Leave a Good Legacy

Job 19:23-27

Job had lost nearly everything; you might wonder how anyone in Job’s circumstances could leave anything for posterity. At this point in narrative, has no children or grandchildren to pass anything along to. Not as old as Abraham, but…had no more hope of another family than Abraham and Sarah – Job didn’t think he would live long enough for that.

Spoke last week of bottom line – what is left when everything else has been taken away. Job has one remaining treasure (his “bottom line”). Is his fondest wish that his treasure outlast him, in fact, that it last forever – a legacy for future generations. Is possible that small piece of Job’s desire was personally motivated – wanted those who would come along later to read his epitaph and agree that he was right. Much stronger motivation – Job knew this was his only source of true hope, thus had value that cannot be measured.

Might think: “preacher’s talking to the old folks, ones that think they’re gonna die soon; Ihave plenty of time; don’t need to think about this now.” Easy to have that attitude as young person – I’ll let you decide what counts as “young”! Two important parts to the answer: no one has guarantee of next breath, cannot presume will have days, months, or years. And,…a legacy that is genuinely valuable is something developed over time; not the product of a few moments.

O. J. Simpson – successful career in football, record-holder, Hall-of-Famer; after football continued in broadcasting and acting. In 1994, began series of choices that now completely overshadow his early successes. His children have struggled for last 20 years: use false names, try not to be recognized, do not want to be identified with their father and his legacy.

Someone else with well-known name approached his legacy in very different way: from the will of Henry J. Heinz, wealthy distributor of the famous “57 Varieties” line –

“Looking forward to the time when my earthly career will end, I desire to set forth at the very beginning of this will, as the most important item in it, a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I also desire to bear witness to the fact that throughout my life, in which there were unusual joys and sorrows, I have been wonderfully sustained by my faith in God through Jesus Christ. This legacy was left me by my consecrated mother, a woman of strong faith, and to it I attribute any success I have attained.”

If Job’s legacy bound in a book, would sound like that of Henry Heinz, not OJ. Job’s legacy would have cover and three chapters. It’s cover, perhaps the title would be “Unshakable Confidence”; Chapter 1 – I Know My Redeemer Lives; Chapter 2 – I Shall Live Again; Chapter 3 – I Can’t Wait.

A. Cover – Unshakable Confidence v.23-24

tell a lot about a book by its cover; same true of Job; might have spoken more strongly than would have during easier time, but spoke rightly

Important note: this level of confidence isn’t where Job started out! Repeatedly from ch. 3 on, Job has struggled with discouragement, hopelessness – cursing the day of his birth (Job 3:1), getting frustrated with both his friends and God, wondering out loud if there is life after death (Job 14:14). Where did his hope, his faith come from?

not something expressed by his friends who had escaped the hardship, the torment Job endured

Job’s confident declaration was tempered, strengthened and made more durable in the crucible of suffering

true faith, a gift from God, at its core what is precious – will be refined, not destroyed when it goes through the fire

Satan’s purpose in all of this – to break Job, destroy his confidence, cause him to deny the faith; God’s purpose much different – to confirm Job’s faith, strengthen his confidence, purify and prepare Job for future blessing

Job so certain that what he was about to say was right and valuable, wanted it engraved in stone

take walk through “newer” section of cemetery, see what people are engraving in stone these days – in many cases is what brought individual pleasure during life: car, rifle, cabin on the lake

then go over to “old” section, see what you find on those stones – perhaps something like

Here lies buried the Body of Deacon Thomas Marshall, who Departed this life, April 3rd, 1766; Aged 72 years; He was chosen the first Deacon of the Church of Christ in Holliston December the 25th, 1728; Zealous and Constant in the Christian faith, and Carefully Discharged the duties of a Civil and Religious life, used the office of a Deacon well 38 years, purchased to himself a good Degree and Great Boldness in the Faith that is in Christ Jesus

Job wanted his faith declared plainly and publicly in way that couldn’t be changed and would endure

important to note here: Job had not stepped on landmines of self-importance or overconfidence; Job’s unshakable confidence not in himself but in God – that is abundantly clear from what Job declares he knows

B. Chapter 1 – I Know My Redeemer Lives – personal Savior / kinsman-redeemer v.25-26

has already recognized God as his Judge, his Mediator, his Advocate, his Witness, and his Surety; not a very long step to acknowledge God as his Redeemer

really very short step from Mediator to Redeemer as Job has described them

Job 9:33-34​​​​​​​Nor is there a mediator between us, ​​​​​​who might lay his hand on us both,​​​​​​​who would take his rod away from me ​​​​​​so that his terror would not make me afraid. NET

someone who can lay his hand on man and take God’s rod away – someone who is both man and God in one person

now Job declares belief that his Redeemer lives, present tense, and will be alive and standing on the earth at the end!

supremely important concept in this statement of Job – had two choices for word to use for “redeemer”: one used here “emphasizes redemption as being the privilege or duty of a near relative” TWOT

famous love story that brings out significance of Kinsman-Redeemer – story of Ruth; point of tension in story: Boaz is kinsman but there’s a closer relative, who’s going to get the girl?

don’t miss this: Boaz was an eligible contender for role of redeemer because he was a relative; that’s the way the laws had been written by God

this one, this Redeemer in whom Job has utmost confidence is his relative – the one Job declares he will see is God

Job’s cry for a Mediator, his confidence in a Redeemer – he is man and he is God – the same one we call our Redeemer

Job by faith saw the Lord Jesus; shouldn’t surprise us, it’s people that call OT saints primitive and lacking in theological understanding – not a position endorsed by the Bible

John 8:56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

John 12:37, 41 Though he [Jesus] had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, …quotes from Isa. 6…. Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

Abraham could see Jesus’ day and rejoice, Isaiah could see Jesus’ glory and speak of him, Job could see his Kinsman-Redeemer and be confident

no speculation here, no pulling punches or qualifying statements – is flat-out declaration “I know my Redeemer lives”; “I know I shall see God”

further emphasized: “I shall see God”, “I shall see for myself”, “my eyes shall behold” – confident of two things: there is a living Redeemer, a God to be seen, and Job will indeed see him

C. Chapter 2 – I Shall Live Again – bodily resurrection v.26-27a

pay attention to sequence here: “after my skin is destroyed….in my flesh I shall see God”

Job asked, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14) He answered his own question, one of great importance given what happened in the Garden – “dying you shall die”

is death the end? no survivors from first six generations of humanity, seventh was different story – Enoch

since Enoch went to next life with his body, reasonable to believe bodily existence will describe our future

also know that for everyone other than Enoch and his buddy Elijah, death and burial is the common lot

there must be something to bridge those two kinds of experience – we call it the resurrection

Job not the first to express life-changing confidence in resurrection – record of Abraham’s thought process Heb 11:17-19

[Abraham] reasoned that God could even raise [Isaac] from the dead, and in a sense he received him back from there.

Job raises the stakes, though – “this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another.”

believed without hesitation or qualification that with his very own eyes he would be able to see God himself

Job understood himself and God well enough to know in present condition he could not see God with his physical eyes

for Job’s confidence to be realized, God would have to raise is body from the dead but with different qualities

apostle Paul sheds light on this: 1 Cor. 15:35, 42-44

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”….What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

we talk about someone not being “in the land of the living” any longer; we need to re-think that perspective

we are in land of dying aiming for land of living – “the land of the living” is what awaits us when we have those new imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual bodies

D. Chapter 3 – I Can’t Wait – unsatisfied longing v.27b

more Job thought about God and actually seeing him, more that became his consuming desire

perhaps small piece of his desire relates to his suffering; that’s not what he talks about v.23ff – total focus is on his Kinsman-Redeemer, his God whom he shall see

what is it you want more than anything else? Job’s answer to that: God; his focus was on God, his desire was for God

didn’t want his stuff back, wanted his Savior – same desire expressed by disciple Jesus loved to close our Bible

Rev. 22:20-21 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

too often when something gets taken from us, first response is to try and figure out how to replace it, maybe with a better or more expensive one – not Job; wasn’t that what he lost had no value, Jesus had greater value for him

Job believed he had a Redeemer, that Redeemer loved him, he loved his Redeemer and wanted to be face-to-face with him

nothing less would satisfy him, nothing less would give what he needed to persevere through his suffering

Job didn’t want his accomplishments engraved in stone. Didn’t ask for visual representation of his hobby to be set up somewhere. Wanted his confidence in God his Redeemer and desire to be with that Redeemer published forever as his legacy. How about you? Is that the legacy you are working on to leave for the next generation? What is number 1 on your bucket list? To live a life of confidence in God and desire for him? To live that way and strive to pass those priorities on to the next generations is a good legacy to leave.

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