Job had lost nearly everything: all his children, most of his servants, his assets were nonexistent, his wife told him just to curse God and die, his closest friends said it was all his fault that God was punishing him. Job was basically a wreck, reduced to the depths of despair and discouragement. Listen to how one author has retold Job’s complaint recorded at the beginning of Chapter 19: The Message
This generation is hopeless – no one listens to me (v.7) – the best for which I can hope is that if my testimony is permanently recorded, perhaps some future generation will understand I didn’t deserve to be treated this way. From Job’s perspective it is the world against him alone, even God is against him – verses 8-13, pronoun He refers to God! Verse 21-22, It is God who has struck him, who is persecuting him. Job was convinced that God in his Providence was behind all that Job was experiencing, but even with the help of his friends he was absolutely unable to answer the question “Why?”
You might think that Job had an over-inflated view of himself and his personal righteousness. But listen to God’s opinion of that, expressed twice – Job 1:8;2:3
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.”
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil. He still retains his integrity, even though you incited Me against him, to destroy him without just cause.”
God was not punishing Job for sinful behavior, Job was an upright man and to destroy him would have been unjust. There was a different reason for Job’s treatment, but more of that later.
When all you have, like Job, is questions and not answers, confusion and no clarity, darkness with no sense of direction, when you feel awful and smell awful and everything you touch goes wrong, when you have no hope that it will ever get better, what do you do? Let us consider what God’s blameless and upright servant Job did to find relief from his despair.
When Job could go no lower, when it felt like there was no way out, Job turned his attention to the concrete things that he knew to be true. This is not only the turning point of the story of Job but also of his experience.
But how could Job be so certain of what he had not seen? What basis did he have for declaring so boldly and confidently “I KNOW that my Redeemer lives”?
1. as one whom God termed “my servant”, the internal witness of God Himself
2. confidence built on years of relationship – God proving himself faithful to Job over and over
3. the promise made to Eve in the Garden – the one who would crush the serpent’s head
4. the translation of Enoch – leaving this life without dying
5. God’s preservation of Noah and family in the Ark
6. the witness of every sacrifice Job offered, all of which pointed toward the ultimate Redeemer
7. the word and works of God as communicated by oral tradition before time of Moses
B. nature of God
he is Redeemer
not simply a redeemer but my redeemer
a personal God who relates to individuals
not just one who could deliver, or who delivers some, but the one who would deliver Job
the words of personal faith in a personal Savior
he is living
the living One and the source of all life
the One who is, transcending time and space
“the one who lives and was dead and now lives forevermore” Rev. 1:18
“the resurrection and the life” John 11:25
he is involved
he lives and he will stand on the earth
not a remote disinterested uninvolved deity who left his creatures to their own devices
he will vindicate his people
stand as judge over all people – Acts 17:31
he is real
see for himself
eyes shall behold
not simply an idea, a construction of collective imaginations
or a force that can be appropriated
a living being who can be seen by those who love him
physically in the person of Jesus Christ – in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily
spiritually – with the eyes of faith
at present God seemed to be hiding himself from Job’s view; Job anticipated the time when he would be able to see God as his friend, a time for which he longed intensely
C. divine revelation
there will be a bodily resurrection
“after my skin has been destroyed, in my flesh I will see God”
perhaps Job was speaking more than he understood; that happened often in Old Testament times
words clearly indicate confidence in bodily existence after death and decay
there will be conscious existence
Job will see God and know that he was seeing God
Job will know that it was God he is seeing and not someone else
Job will know that he has been vindicated by his Redeemer – he will stand [in judgment] and it will be a just judgment
graciously and divinely revealed
to Job by God’s Spirit
at this point in redemptive history – probably no written Scriptures, certainly no resurrected Savior
concept of resurrection not absent from Old Testament but full clarity only came after the first Easter morning
at Job’s lowest point God graciously revealed to him the truth he needed most
to us by God’s Word
God could have left us with only the vague shadowy hints of a resurrection found in the OT
instead we have the witness of the Gospel accounts reinforced by the rest of the NT
for those of us a little slow to catch on, we have 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul connects all the dots: our future resurrection is made possible and guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection and his empty tomb
D. proper response Job 42:1-6
Job was granted the grace of seeing God, at least with the eyes of faith. He responded in Chapter 42.
As we with the eyes of faith accompany the women to the sepulchre, then turn away from the empty place and come face to face with the risen Christ, how do we respond?
If we respond like Job, we will say:
I have seen God, I have seen myself. I recognize and acknowledge God’s great glory and my great need. I turn from my pride and my idols to worship the Risen Christ.
I have seen the glory of God’s love and justice and mercy meet at the Cross. I have seen the glory of God’s power at the empty tomb. I have seen the glory of God’s grace in the face of Christ as he says: “It was for you that I died.” Take my life, my all, use me as an instrument of your grace to lead others to worship the Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
When the Lord, the righteous Judge, stands on the earth on that last day, what will he give to you? Will he give you a crown of righteousness because you are his by faith? Or will he give you a writ of condemnation and say “Depart from me; I never knew you.” If Christ and his righteousness is not the root of your confidence, if you have not placed your trust in him as your Savior, do it now while there is still time.