Week 1 Day 5

Job 19:23-29
“Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
That with an iron stylus and lead
They were engraved in the rock forever!
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!
If you say, ‘How shall we persecute him?’
And ‘What pretext for a case against him can we find?’
Then be afraid of the sword for yourselves,
For wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
So that you may know there is judgment.”
Life on this side of Heaven is full of sorrow and pain. While it is easier understand the pain and sorrow that comes as a direct consequence of our sin, the general pains of living in this fallen world are harder to accept. We struggle to understand why God would allow the suffering of His people. We find ourselves asking, “What did I do to deserve this?” and are often met with false accusations, silence, or the unhelpful adage, “life is not fair”.
Job found himself repeatedly asking the same question of God. As an upstanding man of God, why did he have to suffer so severely? He had lost his children, his wealth, and his health in a remarkably short period of time. In this time of grief, Job’s friends turned on him, falsely claiming God was punishing him for his sin. His wife added to his pain, saying, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). Job defended his innocence, but seemingly no one else would. Who would bring justice for Job?
Chapter 19 reveals Job’s faith in God as his living Redeemer. Just before this, in Job 18:17, Job’s friend, Bildad, warned that a wicked man’s memory would be blotted from the earth. In response, Job said he wanted his story to be written in all available mediums: in a scroll, in clay tablets, and even in stone. He wanted people to know the truth. He did not understand why he was suffering, but he retained confidence in God. Job believed God Himself would vindicate him, and though he would eventually die, he confidently believed he would witness God’s justice on his behalf.
Even in this fallen world, God is sovereign over all. Suffering and pain and death exist because of the general curse of sin in this world, but God is still in control. He will redeem our pain.
Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Paul continues in Romans 8:23-24a, “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.”
Job had this hope. He was confident his sufferings would be redeemed by God, even after his death. One day, God will bring justice. He will make all things right again. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the punishment we deserve for our sins has been paid. Now all who believe in Jesus as Lord can claim His righteousness on our behalf. No longer do we have to dread an unavoidable future wrath because of our many sins. Our debt has been paid by a just and merciful God. Now, we get to wait for the glorious future our living Redeemer has for us. We wait for the day all suffering will be finished forever, because God will bring justice to the world.

Reflection and Prayer

Are you as confident as Job was that God will redeem you? Talk to the Lord, asking Him to increase your faith in His ability to care for you, even after death.

In the depths of his despair, Job looked to the future he had in his living Redeemer. Suffering often causes us to look inward to the problems we face. What could help you shift your focus to the future hope you have in Christ?

Reflect on your responses to the suffering in this world. Are you like Job’s friends, looking for ways to judge or eliminate the suffering, before God has brought His final judgement? Ask God to teach you to trust in His sovereignty. Ask Him to help you respond to the suffering with care and wisdom.
God, thank You for being in control, when I feel out of control. You know about my suffering and will redeem my pain. Thank You for standing up for me, when no one else does. You are my living Redeemer, and I eagerly await the day I will see You bring justice once and for all.

Faith Bible Staff