We’ve said before that reading the Book of Job can be challenging. By the time you reach this chapter, even with all of the poetry, it can be difficult to stay focused on getting meaning from all of the speeches by Job and his friends. If you aren’t careful, you can totally miss “the point” in some chapters. This is one such chapter.
In verses 1-22, he begs his friends to stop tormenting him with their words of judgment, not even being able to name what his sin might be. He eloquently, but sadly, speaks of his pitiful state, and all of the abuse, abandonment, and even mockery by friends, family, strangers – even children. He speaks at some length at how God has allowed all of this to befall him.
Then in verse 23 it takes a different turn, and in 25-26 (the NASB has the most accurate translation here), he says:
“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”
There are several things to note here. First, the Book of Job is part of the inspired word of God,; and as such, it’s author (possibly Job himself) was guided by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, with some notable exceptions, the Old Testament is less vocal on the subject of life after death, but it seems clear here that Job believes in a physical resurrection. Abraham believed in physical resurrection as well (Hebrews 11:19). Third, the certainty Job has that his “redeemer lives” has been a gradual progression through these chapters. In Job 9:33 he begins to wish for an arbiter or “umpire” between himself and God. In Job 16:19, he says:
“Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and he who testifies for me is on high.”
In Job 17:3, he asks God to be his surety, his guarantor. In Job 16:20-21, he says “my eye pours out tears to God, that he would argue the case of a man with God.” As Peter told us in 1 Peter 1:10-12, the prophets of the Old Testament did not always know the full ultimate development of all of their prophecies, but Job’s insight grows slowly each chapter. He would have no way of knowing about Jesus, but he now sees God Himself as his Redeemer – the one who would stand for Him in the end before God Himself.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.