‘O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God.’ (Job 19:23-26)
His children had died. His body was covered with “loathsome sores.” His wife’s advice was to “Curse God and die.” His friends gave him advice that only deepened his agony.
I am, of course, talking about Job. The book in his name recounts his long struggle with one of the hardest questions we could ever ask: Why do bad things happen to good people?
In the midst of all of his loss, pain, and grief, Job proclaims today’s stunning and encouraging words. Job doesn’t say that he simply believes or hopes that his Redeemer lives; instead, he boldly says that he knows his Redeemer lives.
As I prayed with Job’s words this morning, I heard him speaking across the centuries straight into all we are facing right now. We need to hear Job’s assurance that we are not alone, that we will never be abandoned, and that our Redeemer is with us. We need to proclaim that we know His name—Jesus and that He knows our reputation and our challenges. We need to know that nothing—not COVID-19, not our economic crisis, not our political divisions—can separate us from our Redeemer’s love. And we need to trust that our Redeemer will work in, with, and through us to repair all the brokenness around us, within us, and between us.
I believe that our Redeemer will be there for us when our own flesh is destroyed at the end of our life and that He gives us the courage, energy, and hope we need right now. Our Redeemer didn’t simply come to this earth to take us into eternal life; He also came to bring the values and power of His kingdom to our current needs.
Job prayed that his words would be “written down” and be “inscribed in a book.” Clearly, his prayer was answered. Job had lost 7 sons and 3 daughters. He was covered with sores. His wife was in too much grief to give him any comfort. His friends were no help at all. If he could say and write that he knows that his Redeemer lives in the midst of all of his losses and agony, then I pray that we would be given the same assurance. I believe that not only moving towards believing that our Redeemer lives and knowing that He lives would give us the strength and courage we need to face into our trying times.
Job’s words were indeed written down and inscribed in a book. I pray that his words would now be written down on our hearts and that they would be “engraved on a rock forever” so that we would know that our Redeemer lives and that He will stand with us no matter what challenges are before us right now.
- If the boldness of Job’s words were written on your heart, how would your life change?
- Are there some words in your heart that need to be confronted, erased, or renounced?
- What new words do you think your Redeemer, Jesus, would like to write on your heart that would help you to remember how much you are loved, cherished, and blessed?