From Handbook to God’s Promises
PROMISES OF GOD’S WRITTEN WORD
Who Are You?
In Les Misérables, author Victor Hugo posed the questions, “Alas, who are we ourselves? Who am I and who are you? Whence do we come?” These and similar questions of identity occupy the thoughts of every human being. They surface in our minds because of the seeming futility and impermanence of much of life.
Job certainly had these questions in mind as he examined the circumstances of his life, “assisted” by his friends in the extended discourse of Job 3–37. His summary statement in 14:1–2 brings a poignancy to the questions asked above. Because of Job’s predicament, the questions of permanence linger for many readers of this book (even after learning of the rewards detailed in its last chapter). What can we cling to in this ever-changing and unpredictable world?
The apostle Peter gives us the answer as he leads us to the one permanent, unchanging element of life and shows how it becomes the anchor of our identity (1 Peter 1:23–25). He first mentions the transitory nature of human glory by quoting Isaiah. “But,” we might say to Peter (and to Isaiah and Job), “not everything is as fleeting as the glory of humans. What about the pyramids and other man-made edifices that have survived for thousands of years? What about the mountains and valleys, carved out by glaciers hundreds of thousands of years ago?” But we know that even these seemingly permanent earthly fixtures will one day crumble before the plan of God.
Not so the Word of our God, which Peter says “endures forever.” And, says 1 Peter 1:23, it is by the Word of God that humans find answers for their questions of identity. For through that Word men and women are born again. Peter says God’s Word is an imperishable seed, not a perishable one like those giving rise to grass and flowers. What the Word of God bears lasts forever!
So “Who am I and who are you?” If we are “born again . . . through the living and enduring word of God,” then our glory will last forever. It is true: “like a flower [human life] comes forth and withers; [it] also flees like a shadow and does not remain” (Job 14:2). But those who are born again by the imperishable Word of God will themselves never perish; instead, they will have everlasting life.
In His truth you will have identity forever.