Mar. 20 – Wednesday                                           Read Job 19:23-27a

“O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.


from Scott Thayer, Bethany Memorial Church

and Chaplain of Bethany College

            When Christians read the word “redeemer” in this passage, our automatic reaction is to think of Jesus Christ, our spiritual Redeemer. G.F. Handel set Job 19:25 to music in his famous oratorio “The Messiah,” so we hear Job’s words applied to Jesus over and over again, usually around Christmas time. But there are other, more likely possibilities for the meaning of this term “redeemer” within Job’s world. Job was a man who had gone from riches to rags. He had lost his children, his livelihood, his friends. The one thing Job never lost was outrage over the unfairness of his life, and the one thing Job wanted more than anything else was to have someone come alongside him and clear his good name. The word “redeemer” probably means something like “vindicator,” or “public attorney.”  This reminds us that when people are suffering, they don’t need to be preached to, or made to feel guilty for their short-comings. What they need most is someone who will be on their side, defending them from the curse of victimhood.  Maybe we can be that person for someone this week.

O God, I can’t “redeem” anybody’s life,

but I can be a friend to someone for whom life has become a burden. Help me to do that in the name of Jesus.


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