WHO of us welcomes the effects of old age—wrinkled skin, poor eyesight, loss of hearing, and unsteady legs? You may wonder, ‘Why would God create us with the potential to enjoy the vigor of youth only to have us end up dreading the effects of old age?’ The good news is that this is not what God intended for us. Rather, he has lovingly purposed to release us from the aging process! Notice the words spoken to the patriarch Job, found at Job 33:24, 25.
Consider the situation of Job, a loyal man whom Jehovah loved. Unknown to Job, Satan questioned Job’s integrity, saying that he served God only for selfish reasons. Jehovah, with confidence in Job and knowing His own power to undo harm, allowed Satan to test Job. Satan then “struck Job with a malignant boil from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” (Job 2:7) Job’s flesh became covered with maggots, and his skin formed crusts, blackened, and dropped off. (Job 7:5; 30:17, 30) Can you imagine his agony? Yet, Job remained faithful, saying: “Until I expire I shall not take away my integrity from myself!”—Job 27:5.
Job, however, did make a serious mistake. As he seemingly inched closer to death, he became overly concerned with vindicating himself, “declaring his own soul righteous rather than God.” (Job 32:2) God’s spokesman Elihu reproved Job. But Elihu also conveyed to Job a positive message from God: “Let him [Job] off from going down into the pit [the common grave]! I have found a ransom! Let his flesh become fresher than in youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor.” (Job 33:24, 25) Those words must have filled Job with hope. He did not have to continue suffering right down to his death. If Job would repent, God would be pleased to accept a ransom in his behalf and set him free from his calamities.*
Job humbly accepted correction, and he repented. (Job 42:6) Jehovah evidently accepted a ransom in Job’s behalf, allowing it to cover his error and open the way for God to restore and reward him. Jehovah “blessed the end of Job afterward more than his beginning.” (Job 42:12-17) Imagine Job’s relief when, among other blessings, his loathsome disease cleared up and his flesh, in effect, became “fresher than in youth”!
The ransom that God accepted in Job’s behalf had limited value, for the man remained imperfect and later died. We have a much better ransom available to us. Jehovah lovingly gave his Son, Jesus, as a ransom for us. (Matthew 20:28; John 3:16) All who put faith in that ransom have the prospect of living forever on a paradise earth. In that coming new world, God will release faithful humans from the aging process. Why not learn more about how you may live to see the time when old ones will see their “flesh become fresher than in youth”?
The word “ransom” used here means “covering.” (Job 33:24; footnote) In Job’s case, the ransom might have been an animal sacrifice, which God would accept to cover, or atone for, Job’s error.—Job 1:5.