God, Dust and a Tombstone

Bible Book: Job  19 : 1-29
Subject: Life; Death; Eternity; Heaven; Assurance of Salvation

Job 19:1-29

Jenny Lind the famous Swedish singer, who charmed the world and adorned the profession was once asked by a young lady as she sat on the beach, “why did you abandon the public stage at the very height of your success?” Jenny Lind replied, “because my dear every day I was thinking less and less of that,” pointing to the sunset, “and nothing at all of that,” pointing to her Bible. Those who ever heard Jenny Lind sing that solo, “I know that my Redeemer liveth,” will never forget the tone of personal certainty founded on faith with which she uttered those words, “I know.” This was her testimony. Moreover this was Job's testimony. Job has been down to the pits but now he rises to the heights of faith. Its as if Job hears the sound of music from another world. He not only feels crushed, and caught, now all of a sudden he feels confident. Job is expressing a supernatural confidence. This is the highwater mark of Job’s experience. “I know that my Redeemer lives.” What a testimony!

Indeed, he regarded this testimony to be so important that he was anxious to have it everlastingly remembered. Apparently, he refers here to every mode of recording known in his time. First, he sighs that his words might be written. Then unsatisfied by this he says, “Oh that they were printed in a book.” (19:23) Traced upon a roll of papyrus. Then Job goes further for he judges his words to be so important that he wants them “ graven with an iron pen in the rock,” that is he desires his words to be cut deep, with an iron chisel into some imposing rock so that generations to come might behold them and ponder. Yet even this does not suffice this mans deeply stirred soul, His words must be “ lead in the rock forever,” that is the deep incisions made in the rock by the chisel must be filled with lead so that the memorial might be conspicuous and enduring to the remotest reach of the years. You see Job himself was conscious that he was making a profound statement here and he was anxious that his words should be preserved forever.

My, has Job's desire not been fulfilled? For not only have his words been written and written in the greatest of all books, but here and there throughout the land on many a tombstone, on may a wayside pulpit, from many a tree these immortal words of Job still stand, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” Why then are these words of Job so important? Why is Jobs rock-hewn message to posterity so significant? Why? Well I think because these words speak of:

(1) A Personal Certainty

“I know.” There is the note of ringing certitude here. “I know.” But is it a piece of presumption on the part of a Christian to say, “I know?” Is the believer in Christ entitled to use such emphatic language?

The Scientist says, “I know,” and sometimes with very little justification.

The botanist says, “I know.

The gardener says, “I know,” he plants the seed and he says, “I know the flower that I am to see.”

The farmer says, “I know,” he scatters the seed abroad and waits for the harvest.

But can the believer say, “I know?” My, its the man who can say “ I know,” about the things which fundamentally matter who possesses the secret of true peace and joy. Its the man who can say “I know,” about the Lord and ultimate issues, who finds streams in the desert and sings songs in the night. As Paul walks to the executioners block he rests his heart on this grand certainty, “I know whom I have believed .…,” (2 Tim 1:12)

It was the man who could say “I know that my … ” who could also say, “though He slay me yet will I trust in Him.” (13:15)

My, doubt is destructive, speculation is vague, supposition is shifting sand. Certainty alone is solid rock beneath our feet and no wise man will build on anything other than this. “ I know,” Now there many things that Job did not know. There were the:

(a) Mysteries That Baffled Him:

The strange and inexplicable things of life. You see Job had all manner of circumstances with which to contend. In one day Job was stripped of his wealth and ten of his children were killed by a windstorm. (1:19) King Solomon was right when he said, “moreover no man knows when his hour will come, as fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.” (Eccl 9:12) Job knew what it was to pass through evil times. He lost his Home and then he lost his Health (2:7-8) And added to all of this he was Harassed by would be comforters (2:11) who came to sympathise but like other well meaning people today stayed on to sermonise. For Job there were (a) Jobs suffering was so intense that he wished he had never been born. (3:3) Time and again in this book he asks Why? (3:11-12 3:23) Why did I not die at birth? Why is there so much suffering and pain? Why does God not answer my prayer? (19:6) How long have I to live? (7:6) Are these the problems with which you are wrestling? Why should that young beautiful girl be stricken with an incurable disease? Why should the innocent child of devoted parents be born mentally retarded? Why should be millions of people be starving and suffering? Why should a little baby be snatched from its mother? Why does God allow wars and famine? Why did disease take my loved one from me? Why? Why? Why? (a)

(b) The Certainties That Blessed Him:

For from this tempestuous sea of adversity there rises up this solid rock of unshakeable conviction, “I know.”

What did Job know? He knew that he had sought God through the blood of sacrifice. (1:5) He knew that the Redeemer of Mankind was his personally. Job knew in the words of the N.T. that he “ passed from death unto life.” (Jn 5:24) You see we should never let what we do not know disturb our faith in what we do know. We may not yet understand the mysteries of suffering and the presence of evil but the mysteries of life cannot disturb the certainties of our faith. “I know.” Can you say that? So many people when they are confronted with their relationship with Christ, with eternal matters, with heaven and hell can only say, “I think, I assume, I hope so, I imagine, I suppose, I guess, I dare say, but not I know.” What about you? Can you say, “I know?”  Many years ago, there was a story published in the Sunday School Times of U.S.A. which claimed to authentic. It concerned Queen Victoria. Apparently, she was on one occasion attending St. Paul's Cathedral in London and after listening to the message there she asked the chaplain if one could be absolutely sure of eternal salvation. His answer was that he knew of no way that one could be absolutely certain.

Well that story was published in the Court News and it met the eye of one man by the name of John Townsend. After much thought and prayer this godly man took it upon himself to write to Queen Victoria. He pointed out to her in his letter that one can be sure, even now of eternal life through faith in Christ. After he sent the letter he and his friends went to prayer. In two weeks time he received a reply and in that reply Queen Victoria said this, “I believe in the finished work of Christ for me and trust by Gods grace to meet you in that home of which the Saviour said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (Jn 14:3) Queen Victoria knew, Paul knew, Job knew. Can you say, “I know?” These words speak of

A Personal Certainty!

(2) A Present Reality

“I know that my Redeemer liveth.” His manifestation may be yet future but His actual existence as my Redeemer is a Present Reality. At the latter day He shall stand upon the earth, but even now He lives on high and has my cause in hand. You see Christ's Birth at Bethlehem was not His beginning. Before the World had its beginning, the Word had His Being. The World is from the beginning. The Word was in the beginning. Truly could this O.T. saint say, “my Redeemer liveth." Now what do these words mean for us? They mean very simply that we can be:

(a) Saved From Our Sin:

The Hebrew word here translated “redeemer,” is goel which means, “to deliver, to redeem, to buy back, to avenge.” Now according to the Law of Moses, a kinsman had a threefold function depending on the circumstances.

1. In the case of Manslaughter:

He had to act as the avenger of blood. His task was to see it that " whoso sheddeth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” (Gen 9:6) Unless the manslayer fled with all speed to the nearest city of refuge, he had no escape. (Num 35:12 Deut 19:11)

2. In the case of Misfortune:

A kinsman had to watch for the forced sale of his poor relatives property and purchase it so that it could remain in the family. Eventually the property had to be restored to its rightful owner. (Lev Ch 25)

3. In the case of Marriage:

A kinsman had a responsibility to marry his brother’s wife. If she were a childless widow he had to marry her. Children born of this union were to be treated as the brother’s children. (Deut 25:5-10) So you see not everyone could redeem. It had to be a kinsman and a near kinsman at that. Now when Job speaks here of his

Redeemer he is thinking about his Kinsman-Redeemer. What a name for God. Yet it is true to fact. The Lord Jesus entered the Human Family so that we might enter the Heavenly Family. Christ became near of kin to Adams ruined race so that He might have the right to redeem. My, the Son of God became the Son of Man so that the sons of men might become the sons of God.

“Great is the mystery of godliness,” said Paul. “God was manifest in the flesh.” (1 Tim 3:16) “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see.” And this one who Stooped, gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin at Calvary and paid the ransom price in drops of ruby blood and has become my Kinsman, my Redeemer the One who has liberated me from the slave market of sin. But what about you? Are you in captivity this? Are you in bondage to sin? Have you tried to kick the habits of sin but all to no avail?

Do you realise that you are under a power that is greater than your own? Then listen, “Christ breaks the power of cancelled sin He sets the captive free.” “I know that my Redeemer.” Christ identified Himself with us. He became near of kin to us. My, He is also qualified to be our Redeemer because He is Able to redeem us. Our Lord Jesus Christ is rich in mercy, He is rich in love, He is rich in grace. He is very able to redeem. Then He had to be Willing to redeem us. My …. is that now what He said in effect in Gethsemane, “Father, I’m willing to go to the Cross and pay the redemption price.” My …. there is a Savior who is able to save you, who is willing to save you, who is here to save you. “I know that my Redeemer,” then Job adds “liveth.“ That means we can be (a) and:

(b) Freed From Our Fear:

For Job says, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” And surely we who live in the full blaze of the resurrection light can also say the same. My .... the long-anticipated Redeemer has tabernacled among men, has wrought salvation, has defeated the enemy, as conquered death, as brought life and immortality to light through the gospel and has become “ able to save ..... by Him.” (Heb 7:25)

Thank God, the Gospel is not built on a coffin lid. Our ensign bears no skull and bones. “Now is Christ risen.” (1 Cor 15:20) And because He lives I can face to morrow. My …. are you fearful lest you could not live the Christian life? Would you like to know that your sins are forgiven and that you are peace with God? But you're asking, “what about tomorrow?” What about the days to come? The answer is, “Christ lives and He lives to save every day and every hour.” The story is told of a home where everything was going wrong. The Father was out of work. The Mother was very worried and when the eldest son came home every day, he was very cross. Nothing was going right, and the little girl of the family looked on very distressed. One night she got down to say her prayers and she said, “Oh dear God, do take care of Yourself for if anything should happen to You what would happen to us?” But my .... Christ lives. He is alive forevermore and you can reckon on Him every day and every hour. Are you beginning to see why Jobs rock-hewn message to posterity is so significant? Because these words speak of a (1) (2) But,


For Jobs testimony is this, “ I know .... yet in my flesh shall I see God.” (19:25-26) This is faith absolutely victorious. Notice what Job says:

(a) " He shall Stand,”        That’s Vindication:

The Living One who has already been to the earth to Redeem is returning to Reign, to stand up upon the earth, in final vindication of right, and of them that are His true people. You see Job saw something of the glory of that tremendous consummation for which we ourselves also wait with the open page of the N.T. before us. Listen to these words again, “He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” (Zech 14:4)

My …. This is the supreme rule of the Lord Jesus. Did you know that in the course of human history the world has been ordered and controlled by almost every conceivable system of Government?

Autocratic: Government by a dictator

Aristocratic: Government by the best people

Bureaucratic: Government by civil servants

Plutocratic: Government by wealth

Democratic: which Abraham Lincoln defined as, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Now all these systems have been tried and none have produced the ideal human society. Only one kind of government will do that is Christocratic, government by Jesus Christ. For “Jesus shall reign where ere the sun.” Is this not the great fact upon which we ourselves must rest as believers?

We cannot explain the enigmas, the problems, the sufferings, the mysteries of our present lot. Considered by itself this present life often seems bitterly unfair and hopelessly baffling. What can we say about it all? What can we say about the wars that curse the race? The devilish cruelties that are perpetrated. The evils that breathe the fumes of hell across the earth. What can we say about it all? We can say what Job said. We know that there is a Living God on high who is the Sovereign and final Vindicator of righteousness and of the righteous and that in the person of the Lord Jesus He will certainly stand up, upon the earth in a day of judgment and glory which is the goal of Biblical prophecy. Fellow Christian be encouraged, for in that day yet to be He will confess us, vindicate us, and we will reign with Him. “ He shall stand,” that’s Vindication.

(b) “I shall See,” That’s Contemplation:

The words “in my flesh,” mean “from out of my flesh,” Do you see what Job is saying? He is telling us of a coming resurrection which would restore to him in perfected form his decomposed body, so that in his own body with his own eyes he would see God. (1 Cor 15:4)

Oh, blessed anticipation. “I shall see God.” Mind you Job does not say, “I shall see the saints,” though doubtless we shall see them all in heaven. Nor does Job say, “I shall see the pearly gates or the crowns of gold.” But, “I shall see God.” As if that were the sum and substance of heaven. A sight of God - what can we desire better? Likeness to God what can - we wish for more? “Beloved now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear ….” (1 Jn 3:2) “The bride eyes not her garment ….,”

(1) “I know”

(2) “my Redeemer liveth”

(3) “shall see God”

The Lord was Job's Personal Redeemer. Is He yours? Can you put that little word “my,” into the text? Can you say of the Lord Jesus? “He is my Redeemer.”


Years ago at the youth rallies in the Keswick Convention, on the closing night testimonies were called for. One after the other of those young people rose to their feet and gave their testimony as to how Christ had saved and satisfied their soul. For a moment there was a pause and then one girl rose to her feet and the young folk waited to hear what she had to say but she said nothing. After a moment's silence she looked up and said, “I don’t really know why I am on my feet because I have no testimony to give. Could I take Christ as my Saviour now?" One of the preachers said, “Yes you can take Christ as your Saviour now." All the young folk bowed their heads and that girl stood in the midst with her head bowed. Not a word was spoken. Then in the quietness she lifted up her head and said, “May I give my testimony now? I know that my Redeemer liveth."

Old Job says, “Write it in a book, chisel it on my tombstone. I know that my Redeemer liveth.”

Is this your testimony? Can you say you know that Jesus Christ is your personal Saviour? My …. if you can you have something to write in a book. You have something worthwhile to chip on your tombstone. “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” If you do not know you may come to Christ now and from this day forward be assured that He is your Living Redeemer.