In chapter 18, Bildad comes at Job once more, and tells him that wicked people will suffer all sorts of calamities here on earth and in the afterlife, with the implication that Job is obviously guilty of some sort of wickedness since he is in such a bad state.
Job’s answer is heartbreaking. These are supposed to be his friends, and yet they insist on tormenting and crushing him with their words, when they should take pity on him and speak words of comfort. Job tells them that if he had done something wrong by mistake, it is up to God to deal with him.
And he says that not only have these friends mistreated him, but everyone, even his own wife has turned from him. But even in his deep despair, Job says, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives!”
As David said in the 23rd Psalm, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me…”
Job does not know why he is going through this trial, and he has no way of knowing how or when it will end, but he has not lost faith in God.
Listen, God is always with the faithful. We live in a world that is suffering the effects of sin. Cause and effect. And the effects of sin go out like the ripples on a pond. The ripples spread out in all directions, and everything in their path feel their effect. It is not just bad people who feel the consequences of sin, everyone does.
What makes this reality bearable is knowing that God is real, and He can and does take the worst circumstances and turn them into something exceptionally good. In Job’s case, his season of suffering has taught untold generations that holding on to faith makes all the difference, and that just because you are suffering does not mean that God is not there or that God is mad at you.
God is NOT mad at you, whoever you are. God loves you and he wants you to know that. He wants to have a relationship with you, and He has done all the work to make that happen, through His son, Jesus. Job said even before the Messiah had come that he knew that his Redeemer lived. He said that because of his faith. We know now who that Redeemer is. It is Jesus, the Redeemer of anyone who will call on him and put their trust in Him.