Tom Hayes


Job 19:25-27

Did you know that it is possible to play two pianos at the same time? If two pianos are in the same room, and they are both properly tuned, the strings on one will vibrate with the strings on the other as the notes are played. Sometimes, this is true in life, isn't it? The strings in the experiences of others may cause the strings in our experience to vibrate, and we find our hearts sympathizing or celebrating with them.

The long list of Job's sufferings cause the strings in some of our hearts to vibrate. First, he lost his financial network, an operation that would make him a first century sheik. In the same scenario, he had to bury all ten of his children, enough and more to break the best of men. Along with these calamities came the physical plague some think to be black leprosy. And, while sitting outside his society with only a pile of ashes and a potsherd as means of relief, his wife and friends turned their backs on him.

With a merciful eye, we turn to view this broken specimen of humanity. He is not just another man; he is a man of faith and destiny. The conflicts he has endured, and will continue to face, will eventually prove the genuineness of his faith and unveil the divine purpose in his life. Although he is reduced to nothingness in this scene, rest assured that he will rise again from the abyss of sorrow in triumph and blessing.

When we meet him in this memorable scene, Job is admitting that he is barely hanging on by "the skin" of his "teeth" (19:20). In desperation, he pleads with his friends to have pity upon him in his misery (see 19:21), and confesses that he can't understand why they have insisted on playing God (see 19:22). Too, he earnestly prays that God will allow his words to be written and printed in a book (see 19:23), a prayer that was graciously answered, for which we are all grateful.

In this hour of helplessness, faith, like a great mountain peak jutting up above the fog, catches a new glimpse of God and makes an enlightening confession. "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" (19:25-27).

This revelation is a strong note in Job's song. It rings out with hope in the darkness of his despair. In essence, he says to his friends, "Boys, as you can readily see, the future looks bleak and unpromising. For sure, I don't know what tomorrow holds. But, I do know Who holds tomorrow!" Although we live in another era, this word is very applicable to our day and brings hope to us in our times of trials and tests, also.

Job begins by proclaiming that "The God Who Holds Tomorrow" is:

1. The God Of Redemption

Job could have used many names for God, but at this time, he is inspired with the name "Redeemer." Although the Hebrew word goel is sometimes translated "avenger" (see Num. 35:12), the primary role of the goel, or the redeemer, was to buy back, or to purchase, relatives who had become subjects of slavery (see Lev. 25:48, 49), or land which should be kept in the family (see Lev. 25:25).

A. One Who Is Kin

The actual meaning of the word "Redeemer" is "a near kinsman, or one next of kin." In fact, on several occasions, the word is rendered "kinsman" in our English Bible (see Num. 5:8; Ruth 2:20). Before one could redeem, then, he must be near of kin. This is wonderfully illustrated in the book of Ruth, where Boaz, a near kinsman of the deceased Elimilech, bought back a parcel of land for Naomi (see Ruth 4:14).

But, how could Job call God our near kinsman, or "Redeemer?" When did God become kin to us? Without question, from his ash heap in the patriarchal time frame, Job is looking with an enlightened heart at Bethlehem, where God was "made flesh" (John 1:14). That's when God became near of kin to us! And, it is this One, Who "was made in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:7), Who became one of us, Who will take care of our future!

B. One Who Is Kind

Not only must the goel, or the redeemer, be near of kin, but he must be able and willing to pay the redemptive price. Referring to the story of Naomi and Ruth again, there was a nearer kinsman than Boaz (see Ruth 3:12). However, the nearer kinsman wasn't willing to perform the role of a redeemer (see Ruth 4:6). That's when Boaz, the mighty man of wealth, showed kindness to the two widows and purchased their redemption.

Job is not just seeing the manger of Bethlehem, is he? He is viewing the old rugged cross of Calvary, as well! For there, in kindness and grace, Jesus, our near Kinsman, paid the exacted price of our redemption. No, He did not redeem us"with corruptible things, as silver and gold,"but with His "precious blood," the blood of"a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:18, 19). We can be sure that the One Who bought us, bought our future, also.

In addition to this, Job exclaims that "The God Who Holds Tomorrow" is:

2. The God Of Resurrection

As Job faces the stark reality of death, he is especially refreshed with the doctrine of the resurrection. Not only is he blessed with the truth of Christ's resurrection, set forth in the words, "my Redeemer liveth," but he is encouraged about his own future resurrection. This hope is very evident in his words, "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" (19:26, 27).

A. The Resurrection Of Jesus

Having looked at Bethlehem and Calvary, the patriarch now views the empty tomb from his ash heap. And, with "full assurance of faith" (Heb. 10:22), he tells us that the One Who is our Goel, or near Kinsman, and the One Who is our blessed Redeemer, is also our living Lord! He declares, "I know that my Redeemer liveth!" This special word, "liveth," depicts two facets of Christ's resurrection.

Because the word is a vegetation term (see Gen. 2:9), we can say that Christ lives as a spring flower. Although He wilted and died and was placed in the cold tomb, the Easter Lily has bloomed again! He's alive! Because the word is used to describe water that is not dead or tasteless (see Gen. 26:19), we can also say that Jesus lives as a springing fountain. Not only is He alive, but He gives us life, living water which springs up in our inner man (see John 4:14).

B. The Resurrection Of Job

From the empty tomb, Job looks on to the end of the age and anticipates his own resurrection. He does not entertain the idea of reincarnation. He believes in a bodily resurrection! We see this in his words, "After my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (19:26). How can Job believe this? With Paul, he is convinced that Christ will "change" his "vile body," and fashion it like "unto His glorious body" (Phil. 3:21).

In the resurrection morning, Christ will bring all who have died in the Lord up out of the ground in resurrected bodies. That which is "corruptible" will "put on incorruption" and that which is "mortal" will "put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:53). As corn, which comes up in another fashion, yet never loses its identity, so our bodies, "sown in corruption," will be "raised in incorruption"(1 Cor. 15:42), in the glorified likeness of our risen Lord. There is hope for tomorrow because our God is the God of resurrection!

One further truth projected in Job's confession of faith is "The God Who Holds Tomorrow" is:

3. The God Of Revelation

The Bible speaks of Christ's first and second advents. In His first coming, Christ manifested Himself in base humility. In His second coming, however, He will reveal Himself in power and great glory. Job now witnesses this second advent of Christ, sometimes referred to as the hour of Christ's revelation, and testifies,"He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth" (19:25). At least two truths are embodied in this mini-prophecy.

A. The Return Of Christ

Although Job does not give the details of Christ's return, the truth is evidently set forth. The patriarch says that He will "stand" upon the earth, and, for Him to stand on the earth, He must return to the earth. Of course, Job's declaration is not an absurd, unfounded theory. Throughout the Old Testament, from the prophecy of Enoch (see Jude 14) to the prophecy of Malachi (see Mal. 3:2, 3), the second advent of Christ is proclaimed.

The New Testament gives even more light about the return of Christ.The Redeemer, Himself, promised, "I will come again" (John 14:3), and explained in another text, "the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works" (Matt. 16:27). While the Epistles are filled with this emphasis, the last word must be the conclusive word, "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him."With John, we say also, "Even so, Amen" (Rev. 1:7).

B. The Reign Of Christ

In addition to Bethlehem, Calvary, the empty tomb, and the end of the age, Brother Job was privileged to see the millennial reign of Christ. You see, not only is Jesus coming back to this world, but He is coming to establish a literal kingdom on this earth.The first time Jesus came to this earth, He was rejected and crucified. But, it will be different when He comes again! When He returns, He will rule and reign!

The word "stand" indicates "to be established, to be set or fixed." Jesus will be King of the hill!To use His words, "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory" (Matt. 25:31). As Isaiah prophesied, "The government shall be upon His shoulder" (Isa. 9:6). For sure, He will execute His Kingly authority as "Lord of lords, and King of kings" upon the earth (Rev. 17:14).

A business man stopped on a rough country road, and said to a little boy shooting marbles on the side of the road, "Son, is this the road that goes into town?"Without looking up or stopping his game, the boy replied, "Yep." The business man then asked, "Well, is it this bumpy all the way into town?"The boy responded, "Nope." Then, looking up at the man, he added, "Mister, it's this bumpy 'til you get to the graveyard. After that, the road is paved all the the way into town."

Dear friends, we can expect the road of life to be rough, bumpy, and filled with potholes from here to the graveyard. But, from the graveyard on into the city of God, it will be smooth sailing."The God Who Holds Tomorrow" is the God of redemption, the God of resurrection, and the God of revelation. With Job, let us trust Him in life, in death, and forever. Amen.