Job’s Prophetic Vision
Here he is the once honored chief, apparently forsaken by God and man, a loathsome wreck of skin and bones. Being persecuted, he endures; being defamed, he entreats; made as the filth of the earth and the scum of all things, in his hour of deepest degradation and shame, he breaks out into a burst of triumphant faith that, even though his body is being destroyed, he has the glorious assurance that he will yet see God!
Job’s spirit is suddenly set free, and breaks out into the light. His Vindicator is living! At the last day, He shall stand on the earth. “What does it matter if worms do destroy this body? I will yet see God . . . I will see Him for myself and He will not be a stranger. Oh, how my inner being is consumed with earnest desire for that day.”
Not too long ago Job asked, “Will a man live again?” and he’s answering his own question. Not only has he been given a glimpse into things to come for his own comfort, but, moved by the Holy Spirit, he has prophesied of the resurrection, and the coming again in glory of the crucified Redeemer.
In his letters to the Churches, the apostle Paul talked about the gospel being the “purpose of the ages kept hidden for long ages past. That is was destined for our glory before time began,” and at last “revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.”
Every once in a while the silence was broken by some brief word from the lips of a man walking in close fellowship with God, giving us a reminder, and a little bigger view, of His plan.
Maybe Job could not give a full explanation of the meaning of his sacrifices as the grounds of his access to God. However, he knew the effect of it in his life, and now in the furnace of trial as he is brought to the extremes, he learns experientially the faith of the resurrection.
Abraham was given the same knowledge in his supreme trial, because he “offered up Isaac, figuring that God was able to raise him up even from the dead.”
It was the same God-given faith that enabled believers to endure being beaten to death, not accepting deliverance, “so that they could obtain a better resurrection.”
That’s the kind of faith Jesus tried to stir up in Martha at the tomb of her brother, and Paul learned in a fuller measure when he was stoned and left for dead in his great “trouble in Asia.”
All through the ages, we can see the faith of the resurrection given to the steadfast in moments of supreme surrender and sacrifice to God. It seems that the hour of deepest anguish and suffering is the time when the spirit is freed to break through into a realm of light and knowledge of God never before possible.
I believe that is what happened to Job. During a time of unparalleled suffering, brought down, as he says, to the “skin of his teeth,” he cries, “I know my Redeemer Lives!” His heart is filled with a consuming desire for that glorious day when he will see his Redeemer face to face. He will be his Friend and not a stranger. He will stand on the earth as Judge (let the friends remember this, that there is a judgment) and they will have to account to God for their hardness toward Job. “Wrathful are the punishments of the sword.”
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