“He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
and my hope has he pulled up like a tree…
“He has put my brothers far from me,
and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
My relatives have failed me,
my close friends have forgotten me…
My breath is strange to my wife,
and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
Even young children despise me;
when I rise they talk against me.
All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
Why do you, like God, pursue me?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?
“Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
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 19:10,13-14,17-27
Broken on every side, and hopeless, Job experienced unimaginable suffering like few through history. In his forlorn misery, he had a testimony, and his words were written, and they still speak! His excruciating pain and darkness are not his alone, and what he knew to be true is universally available by faith to be known by all.
“My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
When all is dark and suffocating and feels like death, our Redeemer lives. He is ours, personal and intimately loving. He is our Redeemer, soothing grief with hope, making all things new, and restoring what the wasting locusts have eaten. And He lives, presently, actively, dynamically, powerfully in and with and all around us. And we will see Him face to face! (Joel 2:25-26; John 14:16-17; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 21:5)
Is it health that fails? Or finances, or dreams? Our Redeemer never fails! Have loved ones betrayed, or friends forsaken? Our Redeemer never leaves or forsakes! Has hope diminished, joy waned, vitality been depleted, vision clouded? Our Redeemer lives and presently intercedes for us! (Deuteronomy 31:6; Romans 8:26-35; Hebrews 13:5)
“I Know That My Redeemer Lives
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives triumphant from the grave,
He lives eternally to save,
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to lead me safely there.
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Jesus, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
‘I Know That My Redeemer Lives'” ~Samuel Medley (1775)
Gracious Redeemer, teach me to live with unwavering hope in Your bountiful life and redemptive purposes. May Your gift of faith to me shine and awaken desire in others to see You for themselves.