Job 19:25-27. 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
What we say in the midst of our trials and suffering reveals what we truly believe. I remember driving my dad home from a doctor’s appointment where he had received disappointing news about his Parkinson’s disease. His response was not anger or disappointment. It was faith. As we talked about what we had just heard on that car ride home, he said something simple and yet profound. “One way or another God will get me to Heaven,” he said.
What do you say in the midst of your trials? “Oh well.” “Such is life.” “Serves me right.” “No use in complaining.” “Other people have it much worse.” “Ques sera sera.”
None of these is anywhere close to how Job responded in his trial. He responded to his inconceivable suffering with one of the greatest statements of faith in all of scripture. And one of the clearest pictures of life in Christ in all the Old Testament – For I know that my Redeemer lives.
Job’s hope was outside of himself. He knew that he couldn’t argue with God on his own behalf. He couldn’t negotiate with God on the basis of his own righteousness. He knew he needed a redeemer. In ancient Israel a redeemer was a near relative who eased your suffering by paying your debts and purchasing your freedom. Job knew he needed someone like this to come and rescue him. But his redeemer would not be a relative or friend. His Redeemer would be God himself – I shall see God.
Jesus Christ is our redeemer. Our rescuer. Jesus has paid our debt. Jesus brings us out of the pit of despair and restores us to glory. He makes all things new. Everything bad, Jesus makes good. Everything wrong, Jesus makes right. Everything lost, Jesus restores.
he will stand upon the earth – Job’s hope is in a physical, imminent, earthly redeemer. This is an incredible confession. Job’s sees his Redeemer God standing physically upon the earth. God’s redemption plan is not to simply press the “eject” button” and launch us to heaven. God’s plan is to stand on the earth, to personally rule the earth, and to reclaim the earth for his glory.
Jesus Christ is the redeemer of earth. He is not our “eject button.” Our destiny in him is not to “go to heaven,” but for heaven to come to us. He will give us a New Earth on which to live, and stand, and reign with him forever as the New Creation.
This is why Job will say, in my flesh I shall see God. Job will relate to God and all creation forever physically. Yes, Job’s skin will be destroyed, he will die, but still he will stand in his flesh before God. How is this contrast even possible?
Because Jesus will resurrect us bodily. We will live forever walking, talking, hugging, holding, eating, with Jesus and each other. We will not just be merged into the cosmos or joined with the “world soul.” Our destiny is far better. It is a physical and personal eternity with God – I shall see God. This is Job’s greatest hope. Seeing God.
All suffering is meant to produce in us a desire to see our God, for it is in God’s presence that all suffering will end. In God’s presence we will be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. In God’s presence we will experience eternal joy and pleasure forevermore.
In his suffering Job couldn’t see the invisible God. And even when God did finally show up, he was veiled in the whirlwind. But God did not stay veiled. He came to us, making himself visible to us. He didn’t come in the whirlwind. He came in the manger. He came in flesh. He stood upon the earth. We saw God. We saw him take our place in our suffering, and in our dying. We saw him on the cross.
“To live is Christ” gives us a response to our suffering unlike any other. Not “such is life,” or “it could have been worse,” or “I just have to move on.” Our response in Christ is far greater – “For I know that my Redeemer lives and at last he will stand upon the earth.” This is a living hope that can actually sustain you. This is a living hope that can actually bring you to a place of worship in your sorrow. This is a living hope in a Redeemer God that will resurrect, restore, and renew all that you have ever lost in this life.
How do you typically respond to your suffering?
You in Christ
How does knowing that you are in Christ, that your Redeemer lives, restore your hope today?
Christ in you
How can you move forward in your sorrow in the hope of bodily resurrection and seeing God?
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