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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Amish buggy heading into city 9/8/13
Driving into Lancaster city this last weekend we passed this young Amish co
uple out for a Sunday drive. We normally see the Amish out in the rural areas.

"That Which We Know"

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"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth" (Job 19:25).

Today's date, 9/11,
will always bring a distinct memory, especially for those of us who live in America. Today we remember the terrorist attacks from 12 years ago and consider the many thousands for whom this date will bring very personal pain-filled memories; the family and friends of those murdered that day in New York, Washington and in a Pennsylvania field.

And, of course, there are also those who escaped the horrific terrorist attack but have lasting injuries; some who will carry the emotional scars and physical wounds for the rest of their lives.

In a broader sense we call to mind the evil that abounds in our world due to the rejection of God's Messenger of peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Redeemer for the fallen human race.

There are scores of "why" questions concerning that day and so much else about life. We can be crippled by these questions but it is wise to acknowledge there is much that we will not know or understand until we get to the other side.

Today let us focus on that which we do know. Like Job we can declare with confidence
"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth."

This Scripture text is one of the greatest statements of faith and assurance in the entire Bible. Most Bible students place Job historically in the time of the patriarchs. Thus he had absolutely none of the written revelation of the Bible as we know it.  He had lost his children, possessions and health. He had endured several discussions with his "friends" which essentially sum up the false or skewed philosophies of this world. He sure didn't get any support or encouragement from his nagging wife.

Throughout the nineteenth chapter Job recounts his afflictions and they are certainly dreadful on a personal level.  Physically, socially, financially; he really came upon tough times!  He sums up his troubles with the descriptive phrase, "I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth" (19:20).

Yet Job kept his faith and makes the great affirmation of today's text. He does so without the benefit of Romans 8:28 and so many other Scriptures of assurance, encouragement and hope that we know and love in our Bible.

Let us examine two sections in the text.:

"I know that my Redeemer lives."

May you be refreshed by several specific "I (or we) know..." statements in Scripture:
  • "We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
  • "I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me" (2 Timothy 1:12).
  • "We know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1).
  • "We know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).
  • "We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20).
This appears to be the first chronological reference to God as Redeemer in the entire Bible. Job was confident that His Redeemer lives. What a joy to have that same confidence today!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know, He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives

"And that in the end He will stand upon the earth." Job made this declaration right in the midst of his sufferings. He didn't know his personal outcome but he was confident that in the end God would prevail. Likewise that is an assurance we may all have as well.

What an example Job is to us. He is recognized years later by the prophet Ezekiel as an example of righteousness, along with Noah and Daniel (Ezekiel 14:20). James refers to him as an example of perseverance: "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy" (James 5:11).

Today, in the midst of your "why" questions we encourage you to make Job's affirmation of faith your own. What a tremendous peace comes, when regardless of our personal questions and circumstances by faith we declare, "I know that my redeemer lives!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we solemnly consider the catastrophic impact that terrorists have permanently etched in our painful memories from the events of 9/11/01. Though we witnessed mayhem and saw evil at its worst, mercifully, we also witnessed acts of goodness at their best.  We pray today for those who follow you who this very day are dealing with persecution especially those in the Middle East. Fill their hearts with assurance and hope. We are not without hope, for we know that You are a God of hope that fills believers with all joy and peace as they trust in You, so that they may overflow with hope by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Our declaration today is the very same as Job's, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth." In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Cart and pony 9/5/13
A small pony pulls this cart.

Amish open buggy with father and sons 8/17/13
A father out with his sons.

Mennonite pickup 7/31/13
It appears this little Mennonite boy wanted to be included in the conversation between his Mom and Dad. Or maybe he's asking, "Are we almost there?"

Amish buggie with children in Lancaster County PA 7/25/13
We both liked to ride in the back up of pickups as kids so I suppose these children do as well!

Amish buggy hauling plants 5/16/13
A full load!

Tomorrow we will share some old-order harvest photos we took the last couple of weeks.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Because He Lives"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"Sometimes I Cry"  Video  Jason Crabb

"Tears Are A Language That God Understands"  Video  Amy Lambert

"Redeemer"  Video  Crabb Family

Several months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks I received an email from Cheryl McGuiness, the wife of the co-pilot of the first jet that flew into the world trade center. She had been receiving the encouragements and shared how one was especially meaningful to her. She has since had many opportunities to share her testimony: "When Your World Falls Apart". She has also written a book titled "Beauty Beyond the Ashes".  Here's a video presentation. (7.5 minutes)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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