The Book of Job continues the biblical story of redemption, and helps us better understand how God helps his people through suffering. It challenges some poorly constructed theology of the past, and anticipates a great future hope. This hope sustains Job’s through his bleak circumstances, even though his grasp upon it is tenuous. By chapter 16 Job surmises that he needs someone to defend his case before God:
“Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for me is on high. My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God, that he would argue the case of a man with God, as a son of man does with his neighbour. (16:19–21)”
Ultimately, Job knows he must trust in his Redeemer God to faithfully judge and restore him in the afterlife:
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. (19:25–27)”
Job does not find comfort in the counsel of his friends, but is buoyed by the hope of a heavenly Counsellor and ultimate Redeemer. It is a good lesson for us as we seek comfort for ourselves or others: there is no true comfort outside of the person and work of Christ. There is no answer for suffering, innocent or otherwise, until we see the innocent suffering Son of God’s sacrificial death on the cross; and there is no hope for restoration until we see the resurrected Son’s empty tomb. What Job saw as the shadow of hope, on this side of the cross we see as our sure and living hope!