Job 19:23-27

Sunday Morning Bible Study

June 22, 2003

Job’s hope

As we’ve been studying the book of Job, we find lots of difficult and confusing things.  Not only is Job’s life a mess, but his friends show up and only make things worse, constantly accusing Job of having some secret sin that he needs to repent of.  Yet in the middle of all these dark times, Job keeps getting some pretty amazing flashes of light.


Born Again

Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea - one called Justin and the other called Christian. Prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that patrolled the area. Finally one day during a tropical storm, Justin said to Christian “I’m bored and frustrated at being a prawn, I wish I was a shark - then I wouldn’t have any worries about being eaten...” As Justin had his mind firmly on becoming a predator, he too, like Job is struck with a flash, but his is of lightning and lo and behold, Justin turns into a shark. Horrified, Christian immediately swims away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate. Time went on (as it invariably does...) and Justin found himself becoming bored and lonely as a shark. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them, Justin hardly realizing that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight. During the next tropical storm, Justin figures that the same lightning force could change him back into a prawn. Lightning never strikes twice except in stories like these, but while he was thinking of being a prawn again, another flash of lightning strikes the water next to Justin and lo and behold, he turns back into a prawn. With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes, Justin swims back to his friends and buys them all a soda. Looking around the gathering at the reef, he looks for his old pal. “Where’s Christian?” he asked. “He’s at home, distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy and became a shark” came the reply. Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he sets off to Christian’s house. As he opens the coral gate, the memories come flooding back. He bangs on the door and shouts “It’s me. Justin - your old friend. Come out and see me again”. Christian replies, “No way, man. You’ll eat me. You’re a shark, the enemy. I will not be tricked”. Justin cries back; “No I’m not!! ... That was the old me! ... I’ve changed! ... I’m a prawn again Christian!”

Job is going to have some pretty good “flashes” in his dark place.  Help.  Life.  Hope.

:23 …oh that they were printed in a book!

His words are going to be recorded in the world’s best selling book.

:24 That they were graven …in the rock for ever!

He wishes his words were engraved in stone. This too has come true. Job’s words in verse 25 are the most common words used on gravestones in cemeteries.


How do you want to be remembered?

Here are some funny epitaphs from real tombstones:
On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:

Here lies

Ezekial Aikle

Age 102

The Good

Die Young.

Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona in the cowboy days of the 1880’s. He’s buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:

Here lies Lester Moore

Four slugs from a .44

No Les No More.

Oops! Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:

Born 1903--Died 1942

Looked up the elevator shaft to see if

the car was on the way down. It was.

In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:

Here lies an Atheist

All dressed up

And no place to go.

In a Georgia cemetery:

“I told you I was sick!”

Job wanted his words remembered.  These are some pretty awesome words.

:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth

redeemerga’al – to redeem, act as kinsman-redeemer. The primary meaning of this word is to do the part of a kinsman, a close relative, and thus to redeem his kin from difficulty or danger.

Sometimes it is translated “revenger”, as in the one who will bring vengeance for a family when one of its members is murdered.

Nu 35:19 The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.

Sometimes it is translated “kinsman”, or, “kinsman-redeemer”, meaning a close relative that will buy your family out of debt when you’re in trouble. The word is found 10 times in the book of Ruth.

Ru 2:20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed [be] he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man [is] near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
Jeremiah also bought (“redeemed”) the family property to help out his uncle at the time of the Babylonian captivity (Jer. 32:8).

For the Jews, one of the major examples of God redeeming them took place when He delivered them from the Egyptians through the various plagues (Ex. 6:6) and ultimately at the Passover.

Ex 15:13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people [which] thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided [them] in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

There are several books in the Old Testament where the idea of “redemption” is strong.

The word is found 10 times in the Psalms, where we see that God has redeemed us from destruction:
Ps 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
The word is found 24 times in the book of Isaiah, where we see that God has redeemed us from our sins:
Isa 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

There are two aspects of this word.

Relationship – If you are going to be “redeemed”, you need a relative, someone close enough to help you.
Help – It’s about making things right, paying off a debt.



Job has been having a horrible time. Not only has his life fallen apart, but his friends are constantly accusing him of having done something to bring all this trouble.
But Job has a concept that someone, somewhere must be on his side. This person will be around on the last days of earth and will stand up for him.
Jesus is our redeemer.
He is related to us, taking on human flesh like us (Heb. 2:14-18).
His death on the cross has purchased our freedom from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13) and the penalty of our sins.

(Rom 3:24-26 KJV)  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: {25} Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; {26} To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Now, all we have to do in order to receive His help is to trust Him, to believe in Him.

He is here to help us.

liveth chay – living, alive. It comes from the Hebrew word hāyâ – to live, have life, remain alive, to live for ever.

God’s nameYhwh – “the existing One”; It comes from the Hebrew word hāwâ – to be, become, exist, and is an older form and rare synonym of hāyâ (the word for “liveth”)

God’s name (Yahweh) is related to the word for “liveth”. He “lives”. He “exists”.

I’m not trying to say that Job is saying, “My Redeemer is Yahweh”. But because Yahweh is Job’s God, Job knows that his Redeemer lives because Yahweh is “life”.

It’s interesting to look at the usage of God’s name in the book of Job. The first two chapters are filled with God’s name (Yahweh). The end of the book, starting in chapter 38, when God finally speaks, again God’s name starts to be used again. But in the middle section when Job argues with his friends, God’s name is only found ONE time, and it is Job that uses God’s name.
(Job 12:9-10 KJV) Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? {10} In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
It’s interesting that Job’s friends never call God by name.
Job has a relationship with Yahweh. He knows God by name. Yahweh is Job’s redeemer. He knows that there is life with Yahweh.

:25 and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

(Job 19:25 ICB) …And in the end he will come to show that I am right.

Though Job’s friends have been accusing him, he expects that one day, he’ll be justified.

:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

destroynaqaph – (Piel) to flay the skin off – Job’s skin has been peeling large chunks.

Job states the essence of the doctrine of the resurrection. He believes that even after his body dies, he expects to see God in his body.

He’s expecting that God will one day raise him from the dead.

Some people have this idea that the concept of resurrection is only found in the New Testament. But there are other Old Testament passages on resurrection:

Abraham seemed to believe in a resurrection.

When he was taking his son Isaac up to Mount Moriah to sacrifice him, he told his servants,
(Gen 22:5 KJV) …Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
Abraham expected to return with his son. Alive. We also see Genesis 22 as a picture of another Father who would one day sacrifice His Son, a Son who would rise from the dead.

Moses learned that there was life after death when he met God:

(Exo 3:13-15 KJV) And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? {14} And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. {15} And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
Jesus would quote this Scripture:
(Mat 22:31-32 KJV) But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, {32} I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Jesus’ point was that God was still the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, even after their deaths. In other words, they were still alive, even after death.

David believed in a resurrection.

He wrote,
(Psa 16:10 KJV) For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
This is one of the passages that the apostles would quote (Acts 2:27) after the resurrection of Jesus, showing that the Old Testament had predicted a resurrection.



There’s spiritual life. 
Jesus claimed to be the resurrection.

(John 11:25-26 KJV) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: {26} And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Jesus said if a person believed in Him, that even they died physically, they would still be alive spiritually.  Do you believe this?

The life Job was looking forward to was not in his current state of misery.  He was looking forward to the life he would experience after death.

Sometimes we fight too hard to preserve our current physical life when there’s another life that’s more important, a spiritual life that will live forever.

There’s physical life ahead as well, right around the corner.
Rapture – this will be the time coming very soon when believers both alive and passed away will receive new bodies.

(1 Th 4:13-18 KJV)  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. {14} For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. {15} For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. {16} For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: {17} Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. {18} Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

We believe this event is going to happen very, very soon.  At my son’s request, I’ve started reading the “Left Behind” books.  If you haven’t read them, and you’re looking for some good summer reading, try them.  It’s not just good fiction, it’s a story that will one day happen. Will you be left behind? 

There is life in Jesus.  There is comfort in looking for the life ahead.

:27 Whom I shall see for myself …

(Job 19:27 NIV) I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Again, confidence in a resurrection.



For Job, this is an interesting contrast with some of the other things he’s said when he’s expressed hopelessness (Job 14:12-14).
Yet now Job has one of those “flashes” of light.  This is the thing that keeps Job going through the times of darkness.
Keep working
Hope delivers us from the despair that nothing we do matters, and enables us to tackle even the most menial job with vigor. Elmer Bendiner tells the remarkable story of a B-17 bomber that flew a bombing mission over Germany in the latter days of World War II. The plane was hit several times by shells and flak, with some of the hits directly in the fuel tank. Miraculously, the bomber did not explode. When it landed, eleven unexploded twenty-millimeter shells were taken out of the fuel tank! The shells were dismantled, and to the amazement of everyone, all were empty of explosives. Inside of one shell was a note written in Czech. Translated, it read, “This is all we can do for you now.” A member of the Czech underground, working in a German munitions factory, had omitted the explosives in at least eleven of the twenty-millimeter shells on his assembly line.
That worker must have wondered often if the quiet work he was doing to subvert the Nazi war effort was going to make any difference whatsoever to the outcome of the war.

- Ben Patterson, The Grand Essentials

The things we do for the Lord, even if they seem small and insignificant are of great value.  They are worth it.
We can keep going if we keep our eyes on the end. Keep remembering what it’s all for.
Several years ago a teacher assigned to visit children in a large city hospital received a routine call requesting that she visit a particular child. She took the boy’s name and room number and was told by the teacher on the other end of the line, “We’re studying nouns and adverbs in his class now. I’d be grateful if you could help him with his homework so he doesn’t fall behind the others.” It wasn’t until the visiting teacher got outside the boy’s room that she realized it was located in the hospital’s burn unit. No one had prepared her to find a young boy horribly burned and in great pain. She felt that she couldn’t just turn and walk out, so she awkwardly stammered, “I’m the hospital teacher, and your teacher sent me to help you with nouns and adverbs.” The next morning a nurse on the burn unit asked her, “What did you do to that boy?” Before she could finish a profusion of apologies, the nurse interrupted her: “You don’t understand. We’ve been very worried about him, but ever since you were here yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting back, responding to treatment--.It’s as though he’s decided to live.” The boy later explained that he had completely given up hope until he saw that teacher. It all changed when he came to a simple realization. With joyful tears he expressed it this way: “They wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?”

--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 292-293.

God wants you to know that there’s hope for you.  He didn’t send you an English teacher to give you hope, He sent His Son, your kinsman-Redeemer.  There’s hope for you.  There’s hope in Jesus.