"I Know that My Redeemer Lives"


            Ever since I was at child at Atlas Church of Christ, I can remember hearing brother Elmer Harris leading the congregation in the song “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”.  I have always understood that to mean that my Redeemer, Jesus, the one who paid my debt with His blood, has been risen from the dead and is still alive today.  The song implies that it is this Redeemer (Jesus), who offers to us eternal life.  Although those statements are all good and correct, this statement by Job in 19.25 may offer a lot more insight. The Hebrew word is “gaal” and it was the name given to the next of kin whose duty it was to redeem, ransom, someone who buys back or avenges one who had fallen into debt or bondage, or had been slain in a family feud.  It also is implied that this “redeemer” is usually a close relative. In Ruth, for instance, the “gaal” is he who must marry the widow of his relative, and to continue his name. Job is stating that He (God, as His Redeemer) will avenge him of his so-called friends and grant him vindication (Psalm 35:1). He will vindicate him before men and before God Himself; He will do for him what none of his professed friends would undertake to do.  Today we face some of the same types of struggles (maybe not to that extent) that Job did.  We need vindication; we need someone to step up and “redeem us”.  We need someone to “buy us back”.  We need someone who is close enough to us, that loves us so much that they are willing to “avenge us” from the bondage and the debt that we have because of our sin.  Just as in the case of Job, that person is not found among those who live on this earth; but rather in the one that is closer to us than anyone else, our Creator.  


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