Lent devotions 2011: Wednesday 23 March

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me! — Job 19:25-7

WHAT COMFORT THIS SWEET SENTENCE GIVES

Job: prophet, Elder, holy man, wealthy in family, livestock and servants, righteous in all his deeds. Surely he fears God only because he has been so greatly rewarded for his obedience? So says Satan, allowed by God to test Job by inflicting upon him the theft of all his goods, the death of all his children, causing sickness and painful sores to take hold on Job, bringing him to the brink of death itself.

The sufferings of people on earth, who it affects and why, is an age-old question and one not easily answered. Job would have been used to arbitrating such a debate, and now, in his personal misery, falters somewhat by thinking of God as a tyrannical judge. However, through his God-given faith and wisdom, Job appeals not to human opinion or comfort, but to God, against God, ultimately leading him to utter some of the most beautiful words in the Bible and prophetically confess the bodily resurrection and redeeming power of Christ, our only hope of true comfort: “For I know that my Redeemer lives”!

Our sufferings, and the reasons for them, are known only to God. But we trust that whatever comes to us here on earth will be meant for God’s purpose and on the last day, we, too, shall be physically resurrected and see God. Satan does not win. We are the Lord’s, and all the sin and suffering put upon us now will never separate us from God our Father, the Rock and Redeemer of our faith. On the last day, God will stand upon the earth, and we with Him, forever.

Lord, thank You for the faith that allows me to speak the words “I know that my Redeemer lives”, for without it I am lost. When I suffer, guide me to Your words of comfort, and let me rejoice in the hope of eternal life with You. Amen.