Summary: Job’s hope in the resurrection to come
JOB: MY REDEEMER
JOB 19 VERSES 23-29
When the Berlin wall came down and when communism fell one of the amazing things that happened was that people had access to the files that the secret police had kept on them. For many people it made uncomfortable reading. People whom they trusted had betrayed them – family members, husbands, wives, children etc. they thought they knew these people but they were wrong. It left them wondering: What can I know for certain? Truth is there is very little we can know for certain. I believe the only certainty we truly know is that one day we will die. That is where we encounter Job in our this morning. Job was a man who had everything and lost it all. He had family and friends, health and wealth, position and purpose. But in a few short weeks it was all taken away. His health failed, his wealth disappeared, his family turned their backs and his friends did nothing but criticise him. Job was a man who lost everything. Now in and of itself that is not unusual nor remarkable. But Job is remarkable in that he wants the answer to the question Why? He wanted to understand what was going on. He was not satisfied to just shrug his shoulders and retreat into a cocoon. Job wanted to know that his life meant something. His friends put before him all sorts of arguments but none of these answer his questions. Job wanted to know, hard as it is to know anything, that his life could be anchored. And in Job 19 verses 25-27 he tells us what he knows. When he speaks these words he sitting on top of the town dump scraping the sores on his body with a piece of broken pottery. The only thing that had been said to him was some pious prattle that he must have sinned against God and if he would only straighten up then all this would turn out right. There was no evidence in his circumstances or what he had heard which gave him grounds to state that he would be redeemed from this bondage. And yet he states: ‘I know my Redeemer lives.’ How did Job know? What did Job mean?
What Job knew in his heart by experience, by instinct and by faith I proclaim to you today by name – Jesus Christ. So let us take a closer look at these verses and learn from this servant of God.
VERSES 23-24 – Job believes he is close to death. It is a pretty fair conclusion for him to come to – it is the wrong conclusion at this time though. However, Job knew that one day he must die. Job knows that the words he is about to utter may not be heard, heeded or understood by those gathered around him at that moment but he desires for them to be recorded – not for posterity but that future generations would benefit from the truth contained therein. He desires that somehow what he is about to say will not die with him but live on because the truth to which they witness, namely that his redeemer lives, is of eternity – eternal truth, value and consequence for those who hear them. So what Job is about to speak is of such importance to him that he wants it recorded. It is basically his last will and testament. The whole dialogue to this point has been Job seeking to defend and justify himself before his friends and their accusations. He now speaks with a secure knowledge and experience which comes from only through faith.
VERSES 25-27 I KNOW MY REDEEMER LIVES!
Verse 25 actually begins with ‘But’ –omitted from the NIV. What Job is about to say is in contrast, set over and against all of the arguments that have gone before. All their dialogue over suffering, sin, blessing and curse by God is to be seen as empty and futile in light of the statement that is about to follow. Job says ‘But, this I know’. I cannot answer all your questions. I cannot defend myself against all your accusations and arguments. I cannot justify myself in your eyes but this I know. Not this I think, this I believe but this I know. It said with emphatic certainty. Without a hint of doubt or disbelief but certain assurance that what is being spoken is the eternal truth. In the midst of despair, in the midst of loss, in the midst of personal pain and suffering Job speaks with hope and assurance. Job looks not at the past, nor at the present but he looks to the future and confidently states ‘I know my Redeemer lives.’
‘I’ we have here a settled personal conviction. ‘I, yes I, know.’ Here is personal knowledge of what he is speaking about. Not ‘we’, not ‘you’ but ‘I’. This is personal knowledge gained from a living relationship with God.