“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” vss. 25-26
Job’s story resonates with anyone seeking to understand the mystery of suffering. Job has done nothing wrong and has lost everything: possessions, wife, family, even his health and reputation–and to top it off his friends imply that surely he has done something to deserve his fate. Job resists and in this section abandons his desire for justice–he wants revenge! The word “Redeemer” here refers to the “avenger of blood,” the person charged with responsibility for avenging murder victims. Job is clinging to the hope that at the last the one who has inflicted his suffering will be made to pay for it–even if the perpetrator is God! At some level, those of us who have known deep suffering understand what Job is up to. The lust for revenge is always at hand! The good news of the gospel gives us another perspective–suffering is still at hand, but we now see Jesus as the Redeemer in another sense. He too was a victim of injustice, but at the end he looked at his enemies and offered them forgiveness. It’s never easy to understand why undeserved suffering afflicts so many in our world–and it’s particularly difficult when it comes close to us and those we love. In those moments it is good to know that our Redeemer does indeed live–and that forgiveness is even sweeter than revenge.
Thought for the Day: In what circumstances have I sought revenge?