“Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” -Job 19:23-27
Job to the rescue! His book is a life-saver for those who suffer, and which of us doesn’t? Very likely as old, at least, as Abraham, Job astounds his listeners in every age with certain knowledge of Jesus, the Redeemer. Job says this Redeemer will one day stand on the earth and he will look Him in the face.
He is not speaking of the first Advent, of Bethlehem and the manger, or Mount Calvary and the cross; he is speaking of the end of time when the Great Resurrection occurs and his dust is resurrected into eternal flesh. What a clear promise of future glory out of the ancient past.
This is a dynamic confidence in Job of thriving faith with a revelation to him from the Spirit. This is engraved on Job’s heart, and while at the time unknown to him, his bold words were indeed engraved in the rock forever. As the Psalmist writes, “The Word of God never fails; it endures throughout all eternity!” You read those words today in your own Bible.
From a valley of great affliction, in physical and mental anguish, Job nevertheless sees redemption clearly in front of him, just as though he was hearing those words written by the Apostle John in Revelation 21 millennia later: “Behold,” the Redeemer says, “I am coming soon!”
In a timeless heaven, those words ring into the ears of each generation before the Redeemer’s feet stand on the Mount of Olives. “Yes, I am coming quickly!” He essentially is saying, “Patience, dear soul. Your affliction is soon over.”
Timelessness is a mystery, something you cannot fathom, but this is the “clock” of heaven: no time! In these circumstances, “soon” becomes understood, and for your generation it really is. Believers today can affirm with Job, “I know my Redeemer lives! And with my own eyes I will look on Him whom they pierced,” and also know, as John reiterates the words of the Savior, it really will be “soon!”
At another time beyond Job, Boaz of Israel chose to become Moabite Ruth’s redeemer-kinsman, a known tradition of the day, in taking her for his wife and then becoming the great-grandparents of King David. Throughout history, the Spirit regularly provides forerunners of Jesus, like Boaz and King David, all in preparation for King Jesus, who becomes your redeemer-kinsman, culminating in your marriage to Him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
The Bible in your own hands is a living promise-letter through millennia with living forerunner illustrations of God’s love for you in Jesus Christ. Once your eyes of faith grasp the essence of this, you cannot help but bask in its glory. “I know that my Redeemer lives, and I am going to see Him for myself.”
“Jesus lives, and so shall I. Death, thy sting is gone forever! He who deigned for me to die lives, the bands of death to sever. He shall raise me from the dust. Jesus is my hope and trust.”
(First verse of Christian Gellert’s hymn, “Jesus Lives, and so Shall I,” 1757)
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