My Redeemer Lives
June 24-25, 2023
Of course, the Book of Job is about Job, and he's infamous or famous for his suffering. That is why the book is so important, and a book that will strengthen your faith. How do you respond when you're going through long-suffering troubles or trials? There are so many difficulties in this world, how do you respond? Will you curse God and die, which is what the enemy here wants Job to do? Will you shipwreck your faith, or will you hold on to the integrity of your faith? Will you honor His name, even if you do not understand why something is happening? This book is so strengthening to faith because it's about having faith to trust God, not only when you don't understand but because you don't understand.
There's so much that we do not understand. Why does this tragedy happen? I don't know. This book gives us such a depth of understanding. In this chapter that we're looking at, here Job is in the depths of his suffering, and he cannot understand why this is happening to him. Everything is against him. He's lost his great wealth. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world, outside of kings at the time. Everything he has, he's lost. All of his children have perished in a great tragedy, and even his friends are no consolation. His friends, we met them last week, they accused him of hidden sins and iniquities, saying that his suffering proves that he must have done something to deserve this great suffering. However, the book begins by making it very clear, Chapter 1, that as it described Job's character, that he was blameless, upright, fearing God, turning away from evil.
In other words, no, he had a heart after God. It was so clear that his heart was toward the Lord, and that God had blessed him. He had seven sons, three daughters, blessed with tremendous wealth. Then we were brought into that scene of the angelic realm, where angels are presenting themselves before God. Satan also comes, God says, "From where do you come?" Satan responds, "From roaming about on the earth." God then said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Job? For there is none like him in all the earth." None. "There is none like him in all the earth, blameless, upright, fearing God turning away from evil." Satan then argues that Job only honors God because he's so blessed, and because God has placed a hedge around him, which is a very important principle.
He says, then, "Remove that hedge and all that he has, and he will curse you to your face." The story then unfolds, tragedy befalls Job, he loses all that he has, his great wealth is all gone, his family is destroyed in a great tragedy. Yet it says, "In all of that suffering, Job did not curse God." He says, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked I shall return. The Lord has given, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." In other words, I came into this world with nothing, I'll leave this world with nothing. Anything that I have, God has given it to me. God, you don't owe me anything. You don't owe me anything. The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Now it says, "Therefore, through all of this, Job did not sin, nor did he blame God."
Then his health is struck in that he has sore boils from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head. He had to scrape the boils with a broken piece of pottery, there, sitting in the ashes. That's when his wife famously said, "Do you still hold on to your integrity, curse God and die, man?" She's not encouraging either. That becomes the theme of the book, that Job holds fast to his integrity. You might say, to the integrity of his faith. Job responds to his wife, "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not adversity? You speak as what other foolish women speak." All right. Now, that part of the story is when we meet Job's friends. Now, as I mentioned last week, they are his friends, but they are terrible counselors. Now, they start out well in the sense that they see how much Job is suffering, and they just sit with him and say nothing, which is actually a right way to comfort.
Sometimes we want to say something profound, but oftentimes, just to simply sit with someone, just to let them know that you care enough to be with him in it is a tremendous help. They start out well, but as I mentioned, Job's friends are convinced that Job deserves this suffering. When they begin to speak, they are adding to his suffering by falsely accusing him of hidden inequities and hidden sins, and he's already suffering. He's lost everything he has, and he's got his health now, he's suffering with boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Now they're adding to his suffering by accusing him falsely of hidden inequities. If you've ever been falsely accused, you know how much it hurts. He knows the truth. He knows God. He knows his heart. He knows that he's honoring God, and so, it hurts to be falsely accused.
I don't know if you've ever been falsely accused, but it hurts. I have been falsely accused. When I was 15 years old-- I'll tell you the story. I was 15 years old. Back in those days, I hitchhiked everywhere I went, which I do not recommend. Do not do that today. I was hitchhiking from Hillsboro to our home, which is way out in the country. I was going through North Plains, and I had to go to the bathroom. My best friend lived there in town, and so I stopped by his house. No one was home, but I knew that he left the door open. I went in and used the bathroom, and went on my way. Well, later that evening, my friend called me and he said, "Were you at our house today?" I said, "Yes, I had to use the bathroom. Thank you very much." He said, "Oh no. My dad wanted me to call you because we're missing a scientific calculator."
Now, back in those days, that was the thing. That was really a thing. He said, "We're missing our scientific calculator, and he thinks maybe you took it." I said, "We can solve this so easily. Tell him I didn't do it. I didn't do it. Just tell him. That'll fix the whole thing. I didn't do it. We're talking about me here. I didn't do it. Tell him I didn't do it. It solves the whole thing." He gets back on the phone, "No, my dad says you did take it, and you're not allowed to be on this property ever again." "No. What? I didn't do it." Now, he didn't stop us from being friends, and so, whenever we would need to go by his house or something, I would stand on the other side of the road leaning against the telephone pole. Then a few months later, my friend calls me, "Oh, my dad found the calculator. It was behind the couch." "What? He's not going to call and apologize?"
I had been in counseling ever since. It hurts to be falsely accused. They are accusing him falsely. Their reasoning is faulty. Here's what I mean. Their accusation is built on a principle that is true. There's where we have to look more deeply. As I mentioned, it's like taking a Bible verse, which is filled with truth, but then wrongly applying it, and you're going to end up with terrible results. Their reasoning is faulty. Here's what I mean. They correctly believe that those who plow iniquity, and those who sow trouble, will harvest it. That is a truth. Is it not? Yes, it's a truth. It's a principle of the harvest which we looked at. It's found in several places. Galatians 6, perhaps the greatest place. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. That which a man sows, he will also reap. If a man sows to the flesh, he will, from the flesh reap corruption."
It is a truth. Completely true, and everyone would be wise to take the truth to heart. However, Job's counselors had wrongly concluded that since Job is suffering, he must have plowed the inequity, he must have sowed the trouble that he is now harvesting. Now, for the record, this is a logical fallacy. I used to teach a class called Logic and the Christian Faith. I think that it's very important for Christians to think well and to reason well. If we're going to speak of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we got to think well and reason well. God is reasonable. In fact God says to Israel through the prophet Isaiah, "Come let's reason together." It's good to understand how to think well and reason well, so this is a logical fallacy. It's called affirming the consequent. Sometimes it's called the fallacy of the converse. The fallacy works like this. It occurs when a person wrongly concludes that since X results in Y then Y must always come from X. That's the fallacy. The best way to see it is by an extreme example. Here's an extreme example. If someone falls from the Empire State Building, they will die. That is the truth.
If someone falls from the Empire State Building, they will die. So-and-so died, he must have fallen from the Empire State Building. Now right away you go, "No, no way. That's not the way that works." You can easily see it because that's an extreme example. Many people draw wrong conclusions when it comes to the troubles of this life. If sin and iniquity bring forth hardship and trouble, which they do, Sin and inequity do bring forth trouble. X does bring forth Y. If sin and inequity bring forth trouble, then hardship and trouble prove that inequity and sin caused it. Now we need a deeper understanding. That's why this book is so important. Job's counselors are wrong, but how can Job prove it? How can he prove that you're not hiding inequities? How can you prove that you're not harboring secrets? How can he prove that?
He cannot. He can only stand on what he knows to be true. That brings us to chapter 19. "This is what I know," Job will say. When you cannot see, when you cannot understand, you rely on faith. You rest on the assurance of what you know. See, my personal Bible was given to me as a gift in 1990 when we planted the church and the person who gave it to me wrote in the back cover a great saying, "Never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light." A great principle. Let's look at it. We're in Job 19, we're going to jump right into it. We're going to start in verse 23. As I mentioned, the other verses around this, we'll look at at the Wednesday service. Come to that verse-by-verse service, but we jump right into chapter 19:23. As Job is responding to these friends, he says this, "Oh, that my words were written. Oh, that they were inscribed in a book."
I. Words Matter
Now we might say, "Great idea. Let's call it the Book of Job." No, no. He means something far more than that. What he means is this, "Let it be on the record. Write this down. What I'm about to say, in other words, is so important, I want to write this down. Let it be on the record. Write it down." Notice what he says, "Even that with an iron stylist and lead, that they would be engraved in a rock forever. Write this down." This is very important what he's going to say now, write it down. "I want it inscribed in a rock for this is what I know. As for me, I know that my redeemer lives." See, he's standing on what he knows. "This is what I know. Write it down. Put it on a rock. I know that my redeemer lives and that at the last, he will take his stand on the earth." This is one of the oldest books of the Bible giving us a prophetic insight of the latter days.
"This I know, write it down. I know that my redeemer lives, and that at the last he will take his stand on the earth, and that even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh, I shall see God." This is amazing. "Whom I, myself will behold, whom my eyes will see. I myself, my own eyes will see even after I'm dead. In my flesh, I will see him. Oh, how my heart faints. Oh, how my heart yearns within me." Oh, what a great set of verses these are. One of the greatest declarations in the Bible, in the Old Testament, right here in the Book of Job. As I say, we'll look at the other verses Wednesday. I want us to look at these starting with his understanding. Words matter. Oh dear, words matter. Write this down. I want it written on a rock, inscribed forever. He felt so strongly about what he's declaring. "I want it inscribed down." It's as though he's saying, "Let the record show, I feel so strongly I want it chiseled in stone."
See, these counselors are throwing words at him like waves, wave after wave of accusations and words, insults even, you might say, but he's like-- when I think about this, I think of the Oregon coast has these rock face cliffs and the waves crash against him and the rocks just throw them back. It's like that. It's like they're throwing waves at Job and he's standing on a rock, "Write this down." See, the words of his counselors are hurtful, but Job knows the truth and he is unwavering. He will not relent because he has the truth. He knows the truth because the truth is written on his heart. Ah, there is a great principle for all of us. Write truth on the tablet of your heart, right there. See, because words matter, words are powerful, words matter. Job stands on what he knows to be true, while these counselors are throwing words carelessly without regard for how they hurt.
A. Write truth on the tablet of your heart
Words can hurt. Words are powerful. Words matter. Notice Job 19:2-3, "How long will you torment me and crush me with words? These 10 times you have insulted me and you're not ashamed to wrong me." He's standing, he's throwing it back. Job 6:14, "For the despairing man, there ought to be kindness from his friends." That's a truth. "For the despairing man, there ought to be kindness from his friends." See, he's throwing them back. See, he knows the truth and he's about to declare some of the greatest words known to man. When the truth is written on your heart, what you live and what you speak comes out of that truth. The condition of the heart matters. See? Here's what I mean. During the times of the Lord Jesus, there was a point when a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus. Jesus cast out the demon and healed him so that the man could speak and see.
The crowd that was there were amazed, and the crowd said, "Could this man be the Son of David?" In other words, could this be the Messiah? Could this be the redeemer of Israel? The Jewish leaders, the Pharisees, when they heard that, they were very concerned. They said, "Oh, no, no, no. This man is casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons." Do you see what they just said? "Oh, no, no, this is not a man of God. This is a man of Satan." Words matter. "This is not a man of God, this is the man of Satan." We know that they know that's not true. We know that they know. You say, "How do we know that they know?" John 3:1-2, there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night, didn't want others to see him.
He comes by night and he said, "Now, Rabbi, we know that you've come from God. We know that you've come from God as a teacher. No man can do these things that you do unless God was with him. We know." How do we know that they know? Because he says, "We know." Therefore, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting on demons by Beelzebul, "This man is not a man of God, this isn't a man of Satan. They deserved what they got in rebuke. Matthew chapter 12 is amazing. You've got to read the whole chapter. It really is amazing, but just a few verses. Notice verse 34-37. Jesus says, "The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart." Now, he's speaking to the Pharisees. "Those words that you just spoke, words matter. Those words that you just spoke, words matter." He says a great truth. He says, "The good man will bring out of his good treasure that which is good." Now, that is a wonderful truth. Therefore, it is important what is written on the heart. What is inscribed on the soul is very important for you will live and move and have your bearing by what is written on your soul, what is written on your heart. "The good man of the good treasure will bring forth what's good, but the evil man brings out of his evil treasure that which is evil." You see how he is speaking to the Pharisees here. "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they will give an account of it on the day of judgment for by your words, you are justified and by your words, you are condemned."
B. God is the only Rock on which to stand
See, Job knows the truth. Everything has been stripped, but he has this. God is a rock. God is the only rock on which to stand. He's got nothing left. When you boil it all down in your life, what is the rock? What is the bottom of the rock? It's right there. God is that rock. God is the only rock on which you can stand. Job does not understand why. He doesn't know why God would treat him this way, but he will not let go of his integrity. Now, he will cry out in the anguish of his soul. He will complain in the bitterness of his soul, but he will not let go of his integrity. Notice, for example, Job 7:11-20, he says, "I will not restrain my mouth." In other words, "I don't know how much longer I have to live, but I will not restrain my mouth. I will speak in the anguish of my soul. I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Have I sinned?"
He's speaking to God, "Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Tell me." Job 10:1-3. He says, "I loathe my life." We have compassion. Job's going through suffering of which we cannot relate. The depth of it is so great. "I loathe my own life and I will give full vent to my complaint. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, 'Don't condemn me. Let me know why.'" Many have cried out those words. I've cried out those words. "Why? I don't know why? Why?" He says, "Why do you contend with me? Is it right to oppress, to reject the labor of your own hands?" Yes, he complains, and for the record, before this book is over, he will stand corrected about his complaints, but he does not dishonor, he does not disrespect. God is all that he has left. He's going to hold on to that.
God is all he's got left. Everything else has been taken from him. Notice, for example, in the verses leading up to this, starting in verse 13. Chapter 19, starting in verse 13, he says, "All my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My intimate friends have forgotten me. My maids consider me a stranger. I called on my servant, he won't answer. My breath is offensive to my wife." That could be said of a lot of people. In other words, "She's offended at me. I'm loathsome to my brothers. Even young children despise me. All my associates abhor me and those that I love have all turned against me." What do you got left? I got God. Throughout the book, you can see that Job is going to stand on that rock even if he doesn't understand. That's why this book is so important.
Even though you don't understand and because you don't understand when you strip it all down, "I got this. He is my rock. I will not let go. He is my rock. I will not let go." John 6:10. "It is still my consolation and I rejoice even in unsparing pain that I have not denied the words of my holy one." There's the Job. The character, the strength of his bearing. John 10:11-14. "Did you not clothe me with skin and flesh, knit me together with bones and sinews? You are the one who granted me life and loving kindness and your care has preserved my spirit." He will not let go of this rock. John 13:15 is nothing short of amazing, where he says this, "Though He slay me, I will yet hope in Him." That's the Job. There's the character. There's the faith right there.
II. Your Redeemer is Jesus the Messiah
"Even if you were to slay me, I would still hope in Him. I have a rock. When you strip it all away, I have a rock and I will stand on and I'll tell you what I know. I know that my redeemer lives." See, we know his redeemer. We know his redeemer by name. Your redeemer is Jesus the Messiah, Yeshua Hamashiach. We know His name. "Write this down. Let the record show, I want it written on a rock so that it would be remaining forever." That's the faith. That's the faith that holds onto integrity. There's so much he doesn't know. "I don't know why these strategies, I don't know why the suffering, I don't know why my friends would torment me with such hurtful words." There's so much he doesn't know, "But this I do know." See in the tempest storm of suffering not knowing why, Job stands on what he does now. "This I know."
A. “I know that my Redeemer lives.”
See, never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light. "This I do know, I know that my redeemer lives." That is such an encouraging word. Oldest book in the Bible. This was his hope. Somehow, some way, he would be redeemed. "I know my redeemer lives." That's his faith. Verse 25. Then he says, he adds, "At the last, He will take His stand on the earth." He's speaking of the latter days that his redeemer will take his stand on the earth. Now, his hope here is that when his redeemer takes the stand on His earth in the latter days, that He will make all things right.
B. Yet from our flesh we will see God
"I don't understand why this evil, why this suffering. I don't understand," but he believes that God will make all things right. This is our hope. This is our faith. We read the news and see how messed up this world is. This is an evil-filled, broken-down world and there is evil that is arising as the world is turning their back on God. It's a messed up world, but this we know, our redeemer lives, and at the end, He will take His stand on the earth and when He takes His stand at the end of the age, He will make all things right. Amen? Let's give a little praise. Absolutely. Then he adds, "From my flesh, I will see God." There it is. Yes, we can say the same. From our flesh, we will see God. Notice verse 26. "Even after my skin is destroyed from my flesh, I shall see God." This is amazing.
See, in one of the oldest books in the Bible, the hope of eternal life is the hope of the resurrection. First, he says, "I know my skin will be destroyed." Now, if you're a King James version reader, the King James reads this way, "After my skin, worms destroy." That's a very graphic way of saying the same thing. Everyone will die and everyone will suffer decay. That's the natural course of death. Although some believe that they can cheat death and the natural course of it, but the statistics on death are pretty impressive. I think it's something like one out of everyone. Have you ever read about these who are paying to put their bodies in deep freeze? They believe they can cheat death by putting their bodies in deep freeze, hoping to wake up in, I don't know, 2193 or something.
Everything will have advanced. Probably everyone will be walking around with big heads and little arms. No, it's not going to happen. They'll end up with freezer burn, that's all. No, they will stand, and give an account of their lives, they're just going to be standing there cold and shivering. They better hope for a robe of righteousness to keep warm. See what I did there? [laughs] Back to our story. Job believed that from his flesh, he would see God. In the Old Testament, he's speaking of bodily resurrection. Now we know the New Testament has made it very clear, Paul has revealed very well, that these bodies of ours are not eternal. These bodies of ours are just temporary tents to dwell in and the older you get, the more the tents get tattered and worn. We are well-weathered and well-worn old tents. The older you get, the more you know what I'm saying. We're not taking these old things with us.
We will have glorified bodies made new in the presence of our Lord and Savior. It's our great hope. We're not taking these-- these are just temporary tents. We'll have glorified bodies when we stand in the presence of God. He says, "I know." See for Job, it's personal. "There's so much I don't know, I don't understand but this I do know, I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that at the end, He will take His stand on the earth, and I know that after my skin is destroyed, that in my flesh, I shall see God whom I myself shall see." See, is personal. It must be personal. It must be personal. Notice John 11:25-26, Jesus says, "I am the resurrection, I am life. He who believes in me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." Then He says, "Do you believe this?"
It has to be personal, "I am the resurrection. I am the life, he who believes in me will live, even if he dies. Do you believe this?" It's personal, do you believe this? After the resurrection, the story, Jesus appeared to the disciples. Thomas was not with them. They said to Thomas, "We have seen the Lord," Thomas responds, "I will not believe unless I see the imprint of the nails and put my hand into his side, unless I see that and do that I will not believe." Eight days later, you know the story, Jesus appeared to them again. This time Thomas is with them. Jesus speaks personally to Thomas, "Thomas, reach here your finger and see my hands. Reach here your hand, put it into my sight. Do not be unbelieving, be believing." Thomas then fell down and worshipped, "'Oh my Lord and my God,' he exclaimed."
John 20:29, Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen me you have believed? Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe." He's speaking there of you and of me. "Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe. This is what I know. I know that my Redeemer lives because our Redeemer has defeated death for us that we would have the promise of eternal life. This is what I know. Write this down." How many would say the same? "Write it down, let the record show, write it on a tablet of stone, let it be known forever I know my redeemer lives," Amen. Amen. "After my skin is destroyed, I will see my Lord and I know that He will take His stand on the earth and when He takes His stand on the earth, He will make all things right." That's a rock you can stand on.
Let's pray. Lord, we are so thankful for such great truths, such great promises as that. There's so much we do not understand. Why evil? Why this? Why that? Why all these troubles? There's so much we don't know, but this we do know. I know my Redeemer lives and at the end, He will take a stand on the earth and He will set all things right, and even after my skin is destroyed, in my flesh, I shall see God. This is what I know, my Redeemer lives. Sure somebody would make that declaration, would you just raise your hand as a way of declaring it? I just want to declare it, I just want to say, this is what I know. I know that my Redeemer lives and that He will take His stand on the earth on the latter day and in my flesh I shall see God. This I know write it down, write in on a stone, write it down forever because this is what I know.
Father, we thank you. You strengthen us by your Spirit. We stand on that great truth and we stand on that rock. We love you for it, in Jesus' name. Everyone stand. Can we give the Lord our praise and glory and honor Him? Amen. Amen.