By David Faust
Did you ever try to blow out one of those stubborn birthday candles that refuses to quit burning? I’ve seen people nearly hyperventilate while trying to extinguish them.
For a determined believer, faith is like an unyielding candle. When the winds of hardship blow, the flame may flicker but it won’t go out.
Job endured one hardship after another, but the light of faith kept burning in his heart. Job 19 contains a confession of faith that’s remarkable in light of his painful circumstances. Job said, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth” (Job 19:25). Filled with prophetic overtones, this memorable text inspired a beautiful aria in Handel’s Messiah: “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.”
Our Redeemer Lives
Each phrase of Job 19:25 is packed with relevance for those who recognize that in the fullness of God’s plan, his Son came to be our Redeemer with a capital “R.”
“I know.” Despite Job’s questions and confusion, his core convictions remained strong. He voiced the confident assurance expressed by the apostle Paul, who wrote, “I know whom I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12) and by the apostle John, who insisted, “you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
“My redeemer.” Redemption isn’t just a religious theory. It’s a personal matter, something we must accept for ourselves. “For you know it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18, 19).
“My redeemer lives.” He’s not a figure in the distant past who is now dead and gone. Our redeemer is alive and well.
“In the end he will stand on the earth.” Did Job fully comprehend how centuries later God would send his Son and the Word would become flesh? Probably not. Nevertheless, Job’s forward-looking faith makes us think of Jesus’ first coming when he stood on the earth teaching and performing miracles. And they remind us that Jesus is coming again in glory, and “he will stand”—in the posture of triumph befitting a king.
We Will Live Too
Job went on: “And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:26, 27). These Old Testament glimpses of future glory foreshadow the New Testament’s teaching about the resurrection of our bodies. Job’s yearning to “see him with my own eyes” brings to mind Jesus’ Beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8) and John’s vision of a heavenly home where we “will see his face” (Revelation 22:4).
When your faith encounters a storm of opposition, don’t let the flame burn out. Let the words of an ancient sufferer put things into perspective. Say with Job, “Problems may bring me down, burdens may weigh me down, and people may let me down, but my Redeemer lives. Circumstances may discourage me and hardships may disappoint me, but my Redeemer lives. Friends may reject me, but God still accepts me. Temptations may assail me, trials may assault me, and Satan may attack me, but I will never give up my faith—because my Redeemer lives.”
1. What does it mean to be redeemed? (See Psalm 19:14; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14.)
2. Is your faith like a candle that nothing can snuff out?
David Faust is president of Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, Ohio, and past Executive Editor of The Lookout.
Use this guide to read through the Bible in 12 months. Follow David Faust’s comments on the highlighted text in every issue of The Lookout.
The Lookout.’s Bible Reading Plan for November 18, 2012
1 John 4:1–6
1 John 4:7–21
1 John 5:1–12
1 John 5:13–21
Daniel 1, 2
2 John 1–13
Daniel 3, 4
3 John 1–14
Daniel 5, 6
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