Read Job 19
19 Then Job replied:
2 “How long will you torment me
and crush me with words?
3 Ten times now you have reproached me;
shamelessly you attack me.
4 If it is true that I have gone astray,
my error remains my concern alone.
5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me
and use my humiliation against me,
6 then know that God has wronged me
and drawn his net around me.
7 “Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response;
though I call for help, there is no justice.
8 He has blocked my way so I cannot pass;
he has shrouded my paths in darkness.
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and removed the crown from my head.
10 He tears me down on every side till I am gone;
he uproots my hope like a tree.
11 His anger burns against me;
he counts me among his enemies.
12 His troops advance in force;
they build a siege ramp against me
and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has alienated my family from me;
my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
14 My relatives have gone away;
my closest friends have forgotten me.
15 My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner;
they look on me as on a stranger.
16 I summon my servant, but he does not answer,
though I beg him with my own mouth.
17 My breath is offensive to my wife;
I am loathsome to my own family.
18 Even the little boys scorn me;
when I appear, they ridicule me.
19 All my intimate friends detest me;
those I love have turned against me.
20 I am nothing but skin and bones;
I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.
21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity,
for the hand of God has struck me.
22 Why do you pursue me as God does?
Will you never get enough of my flesh?
23 “Oh, that my words were recorded,
that they were written on a scroll,
24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,
or engraved in rock forever!
25 I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
28 “If you say, ‘How we will hound him,
since the root of the trouble lies in him,’
29 you should fear the sword yourselves;
for wrath will bring punishment by the sword,
and then you will know that there is judgment.”
Everything that meant something in Job’s life—his family, social standing, and wealth—has all been stripped away. Now his friends are abandoning him as well. Job is in his greatest despair in verse 10: “He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone.”
Right when Job seems to be at his lowest point, he makes his greatest proclamation of faith. “For I know that my redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (v. 25). Job’s response to his brokenness is not to wallow in self-pity. His response is a profession of his faith: “For I know that my redeemer lives.” He didn’t say he “thinks” his redeemer lives, or he’s “pretty sure,” or he “guesses.” Job knows his redeemer is alive and working amidst and despite his dire circumstances. He is certain. When all else seemed to be spiraling and collapsing around him, Job was clinging to the foundation of his faith.
In addition to this confident expression of his faith, Job also boldly declares God will vindicate him from the false charges his friends are making against him. The word “redeemer” in this passage is translated from the word “goel.” Theologian G. Campbell Morgan explains “The Goel stood for another to defend his cause, avenge wrongs done to him, and acquit him of all charges laid against him.” Job is resting in the confidence his redeemer will vindicate him as well as be an advocate for him. Where Job’s friends saw God as a belief system, Job saw God as much more than a belief system. Job is confidently expressing that while everyone else has abandoned him, he knows God is standing beside him as his champion and advocate.
Romans 10:9-10 says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Thousands of years before the arrival of the Messiah, Job believed and professed that God would redeem him. Whether we are experiencing our darkest moments or our greatest celebrations, may we believe and profess with as great a confidence as Job.
- Job felt there was no way out of his situation. Is there a time you have felt that way?
- There was no doubt as far as Job was concerned that God was still in control of his life and future. Can you confidently profess you KNOW that your redeemer lives?
- Read Romans 10:9-10 and spend some time asking the Lord to help you believe and profess.
Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who helped Jews escape the holocaust during WWII, was imprisoned alongside her sister, Betsie, in a Nazi concentrated camp. After losing her sister in the camp and emerging from the darkness of the war, Corrie confidently proclaimed “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
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