Exploring The Correlation Between The Redeemer In Job 19:25 And The Ransom Concept Of Christ In 1 Timothy 2:5

        The central theme of the Book of Job relates to the suffering of God's people. It grapples with the question of what believers are to do when confronted with bad situations that put their faith to the test. Job was a man of faith par excellence, but that did nothing to negate the numerous temptations and trials that he had to face. God brought him down to the lowest point he could go and raised him back up again. In this world, the righteous have to deal with the unpleasant reality of things such as the loss of family, disease, and the loss of material comfort. That is precisely what Job encountered. It is to be gathered from the narrative that evil manifests itself in the form of personal wrongdoing as well as natural evil.

        How can the existence of evil be squared with the concept of a perfectly good God? Why do the righteous have to suffer? The Book of Job compels us to consider a number of points in the face of these kinds of questions. The first would be that humanity is sinful. Job 5:6-7 speaks of man naturally being inclined to cause of his own afflictions. Job 15:14-15 speaks of the human race and the rest of creation as being corrupted by sin. The second point would be that the world usually does not reflect the justice one would expect from a righteous God (Job 9:22-24). The third point would be the inability of man to fathom the mysteries of God (Job 11:7-9). The Book of Job reveals that all human beings without exception need to trust in God. It has elements that lay the foundation for the gospel.

        Job had three friends who tried to help him make sense of his troubles. They believed that he had suffered as a result of personal sin. Eliphaz made a theological argument that God is just in punishing the wicked, so Job cannot be innocent as he claims. Bildad asserted that the loss of Job's family was proof that he had sinned somehow (Job 18:19). That was commonly taken to be a sign of divine disfavor. Zophar told Job that evildoers will be punished by God and that he should have been punished more severely for his alleged crimes than he was at the time. However, the truth was that his three friends had been utterly mistaken. They did not know that God had used Satan to test Job. 

        Job had not done anything to invite calamities upon himself, but they came anyway. That disproves the notion that the root cause of our suffering in life is necessarily due to sinful choices that we make. Nor would it be correct to say that suffering has no value or that God is arbitrary in allowing us to go through pain and misery. If Job had been guilty of anything at all, then it would be that he became self-righteous in the process of defending the integrity of his own ways. That is when God stepped in to remind him of his lack of knowledge and understanding of how He operates. Job needed to be reminded of the finitude of his abilities. One of the key texts being examined is cited as follows:

        "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth." (Job 19:25)

        Job was despaired of life. He accepted that he was going to die the way that he was. His friends could condemn him, but God was a witness to his innocence. That the Lord is his redeemer or vindicator is supported by the context. Job 17:3 contains legal imagery of God Himself providing bail from accusers. Job 19:26 expressly mentions His name. Job expressed utter confidence that God would defend his cause. Further, no one but God Himself could have served as a mediator in Job's case. The word "redeemer" has the meaning of a kinsman redeemer or a relative who would pay off financial expenses out of his own pocket. Job's faith was based on good judgment as to the character of God. His hope for justice in another world was assured.

        The subsequent verse was included here and analyzed to provide further insight:

        "And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God." (Job 19:26)

        Job believed in some concept of a bodily resurrection. As stated before, he was fully expecting his life to expire. Therefore, he was thinking of God's ultimate justice while undergoing pain, distress, and false accusations by people that he thought to be his friends. That his body would be destroyed did not diminish his hope that he would see God. Job expected to see Him while separated from his flesh. The King James Version inserts the word "worms" after "skin," perhaps to convey the idea of physical death and decay. It is absent from the Hebrew text.

        The third verse being examined comes from the New Testament and is cited as follows:

        "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)

        The Apostle Paul, coming from a Jewish background, affirmed the teaching that only one God exists. Jesus Christ is the only one who stands between God and us to plead our case. He enables the guilty to be reconciled to God. He has established the terms by which that can happen. God, in His mercy, extends an offer of salvation to every man (1 Timothy 2:4). Christ died for the sins of us all, but the benefits conferred are appropriated only to those who believe. We are saved and then grow in the knowledge of divine truth. That is the means of preventing people from being deceived by false teachers (1 Timothy 1:3-4). Job himself yearned for a mediator (Job 9:33), which has been answered in the person of Jesus Christ.

        "who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:6)

        This text emphasizes the universal scope of God's plan of redemption. Jesus Christ offered Himself up as a sacrifice in order that we might be set free from sin. His atonement has the power to save the entire human race, but only those who receive the gospel by faith are saved. It is correct practice to pray for the conversion of everyone, since Christ died for them. The way of salvation has been provided for us through Him. It is the will of God that the gospel be preached to all men. He took great pains to bring about our redemption. If God were just one amongst many other gods, then He might be concerned only with the salvation of His own followers. But there is only one who exists, so His concern extends to the unbelieving and rebellious world.

        Jesus Christ is our advocate who paid the penalty for our sins. Our debt is not a financial one, but a spiritual one that needed to be settled by Him on the cross. The redeemer figure that Job longed for was ultimately fulfilled in Christ. Job's redeemer represented hope and vindication, yet Christ fills in those roles perfectly. We have greater cause to have hope in light of the gospel. Job's expectation of a redeemer fits with Paul's teaching that Christ voluntarily released us from sin and death. Job's expectation of a redeemer who will "stand at last on the earth" is analogous to the Apostle Paul's saying that Christ's atonement would be "testified in due time" (1 Timothy 2:6). Both Job 19:25 and 1 Timothy 2:5 emphasize God's redemptive plan through a mediator. In Job's context, the redeemer is anticipated. In Paul's context, the theme of a redeemer is fulfilled. Jesus Christ is both our ransom and mediator.

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