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Scripture

Job 19:23-27

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

 

 

Observation

The Book of Job is the first example of Hebrew poetry in the English Bible and is considered to be a masterpiece. Hebrew poetry was not so much a combination of sounds (as in rhyme or rhythm) as the repetition of ideas.
The writer is unknown. It is possible Job himself recorded his experiences (as he wished would happen in 19:23) or there may have been some other author. The style of the Hebrew writing makes some scholars believe it is the oldest book in the Old Testament. It may well belong to the time of Abraham and the writings recorded in the Book of Genesis. There are occasions when the exact words used are not understood, and yet the general meaning of the book is clear. Job’s story may well be the earliest written account of any person’s relationship with God.
His dilemma is not so much caused by the loss of his wealth, family or his health so much as the fact that God is not acting in the way he expects God to act.
It is evident from this passage that Job has no idea his words about his personal tragedy would be
recorded for the benefit of God’s people in the centuries to come in a Book that would last forever. Disaster after disaster had occurred in his life – he had lost family, wealth, health and by this stage even his friends seemed to be against him. Many would buckle under such pressure and sadness.
But Job’s personal relationship with God is so strong it enables him to declare the words of faith and praise that resound through the years to those of us who live in the twenty second century: ‘… I know that my Redeemer lives …’ There is no doubt in Job’s mind about his relationship with God. He knew Him personally and would continue to declare Him as his Redeemer, even though he did not understand why God was allowing such tragedies to happen in his life. What was happening seemed to be completely out of character with the God he knew.
The word used for Redeemer by the writer of the book of Job is ‘goel’ which implies someone who will defend another’s cause, who will avenge the wrongs done against that person, and so exonerate them from every charge that is laid against them. A redeemer stands up for anyone who is oppressed or wrongly accused, seeking justice rather than revenge. Such a person is the injured party’s champion and advocate. Other incidences of the use of this word in the original Hebrew text (Genesis 48:16 and Isaiah 59:20) also point to Jesus as the Redeemer.
In a statement of defiance, Job declares his faith – in his Redeemer and in the fact that he would be vindicated, even if only after his death. In declaring that he had a living Redeemer, Job spoke profound truth. God is the Redeemer of everyone through Jesus Christ in His death on the cross – an event that would only happen centuries after Job spoke his declaration of faith. Even though Job expected to die himself, yet he believed that at some stage he would see his Redeemer in the flesh and he longed for this time.
Such a declaration of faith was a blow against Satan, who had orchestrated all that had occurred in Job’s life in an attempt to turn him against God (Job 1:9-11). Some scholars suggest the words Job said at this time came to him in a moment of revelation. Previously he had grumbled, but after his
declaration he accepted what was happening to him with patience and strength, as he looked forward to his moment of vindication.

Icebreaker:

What are you aware of at this time that is not ‘fair’ in your world. How do you react to such
injustice? Do you feel able to take action against it? Why/why not?

Application

  • What unexpected event has happened in 2022 in your life that has disrupted your plans? Was this good or bad? How have you dealt with it? How do you feel about it now?
  • Job had questions he could not answer. If you had the opportunity today to have a face to face talk with God what question would you ask Him? Why is this question important to you? How would the answer affect your life and the life of those around you?
    (Try not to become involved in discussion about the questions raised and the answers themselves – concentrate more on the why you would ask them and the effect the answer may have).
  • Whatever is happening in your life at this time, can you say with Job that you know your Redeemer lives? What impact does this have on your current situation? How often do you declare it when you are considering all that is happening to you today?
  • When have you experienced people inhibiting a hope you have? Did you listen to them, or did you continue to hope and to move towards the fulfillment of that hope? What happened – to the relationships involved and to the hope itself? How do you feel about that now?
  • It is evident that not only did Job know God, but God knew Job (Job 1:18). How does it make you feel to consider the fact that God knows you, by name, and all that you are going through? How does that change the way you look at your future?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Prayer

Pray aloud together:
I know my Redeemer;
I know that my Redeemer lives
I know that my Redeemer will come again.

Now pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time,
especially if some members of the group struggle to accept that their Redeemer lives; and pray in
regard to other needs of the group.

Service

Whenever you face a difficulty or a negative event regarding your hopes and dreams, your lifestyle or your faith this week, declare the words ‘I know that my Redeemer lives’ aloud. Be prepared to explain why you do this to those around you and use the discussion as an opportunity to witness your relationship with Jesus Christ to them.
Share with one another next time you meet what difference your declarations made in regard to the challenge facing you and to your relationship with the people to whom you witnessed.

Bibliography

Job Chapter 1

Job Chapter 19

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