When it rains it pours. Have you ever noticed how problems seem to come in bunches? One thing goes wrong, then another, then another. Sometimes it’s simply our perception. When we’re down and frustrated, we tend to notice only the bad. We see only the problems. We throw up our arms in despair and say, “What else can go wrong?”
Sometimes, though, when it rains, it really does pour.
In the case of Job, it was more like a hurricane. In one day, Job lost everything. He lost all of his possessions. His ten children died together in a tragic accident. Job was even struck with a painful, debilitating illness.
The only thing Job had left was his wife who told him to give up, curse God and die. Then his friends came. They told him it was his fault. He must have done something to deserve what was happening to him. God was obviously punishing him.
When it rains it pours.
Yet, in the middle of the storm, as he faced unimaginable pain and loss, as his backstabbing friends attacked his character, Job exclaimed, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25).
In the Old Testament, a redeemer was a close family member or friend who would bail you out or stand up for you in times of trouble. A redeemer would marry the widow of his brother to make sure she was taken care of. A redeemer would pay to set a poor relative free from his slavery. A redeemer would stand up for you in court.
Job knew he had someone who would stand up for him, who would free him from his pains and problems. Job’s Redeemer, however, wasn’t a close family member or friend.
Job’s Redeemer was God himself. God would stand up for him. God would set him free. And Job knew that one day, after his death, he would see his Redeemer God face to face.
Because his Redeemer lived.
Our Redeemer died. To set us free from our slavery to sin and death, he became our close relative, our brother in humanity. He suffered our punishment. He died our death. Jesus died, but he didn’t stay dead.
He lives, and because he lives, we too will live. That was Job’s confidence. That was his sure hope as he faced unspeakable pain and loss. No matter how bad it got, he was going to heaven. No matter how bad it hurt, one day he would be free. Not even death could beat him. Why? Because his Redeemer lived.
Every time I teach Bible Class at our area nursing home, one of the little old ladies interrupts me at least a couple of times, blurting out the words, “Because he lives.” She’s actually quoting her favorite Easter hymn:
Because he lives I can face tomorrow.
Because he lives all fear is gone.
Because I know he holds the future.
Life is worth the living just because he lives.
That was Job’s confidence. That is our confidence as Christians. We can stand firm in the middle of the storm – even as the winds and rain beat against us – knowing they cannot win.
Because he lives.