Highlights In Today's Reading:
What a debate! The Subject: Is Job innocent before God? Job continues to defend himself (chap. 17). Bildad jumps in using proverbs (chap. 18). Read what Job knows — the greatest expression of faith in the Old Testament (19:23-27). Zophar won't quit -- he expounds on what happens to the wicked (chap. 20).
Job assumed that all hope of recovery was gone when he said: My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me. . . . He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret. Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow (17:1,6-7).
Bildad was quick to respond. His second speech was even more critical than his first. He expressed no compassion since he believed Job's sufferings revealed him to be a hypocrite who was hopelessly trapped: His own counsel shall cast him down. Bildad went on to say: Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked . . . this is the place of him that knoweth not God (18:7,21). This accusation from Job's "friend" must have been a bitter blow. How unbearable it would be to die misunderstood, with his "closest friends" heartlessly saying that Job knoweth not God.
Our hearts are deeply stirred as this pitiful, lonely, misunderstood, faithful child of God could look beyond his suffering, toward Heaven with still greater spiritual insight about our Savior and say: I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth . . . Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold (19:25,27). This revelation of life after death, one of the greatest in the Old Testament, blesses millions of suffering people today as it has through the ages.
Job spoke this magnificent revelation when he had not one person who believed him; and, by all outward observation, it appeared that God did not really care. Job's faith was not dependent upon pleasant circumstances, but rested in the expectation of the glorious appearing of his Redeemer. Job was confident that, though his earthly friends had turned from him (19:13-19), his living Redeemer would come to his defense.
According to the Law, a redeemer was the next of kin who was responsible for buying freedom for an enslaved relative or purchasing back his lost inheritance (Lev. 25:25). The redeemer foreshadowed the coming Savior-Redeemer. What Job said in faith, every Christian can also declare through faith: I know that my Redeemer liveth!
Christ has redeemed the believer from the bondage of sin (Ps 19:14; 78:35; Rom. 3:24; Gal. 3:13; 4:5; Eph. 1:7). We, too, can endure every trial and every suffering and can be victorious as we look expectantly to Jesus, our Living Redeemer.
I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (II Tim. 1:12).
Thought for Today:
Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works (Heb. 10:24).
As the Redeemer (Job 19:25). Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. By His death, He provided the required sacrifice to pay for our sins (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:13-14; Rev. 5:9). Our Saviour Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity (Titus 2:13-14).
17:1 breath is corrupt = my life is ruined; 17:6 a tabret = an object of contempt, ridicule; 17:14 corruption = decay; 17:16 bars of the pit = descend with me into the unseen state; rest = burial; 18:9 gin = snare, trap; 18:20 day = fate; tragic end; 19:3 strange to me = wronging me; 19:14 familiar = close; 19:17 strange = unbearable; 19:19 inward = dearest, intimate; 19:27 reins = heart.
Pray for International Shortwave & Radio Sri Lanka Broadcasts sponsored by Kim & Jan Shubert • Staff: Mike Moore • Government Officials: Rep. Jim Cooper (TN) and Rep. Trent Franks (AZ) • Country: Samoa (190,000) in the South Pacific • Major languages: Samoan and English • Religious freedom • 68% Protestant; 21% Roman Catholic; 2% Baha'i; 1.1% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Be grateful for your inheritance as a child of the King (I Pet. 1:3-4).
Optional Reading: Ephesians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 7:13