We don't think of Job as being one of the prophets. But there is an instance where we could say Job spoke prophetically. In an outburst of praise Job has this to say:
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. “Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. (Job 19:25–27)
Job's words beautifully picture God the Redeemer, protector of the upright, his kinsman (gō’ēl). Though Job appeared to others as cursed and unloved, he would be vindicated by God before his accusers. Moreover, this declaration of his innocence would be personally and publicly proclaimed on the earth.
In this season of ministry, of special interest to me is Job's theology about his future state of being. He anticipated seeing God with his own eyes, in the flesh...on the earth! Job anticipated that he would die and be raised from the dead to live in the flesh before his God.
This fascinates me because it tells us Job's hope was not in heaven. Job's hope was on earth! Job saw a future day when death was conquered, perfect justice was restored, and unity existed between God and man on the earth. In other words, the future of redeemed man would be earthly.
This significance is hard to enunciate adequately here, but a few things are noteworthy. Job did not believe the goal of spirituality was to escape the earthly. Though his body was wasting away, he did not believe his body was evil. Positively, he did believe God's original creation would be restored. And he believed resurrection was possible.
Sure, our bodies are dying, our nature marred. Yes, the current earth will experience fire. But we are still image of God and God's plan for us and the Creation is one of resurrection and renewal. God wills us to inhabit earthly bodies for eternity (Romans 8:18-25). The glorified body Job speaks of will be perfectly outfitted to move about the earth in, to work the earth in, to inhabit the earth in. And Job, a contemporary of the Patriarchs, knew this to be true!
May we proclaim with Job, the prophet, what is ours to share by faith!
Jonathan L Garland, VPSD