Few authors can speak from the school of divine experience better then J.C. Philpot and Silas Durand.
“For I know that my Redeemer liveth.”
Here is that faith which distinguishes the saints from the world and sustains them through every possible trial and temptation, and by which they live the life that they now live in the flesh (Galatians 2:20). Job has described his suffering condition as the most pitiable that we can imagine a poor soul to be in; not only forsaken of all earthly friends, deprived of all earthly comfort, suffering the most excruciating anguish of body and mind, and full of corruption, but with the great and holy God, whom he feared and delighted to serve, apparently turned to be his enemy, and justly bearing him down with his great anger into the awful chasm of nothingness. Yet, in the midst of all this accumulation of horrors, in the midst of this great darkness and desolation of soul, he gives utterance to these words of strong confidence, that rise from the darkness like a great gleam of unfading light–words that can spring only from “the faith of the Son of God,” of Him who went without fear into the awful darkness and great deeps of death, knowing that he should be brought up again by the glory of the Father and be raised up on high. That faith is in all the saints, but is not known by the natural mind. It looks to things far beyond the reach of mortal sight, enters into that within the veil, lays hold upon the unfading inheritance, and dwells in the glorious light that falls from the throne of God. By that faith Abel saw the glorious work of redemption all complete, saw the word of God for ever settled in heaven, and received the joys of salvation, as all this shall be presented to the faith of the last saint that shall be gathered in.
Job in this place speaks for every child of God in all ages, for it is the same faith that is in them all. He may be regarded as representing in an especial manner the Church under the legal dispensation – not the Jewish Church or nation of Israel, but the true Israelites among that people who stood by faith. This faith is the same, and grasps the same perfection in Christ, whether in those who lived before he came in the flesh or in those who are on the earth now; and so, while we regard Job as especially representing those under the legal dispensation who truly hoped in the Redeemer, and who looked forward to the time when, according to promise, he should stand in the latter day upon the earth, yet we who live in the latter day can answer to all his struggles and to the triumphs of his faith.
How well his condition represents that of those who have been thoroughly measured by the law and found wanting, which. is the case with all the people of God experimentally! No righteousness that can answer its just demands; no strength to work its holy requirements; no wisdom to direct according to its perfect rule; no offering to make as an atonement for the violence we have done its infinitely holy and just and good provisions; but feeble, helpless, foolish, vile, and full of corruption, we lie under its curse, with all earthly comfort and satisfaction taken from us, all the sweetness even of earth’s pleasures turned to bitterness in our taste–our glory gone like a dream, our hope removed like a tree. Yet from this lowest place of darkness, when all earthly confidence has failed, and when all human wisdom would fail to see any possible ground for hope in that desperate condition, faith rises in sublime confidence and strength and lifts up her glorious words on high – I know that my Redeemer liveth.
From whom was this glorious knowledge received? For it is not within the grasp of mortal powers, and therefore could not be taught by man. Flesh and blood hath not revealed this, but the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is in heaven (Matthew 16:17). Now, as fully as before our Redeemer came in the flesh, is this heavenly knowledge hidden from the natural mind, but God hath revealed it unto us by his Spirit (I Corinthians 2:10). That faith which is the gift of God beheld the Redeemer of his people before he came in the flesh. How that redemption should be effected, and what the great joys were it should bring, were not for the saints yet to know. Should the full joys of salvation be now bestowed upon us in this mortal state, what should we have to look forward to? “What a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it (Romans 8:25).” Here is the patience of Job. “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints,” that in the midst of all their sorrows, notwithstanding all their vileness, with all appearances against them, they will still hope; they must still hope; earth and hell cannot prevent their hopefully looking up and saying by faith, even in the midst of most painful doubts and fears with which the world, the flesh and the devil harass them “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” They must mourn yet, and suffer and complain under a sense of sins and errors, and have their frequent wanderings opposed by Satan to their hope; but they shall be preserved through all, and in their patience shall possess their souls, and finally rise triumphant over all, to the shame and everlasting contempt of their enemy, and to the glory of Him “who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Trial of Job