Monday, June 25, 2018

I shall see God

I've been emailing with a friend about resurrection, so I've been thinking a lot about Job 19:25–27.

It's striking that Job says he will one day see God (Job 19:26), and evidently he expects God to stand on the earth. Now, it's try that Job's Redeemer is come, and has stood on the earth. But Job had been dead at least a thousand years at that point; so this can't have been the time that Job was expecting. So Job was looking forward to an event that still hasn't happened.

Job says that even if his flesh and his skin rot away, he will still see God with his own eyes. And he repeats it as though to emphasize it: it will be with his own eyes, and not another.

This is a problematic verse for me, because I have trouble with his insistence that it will be with his own eyes that he will see God. The thing is, Job 19:27 insists that resurrection isn't hypothetical. It's intensely earthy, because it means that resurrection is about the body I have now. Indeed, Job says it will my own two eyes that see God. I'm sure they won't be using bifocals then, but they won't be new eyes: they'll be my own two eyes.

I realized a few years ago that we're not looking for new bodies, but changed ones. I'm embarrassed by how big a realization that was.

So what about us? Are we looking forward to seeing our Redeemer stand on the earth? I know dispensationalists like to say our hope is the Lord returning for us, and of course that's correct. But that's really only the first step. There's more: we look for the Lord to be manifested (Colossians 3:4). And ultimately, we're looking for a new Heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13). So we shouldn't get too myopic about our hope. We do hope for Christ to come and get us, that doesn't lessen at all our desire to look out of our changed (not new – 1 Corinthians 15:51) eyes and see the Last standing upon the earth.

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