You will recall that in “Back to Square One – Part 4“, I mentioned that we will be, in this series, touching on some of the “bigger steps” in this bird’s eyes overview of how God has revealed of Himself to His creation, and some of the “bigger steps” will include individuals such as Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses and David. And I do indeed intend on touching on each of those individuals, but before I go there, there is one individual that I just have to mention and that individual is Job.
The book of Job is perhaps the oldest book of the Bible and is set in the approximate time of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph). The land of Uz, as noted in Job 1:1, is directly adjacent to Midian, where Moses lived for 40 years. It is important to note that the book of Job was probably written before Israel became a nation, as chosen by God, and before the Law was given by God, through Moses, to Israel. The author of Job is unknown and there are no textual hints as to his identify. It has been suggested that it is conceivable that Moses may have obtained a record of the dialogue left by Job or Elihu. For some interesting background and considerations about Elihu, click here.
We aren’t always told how people like Job or Noah, as examples, came to know what was considered clean and unclean, accepted or not accepted by God, in their relationship with God, bearing in mind that this time period was prior to the specifics of the Law being identified in a detailed written format that we are aware of. Yet we see, in many instances, before the Law was given, that men of God were indeed aware of many of the fundamental reasonings and principles behind the Law and as such, in each case where an individual is identified, such as Job, what is recorded is that they endeavoured to walk with God and it is noted that they had reverence for God and abstained from and turned away from evil because they chose to honour God.
There is a lot of very detailed information that is presented to the reader of the book of Job that I obviously don’t have time to cover, which does very clearly show that Job understood his personal position of being unholy or unclean, when he compared himself in his communion of trust and faith with God, who is holy. Job notes on numerous occasions that God has chosen to cover his wickedness and transgressions (Job 14:16-17), but there is one particular section of Scripture that I do wish to draw your attention to which is found in Job 19:25-27 which reads as follows:
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
“Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
Whom I myself shall behold,
And whom my eyes will see and not another.
My heart faints within me!
The concept of a kinsman-redeemer in the Old Testament, is a male relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. The Hebrew term (go el) for kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6) or redeems property or person (Leviticus 27:9–25, 25:47–55). The kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative is illustrated most clearly in the book of Ruth, where the kinsman-redeemer is Boaz.
We see this concept being displayed, as God being the Redeemer, where Yahweh is Israel’s Redeemer, the one who promises to defend and vindicate them. He is both Father and Deliverer (Exodus 20:2). There are numerous Old Testament appeals to God as rescuer of the weak and needy (Psalm 82:4; Daniel 6:27; Jeremiah 20:13) and preserver of the sheep of Israel (Ezekiel 34:10–12, 22).
But here in Job 14:16-17 we see Job not just talking about an ordinary redeemer but a special Redeemer who lives and in the last days will take His stand on the earth and even though Job’s body is destroyed, yet in his own flesh shall he see God, with his own eyes and not the eyes on another, and his heart faints within him because of what he has been shown.
This declaration that Job makes demonstrates that Job not only understood his own position of being a sinner, whose sins needed to be and were covered, but the need for a divine Redeemer, who is God Himself, who will stand upon the earth in the last days and that Job himself, will see with his own eyes in a new body, that which he has been revealed to him, even though his body of flesh has long since died. And of course, because we have been given the New Testament, the new revealed covenant, that Jesus sealed with His blood, we know that He who will stand upon the earth in the last days is none other than Jesus.
Note this is in the book of Job, the book that many think is the oldest book of the Old Testament.
I don’t know about you but I find the reality of what Job was shown and aware of, simply amazing.
God our Heavenly Father, Jesus the Son and God’s Holy Spirit have revealed of themselves (triplural yet singular), throughout the entirety of the Old and New Testaments and this revealing is both partial, in that it progressively reveals aspects of God’s character, purposes, thoughts and ways and yet, at the same time, when viewed from an all inclusive perspective, beginning at Genesis to the end of Revelation, the divine purpose and fulfilment of God’s will, can be clearly seen.
So, perhaps Job, Abraham and others within the Old Testament didn’t see ALL that we have been given to see, but never say that they didn’t see because Jesus Himself tells us that they did.
More to follow:
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!