My Redeemer lives

Amazing to find the Trinity here in Job.  The Holy Spirit has moved on the mind of Job and he as declared a good confession, soundness of his faith and assurance of his hope.  Somehow he knows that Jesus is his Redeemer and that his end hope is not in this world but in heaven. Somehow he knows that he is supposed to look for the resurrection and that his Redeemer would free him from the condemnation of sin and break the power and yoke of Satan.  His Redeemer was his salvation. This truth, this Holy Spirit quickening must be the root, as in a tree, in our heart too.  For this acceptance of grace in our heart will give us both the security and strength in our foundation as well as produce spiritual fruit in our lives as we live them today. Here he introduces God as his comfort and that God will avenge those who accuse him.

I can still remember the moment when I learned that love was a decision.  I am faced with a similar truth here too.  I am impressed with Job’s certainty.  This was a hope that he knew, and so in some way this was more than a hope but hope sprung from the truth that he declared about his Redeemer.

Other scholars are confident that Job anticipates the future resurrection of his body. Gleason Archer believes this passage “strongly suggests an awareness of the bodily resurrection that awaits all redeemed believers in the Resurrection” (1982, 241). Kaiser asserts: “Job was expecting a resurrection of his body! It was this which lay at the heart of his hope in God and in his vindication” (1988, 151). Andersen observes that: “The references to skin, flesh and eyes make it clear that Job expects to have this experience as a man, not just as a disembodied shade, or in his mind’s eye” (1974, 193).

In any case Job’s hope is in his present life, and in his vindication before God and man. This is not a messianic prophecy or expression of a messianic hope.

Job seems to perceive that the Redeemer who will advocate his case before God is none other than God Himself. It is hard to make sense of that except by the way we Christians know with God the Son as Redeemer standing before God the Holy Father as Judge. Job somehow—I suggest by the Holy Spirit—knows that his Redeemer lives and will advocate on his behalf, and that Job himself will see it in renewed flesh. That gives him hope—not mere wishful thinking but well-founded conviction, a knowing—of eventual vindication in eternal life.

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth;  and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God – Job 19:25-26

Aria(soprano): I know that my Redeemer liveth

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The poor have hope

Eliphaz reminds Job, that no affliction comes by chance, nor is to be placed to second causes. The difference between prosperity and adversity is not so exactly observed, as that between day and night, summer and winter; but it is according to the will and counsel of God. We must not attribute our afflictions to fortune, for they are from God; nor our sins to fate, for they are from ourselves. Man is born in sin, and therefore born to trouble. There is nothing in this world we are born to, and can truly call our own, but sin and trouble. Actual transgressions are sparks that fly out of the furnace of original corruption. Such is the frailty of our bodies, and the vanity of all our enjoyments, that our troubles arise thence as the sparks fly upward; so many are they, and so fast does one follow another. Eliphaz reproves Job for not seeking God, instead of quarrelling with him. Is any afflicted? let him pray. It is heart’s ease, a salve for every sore. Eliphaz speaks of rain, which we are apt to look upon as a little thing; but if we consider how it is produced, and what is produced by it, we shall see it to be a great work of power and goodness. Too often the great Author of all our comforts, and the manner in which they are conveyed to us, are not noticed, because they are received as things of course. In the ways of Providence, the experiences of some are encouragements to others, to hope the best in the worst of times; for it is the glory of God to send help to the helpless, and hope to the hopeless. And daring sinners are confounded, and forced to acknowledge the justice of God’s proceedings. – Matthew Henry

But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth, from the hand of the mighty. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.  “How happy is the one whom God reproves; therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands heal. – Job 5:15-18

Steve Schallert – All Good People of the Earth

Being in quiet

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he who hears me will dwell in hope and will be quiet from the multitude of evils. – Proverbs 1:33

Sometimes you wonder why hope does not exist more in dialogues.  Reading my Bible this morning, it was not until I read Proverbs 1 that I found more on hope than on hopelessness.  Other than the Aramaic translation, no one else I connected with saw verse 33 as one of hope.

The wisdom in Proverbs have the same form as the words used in the law and in the prophets, but it focuses more on wisdom versus foolishness and right living instead of sinful living. It does this in the hope of persuading readers to choose the right way instead of the path that leads to destruction.

I hope you can see that too and that I am not just stretching this to say something I want to say.

Because I have called and you refused, have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,  and because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you, when panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.  Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,  would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,  therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way and be sated with their own devices.  For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them;  but those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.” – Proverbs 1:24-33

Job 11:18

Hope for the poor

We are never brought so low, so near to death, but God can raise us up. If he has saved us from spiritual and eternal death, we may thence hope, that in all our distresses he will be a very present help to us. – Matthew Henry

Two sweet promises given are given when I place my hope in God – I shall not be overlooked by Him, and I will not be disappointed as peace will visit my heart, sin will be cast as far as the east is from the west and I will enter into His glory.

 

I grew up poor, not in the sense that I had needs, but in the sense that we never had more.  I wore clothes that were three fashion seasons behind, our food groups never changed, and we fixed everything that was broken.  Extra curricular activities at school was an immediate “no” to joining and I started working to provide for the family at twelve years old.

At twelve I was introduced to Jesus. At fourteen He became my friend, Saviour and I became a follower of Christ.  One thing I learned then about being poor – I did not need to fight, strive or be envious – the One in Heaven was my helper.  Two things became apparent to me then – I was never going to be able to afford post secondary education – so I looked to God to instruct me and secondly, when Jesus was to come again, my hope was that He would welcome me home.

When we remember the poor and the needy we are remembering the promise of God to live among us and be our God. We are remembering that we too are poor, we too are needy, only in different ways. We are remembering that hope cannot be bought or sold

I know, from experience, how faith can be tested, how our hope in Jesus leads us to run the race with perseverance, which leads to maturity and completeness. But this is nothing without love. For love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Working with Partners International, a ministry founded in the work among refugees, one thing I love is that we are not afraid to be poor.  It is easier to fear it than embrace it but our hearts reflect the heart of our God.

“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
    I will now rise up,” says the Lord;
    “I will place them in the safety for which they long.” – Psalm 12:5

Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker,
    but those who are kind to the needy honor him. – Proverbs 14:31

 This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. – Ezekiel 16:49

God’s displeasure and punishment of His people in the Old Testament were clearly in part due to their failure to be merciful–to care for the poor and needy and God’s blessing to His people in the New Testament was a result of salvation received and the fruit of generosity to those who had little.

For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever – Psalm 9:18

Job 5:16