What if, in one day, you lost everything you own—your house, your businesses, properties, earthly assets? What if, on top of that you lost all of your family—your children, their spouses, and your grandchildren? What if you then lost your health so that, now knowing nothing but pain and misery, you lie in the dust with nothing but broken pottery to scrape your boils and sores? Then, imagine that all your friends turned on you and spoke of your hypocrisy, believing you must be living a double life to deserve such horrible happenings. If you were stripped of everything like our brother Job, what would you have left?
Some are feeling close to this very scenario with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Job was a man who feared God; he was continually turning away from sin. His whole life-orientation was in believing there is a God and that He is One to be paid attention to. Even after he was traumatized to the core of his being, utterly devastated with this tsunami of affliction, Job vowed to trust God, even if God killed him (Job 13:15). So much for the shallow idea that affliction comes only to those are being punished.
23 I wish that my words were written down, that they were recorded on a scroll 24 or were inscribed in stone forever by an iron stylus and lead! 25 But I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the end he will stand on the dust. 26 Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh. 27 I will see him myself; my eyes will look at him, and not as a stranger. My heart longs within me.Job 19:23–27
Job knew what he believed; these words were his Confession of Faith recorded for us to see still today. Though for a time overwhelmed with confusion and grief, he takes his stand upon a solid rock which would provide the only real and lasting hope to face another day and further trials.
Reproached by friends, he stood alone with his creed. Job appeals to the final day, the Day of Judgment. In that day, all mysteries will be made plain, all questions of “why?” will be answered, and everything shall be made right. On that day, to know the smile of your Redeeme…that is all that matters. In light of that day, men’s opinions do not matter.
Job wants his belief published for the whole world to see, preserved for generations to come. He wants them printed in large letters in a book, engraved in stone with an iron pen. His accusers were amazed at Job’s confidence, just as our unbelieving detractors are when we come out with our life stories of faith in Christ.
19:25 I know that my Redeemer lives – Job believed there was a Redeemer, one who sets you free from danger or bondage by paying a price. Job believed that he himself needed such a Redeemer and that this Redeemer was, in fact, his Redeemer, and that He is the living Redeemer forever.
The question is: Why would such a good man like Job need a Redeemer? Answer: Because Job was a sinner set free from the guilt and slavery of his sin by the only Redeemer appointed and sent by God…the Lord Jesus Christ. God had revealed to Job what a big sinner he was and what a great Savior Jesus would be.
With every sacrifice offered by Adam and Eve, and Noah, and all God’s people before him, Job knew a redeemer would have to pay the bill for his deliverance with His own life’s blood. This Redeemer must conquer the grave if sinners like Job could conquer the grave. And Jesus did! I know that my Redeemer lives…and because my Redeemer lives, so shall I!
19:25 and at the end He will stand on the earth – Job was fully convinced that Jesus would come to earth a second time and stand in triumphant and supreme authority with all the world gathered at His feet. There is an end, a last day when there will be no more days. On that day, your life on earth, and mine, will be done. Just like the last scene of every movie, the words will cross the screen of our earthly experience…The End. Then, it will be all about Jesus, the Judge of many, the Redeemer of some.
19:26-27 Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God inmy flesh. I will see him myself; my eyes will look at him, and not as a stranger – Those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God, whether we decompose in the grave or are alive when Jesus returns, we will “see God.” Job can confidently confess, “I will see God! I will see Him myself! My eyes will look at Him!” And I won’t be a stranger to Him.
Sadly, some will be. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
But Job’s confidence can be our confidence if we have a personal relationship with this great Redeemer, if He has set us free from our guilt and bondage to sin by His amazing salvation. I ask again, if you were stripped of every earthly thing as Job was, what would you have left?
We celebrate Easter – Resurrection Sunday – each year because of the triumphant Redeemer who conquered the grave. Do you have such a testimony that you hold with conviction and confidence in view of the Judgment Day? Do you possess a Redeemer who has set you free from the guilt and slavery of your sin? Are you ready for the coronavirus, or any other of the myriad forms of death, to take you away into eternity?
19:27 My heart longs within me – Does your heart long for Jesus? To be in the presence of the resurrected Jesus? To be fully and finally freed from your sin that plagues you in order to stand triumphantly in the presence of the Redeemer King?
If so, brother or sister in Christ, rejoice in the Lord and keep marching toward that day with confidence. If not, dear friend, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call to him while he is near. Let the wicked one abandon his way and the sinful one his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, so he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will freely forgive. (Isaiah 55:6-7)