Job’s Great Confession; Our Great Hope

Posted on April 28, 2022


By David Ettinger

The Great Confession
The story of Job is one of the Bible’s most familiar to both believers and unbelievers. The heartbreaking account of his incomprehensible suffering has struck a chord in millions of readers over the centuries.

Yet in the midst of his unspeakable pain, Job utters the most precious of all confessions regarding God. His powerhouse avowal of conviction and assurance emanates from the depths of his deepest despair with wondrous expectation and unyielding hope:

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me! (Job 19:25-27).

This extraordinary confession has been called “the crescendo of faith to which Job attains.”[1]

2 Core Issues
There is debate among theologians and Bible teachers concerning two core issues in this passage: the identity of the Redeemer, and whether or not Job was referencing physical resurrection. Space limitations prevent me from dissecting these issues – my main purpose is devotional – so I will just say that regarding the first issue, I agree with the view that the Redeemer is the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Writes renowned Christian author Walter C. Kaiser:

This “Redeemer” will be a living person whom God will raise up “in the end,” i.e., who will appear on the earth at the end of all things. At that time, he will stand on the earth as the final vindicator of the beaten-down Job and vindicate him.[2]  

Regarding resurrection, it is believed that at the “early date” Job lived – about 2100 B.C., the time of Abraham – the concept of physical resurrection was a mystery. However, this is speculation; no one really knows what “early” worshipers of God believed in this area.

The wording of this passage, however, strongly indicates Job’s belief in physical resurrection. Verse 26 is powerful (italic added): “Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God.” Another way to phrase this is: “Though I will physically die, yet there will come a time when I will live again in a new physical body, and from this new physical body I will look upon my Redeemer.”

Our Great Hope
It has been 4,000 years since Job articulated this glorious attestation of faith and hope, and we know so much more about God, theology, and the Redeemer than he did.

We know, for instance, through the full revelation of both the Old and New Testaments the identity of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. We also know that He came the first time to bring the human race (those who will accept Him) redemption from their sins and salvation of their souls. We also know that Jesus will come a second time to usher in His Kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6).

Furthermore, we know for certain that believers in the Lord Jesus will be physically resurrected with new, immortal, imperishable, physical bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). And it is in these new bodies we will behold Him!

What a great and remarkable hope granted to all believers! We will experience different kinds of deaths, just as have those who preceded us. Some will die “peacefully,” others will be brutally martyred. Some will die relatively pain-free; others will die in excruciating pain.  

But regardless of the form our exits from this life takes, we have the absolute assurance that we “shall see God” (v. 26); that we ourselves “shall behold” our Lord and Savior with our own eyes – we, “and not another” (v. 27).

Is it any wonder that despite his physical and emotional torment Job could proclaim passionately, triumphantly: “My heart faints within me!” (v. 27).

Oh that the hearts of all believers will “faint within” us at the prospect that a time is coming when we will behold the face of our Lord Jesus with our own eyes!   

[1] Robert Gordis, The Book of Job: Commentary, New Translation, and Special Studies. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1978, p. 204.

[2] Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., The Messiah in the Old Testament, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995, p. 63).