#673: Job's Redeemer

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Reflections by the Pond
September 15, 2014

"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth."

Job 19:25

° ° °

It is always fascinating to read of a pre-incarnate appearance of the Son of God in the Old Testament. There were, for example, the several times He showed up during the life of Abraham: by the oaks of Mamre to announce that Sarah would bear a child, to Hagar after she had been banished with her son Ishmael, to stop the knife with which Abraham was about to kill his son Isaac.

Perhaps equally fascinating are those times an Old Testament figure recognizes a need for some one or some thing that can only be fulfilled in the person of the incarnate Son of God: Jesus the Christ. The lamenting Job is such a figure.

° ° °

Job understood, first of all, that before God he had no righteousness of his own.

"If I should wash myself with snow
And cleanse my hands with lye,
Yet You would plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes would abhor me."

Job 9:30-31

He could scrub himself raw and still not be clean enough for heaven. As good a person as he was, as righteous and devoted to God as he was, Job understood that once the day came when he stood before the great Judge, nothing done in the flesh would be good enough.

"For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him,
That we may go to court together."

Job 9:32

Job did not know of one, but he realized that there would need to be an umpire, an arbitrator to stand between him and his Judge. Only then could he stand before his final judgment without fear.

"There is no umpire between us,
Who may lay his hand upon us both.
Let Him remove His rod from me,
And let not dread of Him terrify me.
Then I would speak and not fear Him;
But I am not like that in myself."

Job 9:33-35

Later in this painful scene in which Job is being advised by his "friends," he seems to refine in his own mind this need for a go-between—in fact, now he imagines there might really be one.

"Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for me is on high. My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God, that he would argue the case of a man with God, as a son of man does with his neighbor."

Job 16:19-21 ESV

Finally all supposition is set aside, and Job can declare with certitude,

"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.
My heart faints within me!"

Job 19:25-27

Yes, Job, your Redeemer lives indeed—and His name is Jesus.

° ° °

But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:21-24