My Redeemer Lives

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“I know that my redeemer [i]lives.”[ii]

Do you know who said this? You might be surprised if you don’t know. It wasn’t the person who wrote the song.

This statement is a triumphal statement of faith. We sing it as a joyful pronouncement of gratitude and proclamation of our confidence in God. These words convey hope. They are a reflection of overcoming faith, but there is much more to the story.

If you know who first said these words, you know what great significance they have, even greater knowing the back story.

The back story should be very familiar. We all know the story of Job was a wealthy man, with many kids, happiness, partying and everything a person could want in this world. He had it all, and in a very short time, it was all taken from him, even his health.

Job is a depressing story. We are told in the beginning that he was a righteous man. He “did not deserve”[iii] the misfortune that he suffered. He was tormented by the fact that he had lived an honorable life, but had nothing but misery to show for it.

Job struggles with the unfairness of his fate. While wicked, oppressive, selfish men lived in comfort and plenty, Job was reduced to rags with oozing sores all over his body.

One might say that he was very vocal about his personal tragedies. We might even call him a whiner. His wife famously told him he should “curse God and die.” She was tired of him saying, “Why me? Woe is me!”

His friends were absolutely no help. Instead of sympathy, or even empathy, they accused him of secret sin and told him he must have done something to deserve his misery. Many of us can relate.

In the midst of that misery and darkness, not understanding why God would allow these things to happen to him while others less deserving prosper, Job announces, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” and “at the last He will take his stand on earth!” When we reach a point where we simply rest in the knowledge and certainty of God, it is somehow comforting, in spite of our circumstances.

When we come to the end of ourselves, there is nowhere else to go. Sometimes, it takes difficult circumstances to bring us to the end of ourselves. We need to get to the end of ourselves to see God.

“Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold….” (Job 19:26-27)

In the midst of his misery and darkness, Job announced “My Redeemer lives, and I will see him!” Is that faith? Or is it desperation? It is probably a little of both. When we turn to God in that place, however, God will show up.

The end of the story of Job is that God showed up. God did not answer Job’s searching questions; He did not need to. When God shows up, that is all we need! Our Redeemer lives! He paid the ultimate price for us. He will at last take his stand on the earth! (Jer. 14:4; Matt. 24:30; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-16)

Thank you, God, for not abandoning us to our own ways. Thank you for redeeming us from sin and from ourselves. Even in the midst of my darkest hours, yet will I praise You; I will hope in You. You are my Redeemer, and I am Yours.


[i] 1350/Gaal, (redeem) properly, means redeem, re-purchase (‘buy back”) – paying the required (assessed) price to get back what was lost or forfeited; right of redemption (Buy something back). As described in the Pentateuch (books of the law ascribed to Moses), was the idea of a “kinsman redeemer” (1352/goel) – people were given the right or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger or need; the term means a relative who delivers or rescues. ( A loyal kinsman cared for a needy relative, bought back mortgaged property and sometimes even married the widow of a deceased relative. See the Book of Ruth. Gaal supremely applies to the redemptive work if Jesus Christ. Jesus purchased our salvation with His own blood (Rom. 3:23-26) so we can belong to Him as His bride (Eph. 5:25-27, 32). Jesus is of the lineage of Ruth (Ruth 2:20, 3:9, 4:3-4) whose story foreshadows the redemptive work of Jesus Christ for all mankind.

[ii] Job 19:25 “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”

[iii] In reality, none of us are righteous. (Rom. 3:10) We are tempted to think we are better than others. We often compare ourselves to others who we “know” are sinners who seem to have more than we do and live enviable lives. In reality, though, we are all in the same boat. None of us are righteous before God. The facades that we see in others’ lives, hide a desperation and need for God that appearances do not reveal.


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