Job 17-20

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Let me be transparent.  It is day 5 of Job and I am already looking at the calendar to see how long I will be reading Job.  What is wrong with me?  It has been only 5 days (and I am healthy, with my family, sitting on a couch).   Why am I complaining, this is Job’s circumstances…

13 “He has alienated my family from me;
    my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.
14 My relatives have gone away;
    my closest friends have forgotten me.
15 My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner;
    they look on me as on a stranger.
16 I summon my servant, but he does not answer,
    though I beg him with my own mouth.
17 My breath is offensive to my wife;
    I am loathsome to my own family.
18 Even the little boys scorn me;
    when I appear, they ridicule me.
19 All my intimate friends detest me;
    those I love have turned against me.
20 I am nothing but skin and bones;
    I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

There has been a change again in Job’s replies.  First, he just wanted to die.  Then he spoke of wanting a witness, an advocate, an intercessor to plead his case for him while he is alive.  Now, he wants , I mean KNOWS, that he will see God face to face:

Chapter 19 (Job is speaking) verse 25-27

25 I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
    with my own eyes—I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!

The word redeem, redeemer, or redemption is used 149 times in the Old Testament.  I know we use these “Christianese” words all the time but let’s look at it for a minute:

  • brings back something that was lost or taken away
  • restored to original state
  • one charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrongs.
  • someone who redeems or buys back
  •  to compensate for or cancel out the faults of
  • bought back

Let’s take a step back for a minute before we start humming the Hillsong version of “My Redeemer Lives”.  These are ancient times.  Job does not have the scriptures, a pastor, a church, a Lifeway (well, we really don’t have a Lifeway anymore) to learn about redemption.  The Hebrew word Job is using for redeemer is gaal-a near relative whose role is to assist a family in dire straights like lost property, murder, or lack of a kinsman.  This “family advocate” or “righter of wrongs” is what Job was referring to. Job is confident that the gaal is alive and ready to take up his case for him, BUT Job will, with his own eyes, see God face to face.  (Because we do not live in ancient time, we know who the real Gaal is!!!!)

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