THE GOD OF ALL GRACE IN THE LIFE OF JOB
Part 2 – My Redeemer Liveth; Job’s Hope in Christ
The first key text we looked at in the life of Job was one of resigned sorrow; a man consumed with terrible pain clinging onto His God in the darkness of the night:
“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” ( Job 1:21).
(You can read first study in the series by following the link)
He now rises like a bird above the waves of agony which engulfed His mind and soul. His vision is sharpened with prophetic insight. The doom and gloom seems to vanish in the light of the glory yet to be revealed as he boldly declares:
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25).
It seems that God comforted His suffering servant by giving Job a glimpse of a glorious and happy future, which was unique in the experience of the Old Testament saints. This is an example of Paul’s teaching:
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
(2nd Corinthians 4:16-18).
Job was strengthened in soul through seeing by faith the eternal weight of glory which make even his extreme brokenness fade away as an irrelevance. A view of eternity is the great hope for the child of God. Our Heavenly Father has His own precious ways of giving us renewed hope in hours of earthly trial. He is truthfully the God of all grace.
Job’s hope is the same as the hope that we presently enjoy. This hope principally is fixed upon a person. The one whom Job described as His Redeemer, we know to be Christ:
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
1: Belief in a Redeemer
It is evident that Job was comforted with the assurance that He had a personal Redeemer:
“I know that my Redeemer liveth.”
This key statement contains four key words:
“Know” – The word of ASSURANCE
“My” – The word of POSSESSION
“Redeemer” – The word of DELIVERANCE
“liveth” – The word of OPTIMISM
The Hebrew word employed for Redeemer is ‘goel’ and gives us an insight into the identity of this person who gave Job such optimistic confidence. The word literally means ‘one with the right to redeem on account of being a kinsman’.
Under the law in the Old Testament:
A slave could be redeemed by the ransom paid by a kinsman (Leviticus 25:48-49).
Land could be redeemed by a kinsman, land which had been sold off and lost to the family (Leviticus 25:25).
A widow could be redeemed by a kinsman of her husband’s, who would marry her (Leviticus 25:5).
The famous example of these liberating practices in found in the book of Ruth where Ruth and Naomi are redeemed from penury and childlessness by Boaz who married Ruth. In so doing he secured property that was lost and a family was raised up, thus preserving the family line of Elimelech, which had died off in Moab. This not only preserved Elimilech’s lineage, but more than that, was the chosen family out of which Messiah would come.
There is so much in this word ‘goel’ and the surrounding practices, which show us Christ:
He is our kinsman, having become flesh and blood.
He redeems those who are slaves of sin.
He redeems those who have lost their entitlement to eternal life.
He redeems those who are labouring under sorrow and death by making them his bride; He marries sinners and gives them new life as Boaz married Ruth.
The price He paid was not in shekels or any other currency but in the blood shed on Calvary which Peter described:
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1st Peter 1:18-21).
Job, by faith, saw this Redeemer in His glory, anticipating that a price would be paid for his redemption, a redemption that had already been prefigured by God in the chambers of eternal providence.
Yet, remarkably Job knew his ‘goel’ prior to the law of Moses and the establishing of Israel as a kingdom of priests. He offered sacrifices, something that was forbidden after the establishing of the priesthood under Aaron, indicating that he belonged to ancient time; possibly a contemporary of Abraham.
How then did Job know about his kinsman Redeemer?
Job’s knowledge was rooted in the promise made in Eden that one born of the woman would crush the serpent’s head, bruising His own heel in the process. This was the one ray hope amid the darkness of Eden’s failure; a message of hope that echoed down the corridors of time – the Redeemer would come!
In our days of darkness and sorrow, in a world that suffers the effects of sin’s dreadful curse, we look not back but forward to our kinsman who has already come, our personal Redeemer, with whom we are intimately acquainted. Our confidence rests in Him.
2: Belief in Redemption
Logically, if Job believed in a Redeemer, then he also believed in redemption.
What did redemption mean to Job?
Redemption in the Old Testament, was about securing that which was lost, as a result of a price that was paid.
Job had lost ever so much; his business, servants, family, the love of his wife and the respect of his friends.
Yet now in this dark hour he anticipated redemption by one who was able to grant him recovery. He was bound up in the prison house of despair but freedom beckoned through his own personal Redeemer.
Isaiah had this thought in mind as he prophesied of the coming of Christ, the Redeemer who would stand upon the earth:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” (Isaiah 61:1-4).
The meek hear the good news, the broken-hearted are healed, the captives are liberated, the mourners are made joyful and desolate cities are restored to their former glory. All this is achieved by the one who would come in the fullness of the Spirit, Christ our Redeemer.
3: Belief in Resurrection
This is a constant encouragement to every child of God because whatever we seem to have lost on this earth, we have not really lost – because no-one who is redeemed can ever be a loser.
“Blessings abound where’er He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blest.
Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their father lost.”
Job’s faith in his Redeemer, was by no means limited to this world and all he had lost. Ultimately, Job like the travellers in Pilgrim’s Progress who caught a glimpse of the Celestial City from afar, saw the brightness of the dawning eternal day.
He believed that His Redeemer would stand upon the earth at the last day, an event that we describe as the Second Coming of Christ. Job was realistic in his knowledge that he would be dust before this day, but he knew that the clay vessel would be restored in life. Job in suffering the onslaught of death and pain believed that his redemption meant resurrection!
“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:26-27).
Job’s faith led him through the millennia that stretched before him and the world to the day that John also, foresaw – when God’s people would see the face of Christ. Job was not motivated by seeing his loved ones, the gates of pearl, the streets of golf and a city bathed in everlasting light. He had one desire – to see his Redeemer.
Job had requested that these very words be engraved into the rock with an iron pen, and set in lead, as an everlasting memorial:
“Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!” (Job 19:23-24).
Some believe that he was referring to the custom of engraving words into stone at grave or a tomb. If so he was referring to his own grave. He wanted the world to know that if he died a pauper, as a consequence of this horrible trial that the end had not come – he would live again when the Redeemer came to claim the body that had long since been destroyed by the flesh eating worms. That failure was not the end. Eternal glory awaited.
Redemption for the Christian means not only, the salvation of the soul but the resurrection of the body also. Believers who have been taken home to glory as a result of this pandemic have been buried without the normal dignity that we give to the dead. But none of this matters, in the light of eternity. The coffin will be burst asunder, the body will rise without disease and will meet the the Lord in the air. What a gathering that will be! The eternal state will dawn. Death and the curse will be no more.
What blessed words these are for this hard time:
MY REDEEMER LIVETH