Hope is defined as, “To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future” (Bakers Evangelical Dictionary). In the 11th chapter of the letter to the Hebrews the writer list for us several of the “heroes of faith” who had this hope.
But perhaps there is one not mentioned in this list. I am sure we have all read the story of Job. While not being listed specifically in the Hebrew letter, Job stands out in the Bible as one who hoped in the Lord. He says, “Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! That with an iron stylus and lead They were engraved in the rock forever! As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, …” (Job 19:23-26).
As we start looking at the thought expressed by Job, it is necessary weunderstand Job was a man who respected God (Job 1:1). And a man who was secularly successful at the same time (Job 1:3). But, as we continue our reading, we find that Job catastrophically lost everything, including his health. Yet, the one thing he did not lose was his trust in God. Job earnestly desired that the consolation with which he was comforted based on this hope would be realized by many others as well.
Job’s hope and confidence was three-fold: (1) Job was confident that the Redeemer lives; (2) he also fully expected the Messiah would someday appear to rescue his and other souls; and (3) Job was hopeful and confident regarding the general resurrection in which he would participate.
These are ideas and convictions that encouraged Job in the face of adversity and served as the basis of his hope. In the same way children of God today who find themselves greatly afflicted or facing death can find consolation through the same hope. Certainly, for the rest of us who are relatively free from great trials, can, through this same hope find sufficient strength to satisfactorily cope with daily affairs.
The Redeemer of whom Job spoke is the Christ (Savior, Messiah) whose function and certain ministry on earth was first intimated in Genesis 3:15. The fact that our Redeemer lives is the foundation of our hope; if our God were dead, as some declare, we could have no hope. Job had sure hope based on the resurrection long before Christ walked the earth or was crucified and resurrected. Because we can look backward, we see so much more clearly than Job and yet he harbored great hope–the same hope.
Unlike idolaters whose worship pertains to dead gods fashioned from stone, wood, metal and the imaginations of men, Christians have a living Savior. Our Great Prophet is alive, whereas Moslems revere a dead (buried) prophet. Jews reject the Christ and have no Savior (Redeemer). Only Christians have a living Savior–who resides in heaven at the right hand of God (Acts 1:9-10; 7:55-56).
The 2nd coming of Jesus Christ is the hope of God’s saints both in the Old and New Testament. Our eternity depends on it. As important as the 1st coming of the Christ is it would be meaningless were Jesus not to come again; the 2nd coming. The 2nd coming of the Lord is the fundamental hope of Christians (1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and the dreadful fear of the ungodly (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
The time when all shall be resurrected is yet to be realized (John 5:28-29). Our hope for eternity rests on our resurrection from the grave; we know we shall be resurrected because the resurrection of Christ guarantees our resurrection. Without such all would be hopeless (1 Corinthians 15:19).
We have a common hope with Job and God’s people of all dispensations: (1) our Redeemer lives; (2) our Redeemer is coming for us; and (3) our Redeemer will resurrect us.
Job desired that his hopes might be recorded in a book or engraved in stone so that others might develop the same kind of hope and become beneficiaries of the same consolations. His words, though, are immortalized in the eternal volume, the Bible, for all to see.