By Pastor Michael Harman
St. Johns Lutheran Church
Job 19. 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!
The Book of Job tells the history of a man whose faith was tested through tremendous losses, pain, and suffering. He was a man with 10 grown children, great land, and many animals. In a short time, all 10 children were killed, his goods and livestock were stolen, and he was afflicted with disease. His wife and friends told him to commit suicide, or stop sinning, or just realize God hated him and suffer. Wrong!
Job vented his frustration with God and his confusion about “why me?” suffering. You may identify with that. But, all the while, Job never lost faith. He did not understand why he suffered, but he confessed his confidence in God and his resurrection.
This book was written before the system of sacrifices Moses recorded. It’s very, very old. Yet in these ancient times Job knew the promised Redeemer, God in the flesh, would restore his body and soul on the Last Day. This Savior “would redeem him from all his iniquities.” Job would “no longer see through a glass darkly, but face to face.”
Dear Christian: Satan hates you. The fallen world hates you. (You may have noticed that lately.) But even your own sinful flesh and desires hate Christian faith and living. When you read Acts or First Peter or other Scriptures, you see it is “typical” for Christians to face challenges, hardships, diseases, and even death. Many have suffered for Christ.
In our society, we have no clue what that means. We generally avoid suffering. Meditation, pills, therapy, and decision delays are tools to avoid it. Those aren’t usually sinful. But suffering for faith? Giving up precious time, skills, money, and efforts for Jesus? The devil, the world, and your sinful flesh don’t like that.
When you, like Christians around the world today, become a target for Satan and his minions, you may ask, “Why me, Lord?” You may vent your frustration like Psalms 5, 6, 17, 77, 88, 130, and others have done. Like Job. Wrestle with God.
Like Job, remember your Redeemer lives! In the Great Exchange, Jesus lived a perfect life and suffered the wrath of God in His Passion in your place. He rose as Holy Scriptures promised on the third day. He ascended into heaven to be your advocate.
He never leaves you. He will not forsake you. He won’t abandon you. The LORD Who created you, says: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.”
On the Last Day, your soul will be reunited with your transformed body. As Job confessed, your eyes will see your risen Redeemer. And all who are faithful to Christ will receive the crown of life.