From the Redeemer’s appearance upon earth, Job infers the restoration and resurrection of his own body. His trials had been great—bereaved of his children and substance, afflicted with grievous boils, harassed with temptations, reproached by his friends: out of all these troubles the Lord his Redeemer delivered him, and his latter days were more prosperous than his beginning. But he knew that he must go the way of all the earth—that his body must lie in the grave and return to dust. But he expected a future time after his dissolution, when in the flesh, for himself, and with his own eyes, he should see God. The expressions are strong and repeated. He does not speak the language of hesitation and doubt, but of confidence and certainty. It likewise appears that he placed his ultimate happiness in seeing God. His words are not very different from those of the apostle, “When he” shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall “see him as he is.”
Some foretastes of it these ancient saints enjoyed in the present life, which cheered them under their trials, and raised them above the groveling pursuits of those who have their portion only in this world. But their chief possession was in hope. They looked forward to a brighter period, when they would awaken from the sleep of death, “to behold his face in righteousness.” The expectation of Job, therefore, affords a sufficient proof that the doctrines of an immortal state, and of a resurrection unto life, were included in the revelations which God afforded to His people in the earliest times; and, consequently, that the religion of the Old Testament and of the New is substantially the same.
The great inquiry this subject should impress upon us, is, Are we thus minded? What think you, my dear friends, of Christ? Have you accepted him as your Redeemer? And have you a good hope that you shall see Him to your comfort, when He shall return to judge the world? If so, you may rejoice. Changes you must expect. You must die, and your flesh must be food for worms. But He has promised to ”change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty power whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.”
“Our interest in the Redeemer is a thing that may be known; and, where it is known, it may be triumphed in, as sufficient to balance all our griefs.”—Matthew Henry
Adapted from John Newton (Works; 4:446)