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In My Flesh Shall I See God

- Job 19: 26 -

 

All Scripture citations are to the King James (Authorised) Version unless noted otherwise.

 

Q In the book of Job, the prophet says (19: 25-27):

 

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins [innards] be consumed within me.

 

What, then, can he mean by ‘yet in my flesh shall I see God’?

 

A This text forms one of the most beautiful and poignant parts of Charles Jennings’ libretto for Handel’s oratorio, Messiah, testifying to a profound truth regarding the resurrection.

 

Job is anticipating the coming kingdom of Christ over the earth and the general awakening at the ‘latter day’: ‘As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD’ (Num. 14: 21).

 

Habakkuk tells us that ‘the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (2: 14). This implies the inauguration of a vast educational programme, designed to bring every person to a full knowledge of the only means of salvation to eternal life.

 

Salvation Only Through Christ

Concerning Jesus, the Apostle Peter declared to the rulers of Israel, ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (Acts 4: 12). Only through Jesus can humanity’s communion with God be restored. If God desires the reconciliation of the sinner to Himself, with no coercion, but with full regard to inherent free will, then all must be brought to understand the eternal issues at stake and be equipped to make an informed decision under full light and knowledge.

 

No mere intellectual acceptance of Jesus’ power and authority will suffice: complete and heartfelt surrender of self to the godly principles of truth and righteousness will be the only path to life everlasting. Only a repudiation of all that is not in harmony with the Divine will, and the cultivation of all that is good in the human psyche – ‘built in’ one might say, at the time of Adam’s creation – will uplift the human race to its place in God’s wider plans and purposes.

 

‘Seeing God’

This root-and-branch reformation of heart and mind cannot be instantaneous. There must needs be a process of development and experience under the Kingdom arrangements. From the crooked and bowed condition under the curse of death, the human family will experience a process of resurrection, literally a ‘standing up again’, to the full glory of perfect human nature.

 

Restored in due time to the image and likeness of their Creator – as Adam was (Gen. 1: 26, 27)in the words of the Psalmist all will be crowned with glory and honour (Psa. 8: 4-6). Of course, human eyes cannot actually see God. Nonetheless, the “glory of the Lord” shall be revealed in restored humanity – in themselves, specimens of human perfection. Thus, in their own flesh they (and Job) ‘see God’.

 

The evidence is compelling that when it is revealed to the world, the glory of the LORD will so enkindle reverence and adoration for their Maker that the great majority will respond gladly to the invitation to enter into the never-ending “ages of glory” which will follow.

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