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Monday, November 12, 2012


Knowing God~He is my Vindicator

When I read a verse about knowing God, I like to take the time to read the chapter around that verse and get an idea of the context. Today I'm looking at Job 19: 25, a very familiar verse, where Job is affirming God's role as redeemer. Interestingly enough, however, is the context and also the definition of the word redeemer.

"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, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another." Job 19: 25-27, ESV

My Bible has a lot of little references at the bottom of the page that gives alternate translations for words, changing the verses to this:

"For I know that my Vindicator lives, and that He the Last shall stand upon the dust, and after my skin has thus been destroyed, then without 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!" has a new marvelous feature where you can compare parallel passages of the Bible side by side. The NIV and the NASB both footnote Redeemer to mean Vindicator, but the NKJV, Darby, and Young's simply use Redeemer. The NASB says, "literally, kinsman". But wait a minute. None of this is making any sense if you don't read the context of the chapter!

A brief background of the book. Job is a good man, he loves God, and he has ten children and a lot of possessions. Satan comes to test his faith and belief in God, and he loses his children, his possessions, and his health. The rest of the book presents Job's three friends, who come daily to test his patience by accusing him of deserving these horrible things that have happened to him, leaving him destitute and sitting in a pile of ashes with a piece of clay pot to scrape his boils with.

I absolutely love the language of verse 1, where Job says to his friends, "How long will you break me in pieces with words?" He then goes on to talk about how God has seemingly made his life as miserable and difficult as possible. Job feels broken down, estranged from his family, forgotten by his guests, repulsive to his wife, loathsome, depised, abhorred, unheard, in darkness, stripped of glory, walled in, uprooted, and considered a stranger and an alien. All the words that could possibly describe the depth of abjectness, Job knows them because he is living them. You could theoretically say he was depressed. I mean, who wouldn't be if they were living in similar circumstances?

Yet in the midst of the depression, which he places the blame squarely on God's shoulders, comes a strange verse. I know that my Vindicator is alive. I know that in the end, He will declare victory. I know that after this disgusting boil-filled body is destroyed by decay, I will see my Vindicator. And I know that I will see Him with my own eyes. How I long for that day!

How can Job switch from clear blame to definite vindication? Why does he list all the ways that God has made his life so horrible, and then turn around and say that he knows that his redeemer lives? Perhaps because, even though he was human and discouraged, Job knew God. We read in the very beginning of the book that he would offer sacrifices for his children every time they would have a party, just in case they sinned against God. Job was characterized as a man who was blameless, upright, a man who turned away from evil and feared God (honored God). Job had spent his lifetime getting to know God, and now, when things had swung drastically from good to bad, he stayed grounded in what he knew.

Job knew that his Vindicator was alive.

Like Job, we all go through tough times when the only person we know to blame is God. Somehow we fail to recognize that God is only good and that Satan justly deserves the blame instead. I know I tend to forget that life is more than just this day, this week, or even this year, but that it all points forward to a day when our tired bodies will be destroyed by decay, and we will be raised with brand new bodies to see our Vindicator proclaiming the final victory over the ugliness of sin. And He has promised that we will see it with our very own eyes.

I know my Redeemer is alive.

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