The Pinnacle Faith Proclamation

Posted on June 2, 2020

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By David Ettinger

despair

The Depths of Despair
Job was crushed, physically and emotionally. The Lord had allowed Satan to test Job’s faith, the foul adversary administering Job’s examination through torturous means. Job lost everything he owned – including all 10 of his children – and was afflicted with painful, nauseating wounds from head to toe (Job Chapters 1 & 2).

Also, Job’s three “comforting” friends turned out to be just as abhorrent as comforters as were the lesions on Job’s body. In short, Job was languishing in a cauldron of misery the likes of which few have ever experienced.

Job gave voice to his misery, often going a little too far in his criticism of God, though it is difficult to condemn him for it, we never having endured such heinous circumstances.

In Chapter 19, Job is in full God-critique mode, noting “that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me” (v. 6), and that: “He [God] has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head. He tears me down on every side till I am gone; He uproots my hope like a tree. His anger burns against me; He counts me among his enemies” (vv. 9-11).

Harsh accusations indeed, but Job is speaking from the depths of despair. He has been pushed to the extremes of agony, and it seems his only comfort is to vent his unimaginable pain. Yes, Job was crushed physically and emotionally – but he was not crushed spiritually!

faith

An Extraordinary Proclamation
It is in the midst of Job’s litany of complaints against God that he suddenly and unexpectedly switches gears and pours forth perhaps the Bible’s pinnacle proclamation of faith. In verses 25-27 Job declares:

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

This is an inspiring, uplifting, and momentous proclamation of faith in God, and even more so considering Job’s horrifying state of affairs. It is as if Job has a brief moment of lucidity where he says: “Despite my affliction, I know Who sustains me. I know Who has made me, loves me, and keeps me. And I know Who it is who will redeem me.”

Despite Job’s harsh criticism, his heart for God shines forth, witnessing to His greatness, faithfulness, and love. Though Job has been brutally battered, he knows this is not the final chapter. Job knows that God has created humanity as far more than mere physical entities, but as creatures with spirits which will outlive the corruption of human flesh.

What It Means
Job’s amazing faith statement has been the subject of much debate regarding its meaning. For instance, who is the Redeemer? Is it God Himself, or a Messiah who will come in the flesh? After all, this Redeemer “will stand on the earth” (v. 25). He will also do this “in the end” (v. 25), perhaps at the end of this age?

book of job

Also strongly inferred is the Resurrection. This comes through in verse 26: “And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” The phrase “after my skin has been destroyed” is a clear reference to death. Therefore, the next phrase “in my flesh I will see God” indicates that Job will be given “new” flesh with which to do this. If this is literal and not metaphorical, we have clear resurrection teaching.

The Bottom Line
Theological considerations aside, what radiates from this pinnacle proclamation of faith is the unwavering belief that God will vindicate, raise up, and restore all who belong to Him. No matter what this decaying and dying world throws at us, we have the mighty promise of resurrection and rebirth.

Verse 27 summarizes it best. It is as if Job cannot restrain his soaring emotions at the consideration of what awaits him. And guess what, what awaits Job awaits you and me when at last this era of human history passes and the next one begins. Because of this, you and I can with unmatched joy proclaim with Job: “I myself will see him with my own eyes ­– I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

May God keep us until that glorious day!