Please read Job 19, Job 20 and Job 21, and head on back! We’ve got a familiar verse today – I wonder if it is one of your favorites too! I know I’ve been sticking with the Message translation this year (I want to read familiar verses in new language so I resist the urge to “skim” 🙂 ), but sometimes, I’ve got to go back to the NKJV. This is the version I was raised on, and some verses are so comforting to me, imagined highlighted and circled and starred and memorized in my favorite Bible!
When I read these words within the context of Job’s speech and situation, it is so much more powerful:
“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!” (19:25-27 NKJV)
Job’s skin IS destroyed (remember 1:7-8? “Satan left God and struck Job with terrible sores. Job was ulcers and scabs from head to foot. They itched and oozed so badly that he took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself, then went and sat on a trash heap, among the ashes”). His children and property ARE gone (remember 1:13-22? Child after child reported dead). His wife’s advice is that Job “curse God and die” (remember 2:9?). To all this, what is Job’s response, over and over again?
“Job arose….. and he fell to the ground and worshiped” (1:20)
“In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong” (1:22)
I’m just backing up a little today to remind us of the context. It’s extraordinary that job stay faithful to the Lord. He knows that his circumstances do not define God’s character. Our circumstances do not define God’s character either- let’s take our cue from Job and shout an “in spite of” or “anyway” praise to the Lord today!