‘For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.’ Job 19:25–26
Suggested Further Reading: Ruth 3:1–4:10
The word ‘redeemer’ here used, is in the original ‘goel’—kinsman. The duty of the kinsman, or goel, was this: suppose an Israelite had alienated his estate, as in the case of Naomi and Ruth; suppose a patrimony which had belonged to a family, had passed away through poverty, it was the goel’s business, the redeemer’s business to pay the price as the next of kin, and to buy back the heritage. Boaz stood in that relation to Ruth. Now, the body may be looked upon as the heritage of the soul—the soul’s little farm, that little plot of earth in which the soul has been wont to walk and delight, as a man walks in his garden or dwells in his house. Now, that becomes alienated. Death, like Ahab, takes away the vineyard from us who are as Naboth; we lose our patrimonial estate; death sends his troops to take our vineyard and to spoil the vines thereof and ruin it. But we turn round to death and say, ‘I know that my Goel liveth, and he will redeem this heritage; I have lost it; thou takest it from me lawfully, O death, because my sin hath forfeited my right; I have lost my heritage through my own offence, and through that of my first parent Adam; but there lives one who will buy this back.’ Brethren, Job could say this of Christ long before he had descended upon earth, ‘I know that my redeemer liveth;’ and now that he has ascended up on high, and led captivity captive, surely we may with double emphasis say, ‘I know that my Goel, my Kinsman liveth, and that he hath paid the price, that I should have back my patrimony, so that in my flesh I shall see God.’
For meditation: The Christian can correctly view redemption as something past (Galatians 3:13) and present (Ephesians 1:7); but to stop at the redemption of the soul is to ignore the last vital chapter of the story. We still await the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30) and the actual redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23).
Sermon no. 504
4 April (Preached 12 April 1863)