Preaching recently in the book of Job I was struck by the amazing insight Job shares as he defends himself against accusations that he had sinned against God. In the 19th chapter we read these words of Job, “Oh, that my words were now written! Oh, that they were printed in a book; that they were engraved with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever! For I know that my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (v. 23-26 KJV). This passage is incredible in several significant ways.
First, it’s amazing that Job requested that his words should be written in a book that wouldn’t pass away. The word for rock in the Hebrew language refers to an immovable foundation. Because it is believed that the book of Job predates the rest of the Old Testament God found a channel so that Job’s words found their way into the Holy Scriptures. Job desired that his words be recorded for eternity. God fulfilled that request by including them in the imperishable record of His Holy Bible. What an amazing answer to Job’s request!
The second thing that’s astonishing about this text is that Job talks about a personal Redeemer. He says “I know my redeemer lives.” This is the language of absolute certainty. It is not a vague hope or a mere guess but personal assurance. Let me ask you, do you know that your Redeemer lives? What’s profoundly interesting about Job’s words is that the Old Testament has very little to say about the afterlife. In fact I recently attended a Jewish funeral for a man who was associated with our church. While a lot Scripture was read the only hope that was offered was that this person would live on as long as he’s alive in our memories. In talking with several Jewish believers in Christ they said this is the only hope that is ever found at a traditional Jewish funeral. How different was Job’s hope, and our hope as well if we know our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, is alive today.
Isn’t it fascinating that Job would speak (v.26) of his body being decayed and eaten by worms (KJV) yet say “yet in my flesh shall I see God” (KJV). Job expressed a strong and profound confidence that this physical life isn’t all there is. Wow, this is a significant truth that if we fully grasp will lead us to store up our treasures in heaven rather than on earth. What had changed Job from the place of despair to this point of hope? His outward circumstances hadn’t changed; he was still in agonizing pain being counseled by 3 very poor comforters. His wife had told him to curse God and die but in this moment of clarity, through the eyes of faith, Job realized that his Redeemer, his “goel”= kinsman redeemer, was working out his perfect plan even through Job’s pain. Do you know that your Redeemer lives? Let us see Jesus Christ through the eyes of faith and He will sustain us through whatever the old devil throws at us. All praise to our great God!
For God’s Glory,
Pastor Rich Sivo