We were talking last week in our blog about the problem of suffering, particularly suffering that seems out of sequence to us. We looked last week at Job’s incredible resignation (Job1:20-22) in the face of profound loss in his life, yet as the story of Job goes on there is more suffering and more physical pain and anguish. Job would also experience the criticism of his so-called “friends” who pointed out that his suffering was caused by his sin. God’s opinion (the only one that really matters) was very different than that of Job’s friends. We read in God’s Word, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and shunned evil,” (Job 1:1 NKJV). That first verse of the book of Job is critical in helping us understand the whole story of Job. For that verse reveals God’s opinion of the character and integrity of Job. But despite the integrity and uprightness of Job, he experienced a multitude of life’s greatest tragedies. In the depths of Job’s despair, he reveals some beautiful truths about his Redeemer, and because his Redeemer is our Redeemer, I thought it would be totally appropriate to consider his comments as we prepare to celebrate resurrection Sunday.
In the face of the continued avalanche of criticism from Job’s “friends”, Job’s faith reaches its loftiest triumph. His hope is contrary to all the appearances of suffering that surrounded him. His comments are unimaginable in the scope of time and biblical insight and awareness. Remember what we are reading in Holy Scriptures was written probably somewhere around 4000 years ago. We read, “Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock with an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my flesh 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. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:23-27 NKJV). Job’s “I know” is the language of absolute certainty. It is not a vague hope or a mere guess, but the certain knowledge of the fact that his Redeemer lives. Job was so reduced in body and circumstances, so despised and twisted, on the very brink of the grave and yet Job knew the living one would ultimately prove Himself to be good and faithful. Many today are so self-deceived, there was no self-deception in Job’s comments. Many are trusting in a way that is of their own imagination. Many today think they’re going to get into heaven in accordance with the old Frank Sinatra song, “I did it my way”. But I can absolutely assure you that in heaven no one will be singing, “I did it my way”.
Job struggled with the idea that God was presently against him, but he firmly believed that in the end, God would be on his side. Do you know the Redeemer today in the way that Job did? Can you bring all your problems, difficulties, and all your confusion with how God is working to the living God of the universe and believe that He is the one who will ultimately vindicate you through His risen Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? All earthly relationships and friendships cannot meet the deepest need of our sinful, sorrowful, and needy souls, Job vindicates the causes of all who trust in God, even when they don’t understand what God is doing. Job believed God when all was against him, but he knew God would ultimately vindicate his innocence. He maintained a conviction of his innocence and personal integrity, even in the face of his wife’s criticism and the criticism of his “friends”. He even asked that his words be written “in a book, inscribed in stone”. This request was answered in an amazing way when God included Job’s story in the pages of the Holy Bible.
This Sunday we celebrate the fact that our Redeemer lives. We do not serve or worship a dead idol, we serve, just as Job served, the God of the universe who has made Himself known to us through His Son, Jesus Christ who has paid the penalty for our all sins. If you know the risen Savior, this resurrection day praise Him with all your heart, acknowledging His goodness and kindness in every area of your life. If you do not know the risen Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ – what are you waiting for?
Serving the risen Savior,
Pastor Rich Sivo