TEXT: Job chapters 15-21
OBSERVE: Job’s understanding of the future life was very obscure at first, and we hear him asking the hopeful question, “Can the dead live again? If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle, and I would eagerly await the release of death” (Job 14:14). Somewhere along the way, as job pursued God in the agony of his suffering, God clearly revealed the answer to Job so that he spoke of resurrection life with firm confidence:
But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! (Job 19: 25-26)
INTERPRET: The Hebrew word translated “Redeemer” is Go’el, and it had two general applications. It was used to refer to the next of kin who intervened to maintain rights or preserve the continuity of the family (you may remember this happening in the book of Ruth, referring to Boaz). But in the daily usage, its primary meaning was “to buy back, recover.” This is the prophetic vision Job had of Jesus himself – his Restorer, his Redeemer.
APPLICATION: Job envisioned a day when his Go’el would restore his body and remake it into a body fit for the new heaven and the new earth, where the Redeemer would live with redeemed humanity. Job longed for the day when he would gaze with his eyes upon his God-Redeemer standing “upon the earth.” It was not the thought of his soul resting with God in a far-off heaven that brought him such intense anticipation, but the thought of seeing God-in-glorified-flesh standing in victory on a renewed earth.
God gave Job the prophetic ability to see not the first coming of Christ, but the second coming, when “the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout (1 Thess 4:16). He could see with eyes of faith the renewal that Paul described clearly when he wrote, “Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever…… Thanks be to God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15: 42, 57). As believers in Christ, we too are to speak of resurrection life with confidence knowing that our Redeemer lives.
REFLECTION: Are you absolutely certain that your Redeemer lives?
PRAYER: Jesus, the day is coming when all of those who are in Christ will have exactly what Job’s heart had longed for. I proclaim with absolute certainty that my Redeemer lives! AMEN.
SONG: I Know That My Redeemer Lives - 7-Year-Old Claire Crosby
SONG 2: My Redeemer Lives (Nicole C. Mullen)
Contributors to The Bible Blog include: