve such a loss. It is comforting to know, however, that our Creator, Jehovah God, understands our grief. More than that, he longs to use his almighty power to restore life to the dead. Notice the hope conveyed in the words of Job, recorded at Job 14:13-15.
Consider the setting. Job, a man of outstanding faith, undergoes severe trials—including the loss of his material possessions, the death of all his beloved children, and a painful illness. In the throes of misery, he calls out to God: “O that in Sheol [mankind’s common grave] you would conceal me!” (Verse 13) Job sees Sheol as a welcome relief. There, as if a treasure hidden by God, he will be free of hardship and pain.*
Will Sheol become Job’s permanent shelter? Job believes otherwise. He continues his prayer: “O that . . . you would set a time limit for me and remember me!” Job confidently hopes that his stay in Sheol will be temporary and that Jehovah will not forget him. Job likens the time that he will spend in Sheol to “compulsory service”—an enforced period of waiting. For how long? “Until my relief comes,” he says. (Verse 14) That relief will mean release from Sheol—in other words, a resurrection from the dead!
Why is Job convinced that his relief will come? Because he knows how our loving Creator feels about His faithful worshippers who have died. Says Job: “You will call, and I myself shall answer you. For the work of your hands you will have a yearning.” (Verse 15) Job acknowledges that he is the work of God’s hands. The Life-Giver who was responsible for Job’s formation in the womb can certainly restore him to life after he has died.—Job 10:8, 9; 31:15.
Job’s words teach us a tender lesson about Jehovah: He has special attachment to those who, like Job, place themselves in his hands, allowing him to mold and shape them into people who are desirable in his eyes. (Isaiah 64:8) Jehovah treasures his faithful worshippers. For loyal ones who have died, he has “a yearning.” The Hebrew word thus rendered is “unquestionably one of the strongest words to express the emotion of longing desires,” says one scholar. Yes, not only does Jehovah remember his worshippers but he also longs to restore them to life.
Thankfully, in the book of Job—one of the first Bible books to be written—Jehovah saw fit to reveal his purpose to resurrect the dead.* He wants to reunite you with your loved ones who have died. That thought can make the loss easier to bear. Why not learn more about this loving God and how you can let him mold you into the kind of person who will see His purpose become a reality?
One reference work says that Job’s words “conceal me” can mean “to lay [me] away in security as a precious deposit.” Another source says that these words suggest “hide me as a treasure.”
To learn more about the Bible’s promise of a resurrection to life in a righteous new world, see chapter 7 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.