Job – I know that my redeemer lives
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth. Job 19:26
The book of Job is probably one of the earliest stories of the Bible. The Septuagint establishes Job as an historical person at the end of chapter 42 where we learn he was in the family line of Abraham, Isaac and Esau. Esau was Job’s great grandfather and Job lived near the border of Edom and Arabia. So this account isn’t fiction, the tragic events described in Job really happened.
Like many people, Job’s life was blind-sided by tragedy. When calamity happens it’s devastating – the world slams to a stop. Nothing seems important anymore, the pain, grief and loss are overwhelming. We don’t know if we can go on. We don’t know if we even want to go on. Some people reading this have been there, or are there now.
Job lost his children, his livelihood and his health in the blink of an eye and just fell to the ground in shock and grief. As he sat, devastated, in a pile of ash, scraping with broken pottery grievous sores that ravaged his body, people, including his own wife, pleaded with him to just give up – curse God and die.
Job was a God-fearing man. He believed in God, trusted God, and lived a righteous life. His faithfulness was even noted by God. He loved God and was known by God. Not everyone has that kind of faith. Most never even consider a devotion and relationship to God that permeates every aspect of life. Some people believe in God but live for themselves. Some believe casually, because of their heritage, but their faith is not very personal. But not Job.
Throughout the book, Job remains faithful. Even though he doesn’t understand why everything is happening and nothing makes sense. All he hears from others is blame and accusation – “It’s your fault.” “You brought this on yourself.” “What did you do? Think back to your childhood.” “What sin are you hiding?” Sadly, some of us have come under similar assault. But Job knew better. Sure, he racked his brain, as we would, but He kept landing in the same place, He trusted God.
Then, in the middle of the book, when he had reached rock bottom, Job makes a declaration. He wants his friends, his wife, Satan, God, and everyone who would ever hear of his story, to know what he really believed after everything was stripped away. This is his core. The essence of his being. He says:
“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 skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God. Job 19:23-26
In other words, “This is all I know, but I know it for sure! You can carve it on rock with an iron pen forever! I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth, and after this old body is gone I know one thing – I shall see God.”
There is a randomness to life in our fallen world and there isn’t a single person who is exempt from sorrow and pain. Inexplicably, some will experience extreme pain. Devastation. If your life is built on anything other than the solid rock of Jesus Christ, you will crumble under the weight. Because neither your bank account, your family, your looks, your intelligence, or anything else you might rely on to make it comfortably through this life can stand the weight of devastating loss.
The only hope of surviving, making it through, even learning, being healed and ultimately helping others, is the love of God in Jesus Christ. God’s answer to the tragedy and randomness in the world is Jesus. Through His crucifixion Jesus took all the worlds sufferings upon Himself. He carried the weight for all of human kind. By grace He now regenerates our nature, changes our perspective and us a foundation, solid and unshakable upon which to stand in the midst of suffering and declare, “I know that my Redeemer lives! And after this is over, I shall see God.”