Friday, January 21, 2005

God has wronged me: Job 19

Job leaves no doubt as to who he blames for his misfortune, "Know then that God has wronged me and has closed His net around me." (Job 19:6) Job goes on to further describe the "injustice" he has received from the Lord:
"Behold, I cry, 'Violence!' but I get no answer; I shout for help, but there is no justice. He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and He has put darkness on my paths. He has stripped my honor from me and removed the crown from my head. He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone; and He has uprooted my hope like a tree. He has also kindled His anger against me and considered me as His enemy. His troops come together, and build up their way against me and camp around my tent." (Job 19:7-12)
Job bristles at his circumstances and sees God as their author. Yet, in the midst of his anger towards God, we still find that there is faith left in him. After describing all the horrible things that are happening to him, his mind returns to faith and he speaks of God as his redeemer:
"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another." (Job 10:25-27)
Many scholars believe that Job was one of the first books of the Bible to be written. Yet, even in this ancient book, we see evidence for our resurrection and eternal life with God. Job was able to look forward with prophetic eyes and see the ministry of Jesus.
  1. Job was able to look forward to the first coming of Jesus when He would make atonement for his sins. Job saw the Lord as his redeemer. Job understood that, one day, God would come to pay the price to forgive us and redeem us from our sins.
  2. Job also foresaw the second coming of the Lord, when Jesus will return to once again stand on the earth. And in that day, He would make all things right. In that day, His kingdom and rule would be established over all the earth.
  3. Job also believed that there was life after death. He talks about time after "his skin was destroyed". In this he is speaking of his death. But he goes on to say that, in that day, he would see the Lord.
  4. Job also understood that there would be a bodily resurrection from the dead. Notice that he does not say that he will see God with his spirit, but "from my flesh". Job looked forward to a bodily resurrection and a life with God after this life was over.
When Jesus knew that Simon Peter was going to be greatly tested after His crucifixion, he prayed that Peter's "faith may not fail." (Luke 22:32) Its easy to see the reactions of people as they go through times of trouble, but its not always easy to see their faith. Even though Job came to some wrong conclusions regarding God, his faith in God still remained. Perhaps, as important as it is to comfort the afflicted, it may be even more important to pray that their faith may stand.

David Robison

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