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Job 19:25-27 1
25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

clip_image035Background 2

Job is the main figure in the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible. In brief, the book begins with an introduction to Job’s character — he is described as a rich, blessed man who fears God and lives righteously. Satan, however, challenges Job’s integrity, and so God gives Job into Satan’s hand, resulting in tragedy for Job: the loss of his children, wealth, and physical soundness. The main portion of the text consists of the discourse of Job and his three friends concerning why Job was so punished, ending in God answering Job. The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning and he lived 140 years (Job 42:10, 17); the book of Job takes place for about 9 months. Job is also a prophet in Islam.

Biblical Truths 3

This passage in Job is the oldest declaration we have of the blessed hope, the coming of our Redeemer to this planet to raise us up bodily from the grave and to dwell among His people in His Kingdom. Not only does this passage seem very plain in its meaning, but it was also understood this way by the early church. A contemporary and disciple of the apostles, Clement, who became an elder in the church at Rome, wrote in the first century,

“Do we then deem it any great and wonderful thing for the Maker of all things to raise up again those that have piously served Him in the assurance of a good faith, when even by a bird [referring to a previous illustration he had given of the resurrection] He shows us the mightiness of His power to fulfil His promise? For [the Scripture] saith in a certain place, ‘Thou shalt raise me up, and I shall confess unto Thee;’ and again, ‘I laid me down, and slept; I awaked, because Thou art with me;’ and again, Job says, ‘Thou shalt raise up this flesh of mine, which has suffered all these things.’ Having then this hope, let our souls be bound to Him who is faithful in His promises, and just in His judgments.” (Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians, xxvi)

For I know that my Redeemer lives… (veani yadati goeli chay) The Hebrew verb here “I know” carries the first person singular pronoun “I” with it. However, the pronoun “I” (ani) is also used emphatically. The sense is, “I myself know” or “I know for myself”). What Job so emphatically knows and declares is that his Redeemer lives. The word for Redeemer is found in Exodus 6:6 where Jehovah describes Himself as the Redeemer of Israel.

And He shall stand at last on the earth… (ve’acharon al-aphar yakum) The word “stand” actually means “to arise” or “stand up.” The word “at last” means “at the last” or “at the final” day. This corresponds to Christ’s words in John 6:39, “I will raise him up on the last day.” The word for “earth” is peculiar. It is “aphar” rather than the usual word for earth which is “aretz.” “Aphar” means “dry, fine particles of dirt; dust; loose soil, rubble.” The imagery is of the very dust and dirt with which man’s decomposed body becomes mingled with burial. It is this very dirt and dust upon which the Redeemer will stand on the last day.

And after my skin is destroyed, this I know… (va’achar ori nikfu-zot) “This I know” is supplied by the translators but is not in the Hebrew. It is need however because the following clause refers grammatically back to the verb “For I know” at the beginning of verse 25. This does not refer to Job’s present illness from which he hoped to be healed. The skin is destroyed through the process of decomposition after death – corruption – having been buried in the dirt.
That in my flesh I shall see God… (umibasari echeze elohai) Job expected to see God with his own eyes. That this refers to vision with the eyes of the body is proved from the following verse. Objections to this interpretation will be dealt with later in this article.

Whom I shall see for myself… (asher ani echeze-li) The first person pronoun “I” “me” occurs three times in this short clause and could not be more emphatic. The word for “see” is the same as in the previous clause.
And my eyes shall behold, and not another… (ve’eynai ra’u velo-zar) “Eyes,” that is the physical eyes of the body, is in the emphatic position. Job is not simply declaring but repeatedly emphasizing that he will see his Redeemer with his own two physical eyes. The expression “and not another” means “not as a stranger.” However Job or his friends may have interpreted his present circumstances and tribulations, Job was certain that he would behold his Redeemer as a friend and not as one estranged from Him.

How my heart yearns within me… (kalu kilotai becheki) The word “yearns” means “become weak, be consumed, and waste away.” Compare with Psalm 143:7, “my spirit fails.” “Heart” means the inmost and most secret part of man. Compare with Jeremiah 11:20. “Within me” means in my lap or bosom, that is, the lower part of the body where one clasps one’s beloved children.

Conclusion

The bottom line is Job, like all the other Old Testament saints, looked forward to a physical resurrection and renewal of the body. This was the hope he expressed in the midst of extreme physical suffering. This was Job’s hope. It was Enoch’s hope. It was Paul’s hope. And it remains the hope of His saints today until He returns.

Items for Discussion

  • When you think about what God has done or let happen to mankind, how do you rationalize the difference between a God of ruthlessness and a God of justice?
  • How is this moment of Job’s confidence in God key to his own salvation?
  • Do you think about the after life? In what ways, heaven as a physical place? Filled with people? Who are those people?
  • What would a day in your heaven look like?
  • If heaven is filled with the saints of the past, who would you like to visit with?

 

Philippians 3:20-21
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Background

The letter was written to the church at Philippi, one of the earliest churches to be founded in Europe. They were much attached to Paul, just as he was very fond of them. Of all the churches, their contributions (which Paul gratefully acknowledges) are among the only he accepts. (Acts 20:33-35; 2 Cor. 11:7-12; 2 Thess. 3:8). The generosity of the Philippians comes out very conspicuously (Phil. 4:15). “This was a characteristic of the Macedonian missions, as 2 Cor. 8 and 9 amply and beautifully prove. It is remarkable that the Macedonian converts were, as a class, very poor (2 Cor. 8:2), though the very first converts were of all classes (Acts 16); and the parallel facts, their poverty and their open-handed support of the great missionary and his work, are deeply harmonious. At the present day the missionary liberality of poor Christians is, in proportion, really greater than that of the rich” (Moule).

Bible Truths 4

Our thoughts should be much in heaven, Philippians 3:20. Our home is there; our citizenship is there. Here we are strangers and pilgrims. We are away from home, in a cold and unfriendly world. Our great interests are in the skies; our eternal dwelling is to be there; our best friends are already there. There is our glorious Savior, with a body adapted to those pure abodes, and there are many whom we have loved on earth already with him. They are happy now, and we should not love them less because they are in heaven. Since, therefore, our great interests are there, and our best friends there; and since we ourselves are citizens of that heavenly world, our best affections shoed be there.
We look for the Savior, Philippians 3:20,21. He will return to our world. He will change our vile bodies, and make them like his own glorious body. And since this is so, let us:

  1. bear with patience the trials and infirmities to which our bodies here are subject. These trials will be short, and we may well bear them for a few days, knowing that soon all pain will cease, and that all that is humiliating in the body will be exchanged for glory.
  2. Let us not think too highly or too much of our bodies here. They may be now beautiful and comely, but they are “vile” and degraded, compared with what they will soon be. They are subject to infirmity, and to numerous pains and sicknesses. Soon the most beautiful body may become loathsome to our best friends. Soon, too offensive to be looked upon, it will be hidden in the grave. Why, then, should we seek to pamper and adorn these mortal frames? Why live only to decorate them? Why should we idolize a mass of molded and animated clay? Yet
  3. let us learn to honor the body in a true sense. It is soon to be changed. It will be made like the glorified body of Christ. Yes, this frail, diseased, corruptible, and humbled body; this body, that is soon to be laid in the grave, and to return to the dust, is soon to put on a new form, and to be clothed with immortality. It will be what the body of Christ now is–glorious and immortal. What a change! Christian, go and look on the creeping caterpillar, and see it changed to the gay and gilded butterfly–yesterday, a crawling and offensive insect; to-day, with gaudy colors, an inhabitant of the air, and a dweller amidst flowers; and see an image of what thy body shall be, and of the mighty transformation which thou wilt soon undergo. See the change from the cold death of winter to the fragrance and life of spring, and behold an image of the change which thou thyself wilt ere long experience, and a proof that some such change awaits thee.
  4. Let us look for the coming of the Lord, Philippians 3:21. All that we hope for depends on his reappearing. Our day of triumph, and of the fullness of our joy, is to be when he shall return. Then we shall be raised from the grave; then our vile bodies shall be changed; then we shall be acknowledged as his friends; then we shall go to be for ever with him. The earth is not our home; nor is the grave to be our everlasting bed of rest. Our home is heaven–and the Savior will come, that he may raise us up to that blessed abode. And who knows when he may appear? He himself commanded us to be ready, for he said he would come at an hour when we think not. We should so desire his coming, that the hours of his delay would seem to be heavy and long; and should so live that we can breathe forth with sincerity, at all times, the fervent prayer of the beloved disciple, “Come, Lord Jesus, COME QUICKLY !” Revelation 22:20.

Items for Discussion

  • How does the world today misunderstand the body we have today?
  • What are the dangers in not focusing on our ultimate shape in heaven, whatever it may be?
  • What does it mean to be a citizen?
  • What are the rights and obligations of citizenship?
  • If we have already died to sin with our faith in Christ, are we already citizens of heaven?
  • What special rights do you think a citizen of heaven would have?

Discussion Challenge

  • How can we balance our feet in this world, our pride in our bodies, with the understanding that they are temporal?
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