In the midst of his agony, Job cries out one of the most stunning and yet encouraging statements of the Word of God in Job 19:23-27. He says,
"Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me."
These words, though spoken from a position of weakness, convey the great hope that all Christians have. Job calls for his words to be written down in such a way that they can never be lost, defaced, or destroyed. Of course, this is a marvelous picture of the Bible. The words of Job have been recorded for us, as have been all the words that God wanted us to have. They have been given to us through inspiration, and kept for us by preservation, so that we hold in our hands the exact words that the Lord had penned many centuries ago. The Word of God "liveth and abideth forever" (I Peter 1:23), and we will never need to fear that God's precious promises and doctrines have been lost or stolen. We either have an authoritative Book, absolutely correct down to the letters, and in fact even the smallest strokes of the letters (Matt 5:18), or we do not have a holy Heavenly Father.
Look at the doctrine contained in Job's words. He begins by speaking of a Redeemer. This tells us two things about Job. First of all, he realized that he had a need. No one needs a Redeemer unless he needs to be redeemed. Since no man can redeem himself, Job had to understand that he had a problem, a sin problem, that required Someone else to pay the price. Remember from chapter 1 that Job was faithful to make the necessary sacrifices, but obviously he knew that more was needed for salvation. Thus, Job understood the problem and penalty of sin, his own inability to atone for his sin, and the requirement that he have a Savior. He also understood that his Redeemer was no less than God Himself. He states that his Redeemer is already alive, and that He will stand at the end of time upon the earth, showing His eternality. He clearly refers to Him as God at the end of verse 26. Job understood long before the birth of Christ what modern liberal theologians still can't figure out: the fact that Jesus is God. He sees Jesus as the Conqueror as well. Knowing that Christ will stand upon the earth shows that He views Christ as the King of Kings - the only One left standing when all is finished.
Job then again discusses the hope that he has that will bring him through his difficult affliction. He knows that someday he will die, and he understands that decomposition is going to take place. However, he also knows that he will someday see God. It is important to note that he specifically states that he will see God in his flesh. This proves that Job had faith that his body would someday be resurrected, and that it would function just as his current body did, only without the pains and heartaches. Verse 27 adds that he will see the Lord for himself; he will not have to view God vicariously through someone else. This promise belongs to Job, and he claims it for his own. The promise also belongs to us, and we too can claim it, and use it to encourage ourselves in the midst of trying times.
Job's faith in a Redeemer Who was yet to come helped to sustain him. Surely our belief in a Redeemer Who has already come can pull us through as well.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery