Today’s Reading: Job 16:1-19:29 (additional reading: Psalm 40:1-10 and Proverbs 22:1)
When the Berlin wall came down and when communism fell one of the amazing things that happened was that people had access to the files that the secret police had kept on them. For many people, it made uncomfortable reading. People whom they trusted had betrayed them (family members, husbands, wives, children etc.) They thought they knew these people but they were wrong. Maybe you have experienced something like this and them was left wondering: What can I know for certain? Who can I really trust?
In Job 19 verses 25-27 he tells us what he knows. When he speaks these words he sitting on top of the town dump scraping the sores on his body with a piece of broken pottery. The only thing that had been said to him was some pious prattle that he must have sinned against God and if he would only straighten up then all this would turn out right. There was no evidence in his circumstances or in what he had heard which gave him grounds to state that he would be redeemed from this bondage. And yet he states what is the most well-known verse in Job: ‘I know my Redeemer lives.’ How did Job know? What did Job mean?
Verse 25 actually begins with ‘But’ –omitted from the NIV. What Job is about to say is in contrast, set over and against all of the arguments that have gone before. All their dialogue over suffering, sin, blessing and curse by God is to be seen as empty and futile in light of the statement that is about to follow.
Job says ‘But, this I know’. I cannot answer all your questions. I cannot defend myself against all your accusations and arguments. I cannot justify myself in your eyes but this I know. Not this I think, this I believe but this I know. It said with emphatic certainty. Without a hint of doubt or disbelief but a certain assurance that what is being spoken is the eternal truth. In the midst of despair, in the midst of loss, in the midst of personal pain and suffering Job speaks with hope and assurance.
What one thing do you know about God?
What does it mean to really know something?
Father, Thank You that You grant us a real relationship with You whereby we can say ‘ I know that my Redeemer lives!” Thank You that we can have complete trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen