Then and Now

The Bible is written in a variety of literary forms. It contains narrative, poetry, parables, prophecy, apocalyptic writings, epistles and more. An example of Hebrew poetry is Job. It is primarily a book of poetry with a few chapters of prose at the beginning and end of the book.

During this week at Sangre de Cristo Seminary we have focused on God’s method of revelation of himself to us through the means of Hebrew Poetry. Job is probably most well know for his testing by God. I’ll forgo a discussion on God’s sovereignty, suffering, or the role of satan in our lives but it’s clear the book of Job helps us understand these significant issues biblically. If a theology of suffering is something you’re grappling with, the book of Job is a great place to start. What I do want to highlight is Job’s faith in his Redeemer.

The first observation is that Job is not a Jew. His three not-so-helpful friends were also not Jews. Interestingly, Elihu is the only Jewish name mentioned in the book of Job. However, somewhere along the way, Job learned of God, knew God’s Law, feared God and was a blameless, upright and righteous man (Job 1). I find it interesting that here in the middle of the Old Testament we have an example of God fearing belief outside the covenant community. It is a testament to the outward movement and expansion of God’s redemptive plan.

Secondly, Job looks forward to the day of his Redeemer.

Job 19:25-26 says, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has thus been destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”

Job trusts that the Redeemer will come and will one day stand on the earth. My impression is that Job is referring to Christ’s second coming since the next verse points to the resurrection of the body and implies the promise of the new heavens and the new earth. If however Job is referring to the coming of Jesus in the incarnation, he is still accurate since we are now in the last days that Jesus ushered in and looks forward to the resurrection of the body.

We worship the same God and Redeemer of our souls and bodies. The Redeemer, Jesus Christ, just as Job and his fallible friends understood then and that we know now, will come again at the last and renew all things to the Glory of God alone.