Day 008: Standing on the Dust (Job 17-20)

“But I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the end he will stand on the dust. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh.” (Job 19:25, CSB)

Usually when I read Job 19:25, I hear Handel’s Messiah in my head, and I’m filled with hope and confidence that one day Jesus will return and stand in the latter day upon the earth. But I noticed something different this morning that took me in a different, but no less hopeful, direction:

There is an alternate translation to “upon the earth” that the CSB picks up on and no other English translation: “and at the end He will stand on the dust.”

The Hebrew is ha ‘aphar. It means dust, dry earth. It’s what God made Adam out of in Genesis 2. When God pronounced judgment on Adam after the Fall, He said, “Dust thou art and to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3:19). Ha ‘aphar.

So here’s Job, in so much pain that he is ready to die and return to dust. And he says “in the end, my Redeemer will stand on the dust. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”

There’s a different word for “the earth.” It’s ha ‘erets, and that’s the word that refers either to land or to the planet Earth. In the beginning God created the heavens and ha ‘erets (the earth). ” (Fun Fact: if you go to Israel, you can pick up a copy of the National Israeli newspaper, Ha”Erets).

So, I don’t know that Job 19:25 is necessarily looking toward the end of all time and the return of Jesus. I think its closer to home than that. Job knows that when he returns to dust, God will be standing with him, among the dust of his earthly life, and Job will see God in his flesh.

And there’s one more beautiful nuance in verse 26, when Job says, “Even after my skin is destroyed I will behold God in my flesh.” “Skin” and “flesh”are two different words in Hebrew. Skin is the physical stuff. It’s Job’s hide. But “flesh” is Job’s person. It’s Job’s self. It’s Job as he essentially is.

So when our hide goes back to dust, God will be standing with us, and we will see Him. We will experience God in our flesh—at the core of who we essentially are. Wow.

Praise God that I don’t have to wait until the end of history to see God standing on the earth. In my darkest days, when my flesh is failing, when the world is crumbling to dust around me, I will see my Redeemer, standing on the dust, saying to me with all that He is, “Your Redeemer lives.”

“And my precious child, you live also.

“Rise.”

Read the Bible Through in 2018

rtb

I serve as lead pastor at Glynwood Baptist Church. This past week, as part of our teaching series “For Unto Us,” we talked about Jesus as our Wonderful Counselor. We talked about how a counselor provides clarity, offers comfort, and issues a challenge to the one being counseled. If you’d like to listen to the sermon, you can click here.

As Christians, we believe God does that through His Word. In the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, God clearly communicates His truth to His people.

And in 2018, we are challenging every member of Glynwood to read the Bible all the way through.

There are a lot of great Bible reading plans out there that can help you accomplish this goal. You can follow this link to download four different reading plans available from LifeWay. Find the plan that’s right for you

rgsOn Sunday nights in 2018, I will be following George Guthrie’s Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible in my teaching. The sermon will come from one of the passages you’ve read that week. We have copies of this Bible for sale at the church for $14, as well as a number of other devotional Bibles in different styles and translations. If you would like to order one, please contact the church office.

If you would like to join us in this challenge, just give us your name and email address, and you’ll be signed up. We will send you regular encouragements and study helps to help keep you on track throughout the year.
Let me also encourage you to download YouVersion, which is a free Bible reading app available for both the iPhone and Android devices. You Version has dozens of different plans available. My favorite feature of You Version is the ability to listen to the Bible being read. This literally revolutionized my daily commute when I was living in Nashville and was spending over an hour every day stuck in traffic!

Another cool feature of YouVersion is their “Live Events” section. This allows you to follow along with the message outline every Sunday from your smartphone. Just type in the church’s ZIP code (36066), select Glynwood, and the sermon is right there. Click here to see what it looks like.

Whether you use one of the online tools or not, I pray you will join us for this journey! So many people seek to get a word from the Lord without spending time in the Word of the Lord. It doesn’t work that way! Commit to spending time in His Word daily. You life will never be the same!

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