Job 19: I Know that My Redeemer Lives
November 21, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Job now replies to Bildad, though his reply is also in general to the mounting accusations from all his so-called “comforters.” Job’s point in this reply begins with the logical proposition that even if he were at fault, it would not be their role to find him guilty.
“If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone. If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me, then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me” (19:4-6).
In other words, it is not their role to be the judge of Job. That is God’s role. We are often told these days that we should not “judge.” That certainly does not mean that we are to avoid exercising critical discernment. But these “comforters” of Job were going far beyond mere critical discernment. They were seeking to convict him of sin, condemn him, and cast him in the light of a person who has done wrong—and so explain his sufferings to themselves, to Job, and to the watching world. But, argues Job, that is not their business. If Job has sinned, that is his problem: “my error remains my concern alone.”
Having exposed their self-vaunting pride in attempting to be Job’s judge, then Job goes on to describe what he has experienced at the hand of God: suffering, in short. In this instance, Job spends some time emphasizing the relational suffering.
“He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me” (19:13-14).
All this, and much more, Job has suffered. “Even the little boys scorn me.” And because of all this he appeals to his friends to speak to him with compassion and have pity on him:
“Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me. Why do you pursue me as God does? Will you never get enough of my flesh? ” (19:21-22).
But they will not have pity on him.
And yet, in the midst of this calamity upon calamity—apparently forgotten and wounded by God himself and betrayed by his friends—Job utters some of the most profound and prophetic words of the whole book. These words, frequently recited at funerals, are justly famous:
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (19:25-27).
If Job, before the advent of Christ, can speak such words, in such difficulty, and with still such great confidence, how much more can we who know Christ have confidence about our own future!
Take courage then, brother and sister; know that your Redeemer lives! There is a future hope for you. And it is not cut off! You will see him! You will be with him! There is a resurrection to come (“After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.”) Focus your mind and your heart on that future. It is a future that no dreaded present can take away from you. It is a future that no betrayal of your friendship from your past can in anyway diminish or tarnish. Your Redeemer lives! Like Job did, long for that future! “How my heart yearns within me.”
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus / look full in his wonderful face / and the things of earth will grow strangely dim / in the light of his glory and grace!”*
*Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen Lemmel
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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