Recently my daily reading which I follow throughout the year has led me to that great Old Testament book of Job. Each time I read through this account of one man’s dealing with the great God we serve I am reminded of how great He is and how desperately we need Him. Unfortunately many have seen the book of Job as one of distress and sadness. While it is absolutely true that a number of tragic events happen in the life of Job in a very short amount of time, the story is not about Job or his struggles. Like every other portion of Scripture, the record of Job is given to us that we may know more of the Lord and the hope we have in Him.
No other person throughout the Old Testament, or the entire Bible for that matter, needed a place and person of hope more than Job. Unexpectedly his possessions and family were taken from him, his wife would stand in opposition to him, and his friends were of no help in his hour of greatest need. Here we find a warning for each one of us; surely we must be cautious of where we place our confidence. Experience has shown to many of us through the years that during the season of life you needed them most it seems that those you trust in simply are not there or are of no real help. Thankfully Job shows us that we do not have to look at those of this world to be our true source of hope. In spite of all his physical circumstances, or possibly because of them, Job lived with an unchanging, unfailing hope. Sure he asked hard questions at hard times, but his hope stood the test and is still available today.
In Job 9 we find Job speaking of his major problem. The great issue is not just the sad state of man but rather the grand existence of the God he must answer too. He is the One who speaks things into being and upholds all things by His power. He is the One all men must stand before and give an account of their lives. He is the One we must ask with Job, “But how can a man be in the right before God?” (9:2b). It is in chapter 9 that we see Job cry out “There is no umpire between us, Who may lay his hand upon us both.” (9:33). Later on we find Job imploring the Lord to, “Lay down, now, a pledge for me with Yourself; Who is there that will be my guarantor?” (17:3). This is the call of all men in that desperate moment. How can I stand before a holy, powerful God on my own? Who will stand between us as my intercessor? What hope can I have as a promise within me that all will be ok?
Thankfully the book of Job does not end here. Many of us know the glorious ending of Job’s life as well as we know the tragedy of the early days. But before we can get to the outpouring of God’s favor and blessings upon Job we must see the great hope of Job. Job 19: 25-26 states, “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”. Here is the great hope of Job and the hope offered to all. Job knew for a fact that there was a Redeemer, that He was alive, that He would take His victorious stand upon the earth someday soon, and though he may die before this happens he too would be there to see God in the flesh. It is the hope of a living Redeemer and a promised resurrection. The hope that this is not all there is to life. Rather this temporary life may come to an end even in suffering, but the life to come is just as real and full of promise. The promise that He who is gloriously unapproachable will welcome you into His loving presence because of the Redeemer of men.
Where is your hope today? Is it in possessions or people? Or is it, like Job, in the soon coming Redeemer? My prayer is that today your life will be full of hope, even in the most difficult of days. The great hope of Job.