Saturday, November 18, 2023

A Living Savior (Job 19)

“For I know that my Redeemer lives …” (Job 19:25).

If we could pinpoint one climactic moment in the book of Job, theologically speaking, it would be found in chapter 19. Up to this point, Job has been complaining bitterly about his circumstances as well as defending himself against the constant accusations of hypocrisy by his so-called friends. His arguments have been exhausted. He has made his case to God, and now, as if he has finally realized that he has nowhere else to turn, he proclaims an extraordinary hope. It is a hope the wicked do not have, and it is a hope that a blind world cannot see. Job is not grasping at straws in desperation but declaring a certainty.

We do not know exactly how Job came to understand the promise of a coming Redeemer, but, nonetheless, he proclaims it with confidence and power: “Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!… For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:23–27).

Here, from the mouth of an enlightened Gentile, we discover the sustaining hope of the coming Redeemer. This is the essence of Job’s religion, his confession of faith—a confession that is no different from that of the church today, which confesses the name of Jesus Christ as the living Redeemer who will come again one day in truth, power, and victory over death. Job’s confession contains the basic tenets of orthodox Christianity, of that creed that binds together all of God’s people. Job put his hope, not in himself, but in a Redeemer who would pay all of his debts and redeem him from his bondage to sin. And unlike the pagans of his own day, who worshiped gods made of stone or men who had died, Job’s Redeemer was alive. Because He was alive, Job, too, would live again. This is the hope of every believer: our Redeemer lives, and like Him, we will be raised into glory and will be brought into the very presence of God in our own flesh. This was Job’s hope, and it is our hope as well: “A little while longer the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).

Spend some time meditating on this passage from Job (19:23–27). Examine everything that Job says. Do you have the same hope as Job? Do you know that your Redeemer lives? Do you long to be in God’s presence? Do such thoughts cause your heart to yearn as Job’s did? If not, consider whether or not you have been born again.