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Insight #9 November 26, 2016
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FOURTH QUARTER 2016 ADULT SABBATH SCHOOL LESSONS
"INTimATIONS OF HOPE"

NOVEMBER 26, 2016
In this week’s lesson, Job’s response to his 3 friends continues, and in Job 13:15 we see that despite everything that has occurred, Job’s hope in his God and his Redeemer remains unshakeable: “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him”.  Though Job may question his own existence he does not question God’s justice or His character.  He does not understand the cosmic conflict that is taking place which the whole universe is watching with great interest because Satan is indeed questioning God’s character, His righteousness and His unconditional agape love for the whole human race including Job.
 
So in the face of Job’s suffering, where does Job’s hope come from and why does he still have it when his friends and even his wife are not only not supporting him but even condemning him?  We might well learn from Job since his source of hope is our source of hope as we face trials and tribulations in our lives, particularly in these final days of Earth’s history as we face “great distress, unequalled since the beginning of the world until now” Matt. 24:21.
 
A.T. Jones’ article on Christ and the Resurrection (ATJ,BEST.1892), gives us insight on Job’s hope as we realize that it is the same hope that Daniel, Moses, and all the prophets and apostles had in the resurrection and the coming of the Lord:
 
“Therefore it is plainly proved that the hope which God has set before us in Christ and His blessed gospel, is the hope of the resurrection from the dead unto everlasting life and eternal glory. And as this resurrection all depends upon the glorious appearing of our Saviour, therefore the second coming of our Saviour is inseparably connected with this, the Christian's "blessed hope." Thus saith the Lord, "The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:11-13. {December 1, 1892 ATJ, BEST 356.2}
 
This is that for which Job looked. He says, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come." Job 14:14. This change is at the resurrection; for Paul says, "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." 1 Cor. 15:51, 52. Again says Job, "If I wait, the grave is mine house; I have made my bed in the darkness. . . . And where is now my hope?" Chap. 17:13-15. Here it is: "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold and not a stranger. My reins within me are consumed with earnest desire for that day." Chap. 19:25-27, margin. {December 1, 1892 ATJ, BEST 356.3}
 
Time and space would fail us to quote the words of this hope, expressed by David, and Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and Daniel, and Hosea, and Micah, and all the prophets and apostles. We can only cite again the words that this is the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers, unto which promise we instantly serving God day and night hope to come. Why should it be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead? The righteous dead shall live again at the coming of the Lord, and therefore we look at anxiously wait for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus. Like faithful Job, our reins within us are consumed with earnest desire for that glorious day. And as He assures us, "Surely I come quickly," our hearts reply, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." {December 1, 1892 ATJ, BEST 356.4}
 
Similarly, E.J. Waggoner wrote on The Hope of the Promise (PTUK, 1890), where we see that Paul’s hope was the same as that of Abraham and Job who found comfort in the fact that his Redeemer lived and should stand in the latter day upon the earth and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed:
 
“Now put these facts with Paul's statement that he stood and was judged for the hope of the promise made of God to the fathers, and it is as plain as language can make it that the promise to the fathers that through Christ they should have a resurrection from the dead, and should by that means enter upon their inheritance. Paul looked forward to the fulfillment of the promise with as ardent hope and as steadfast faith as did Abraham, and it was this that he had in mind when he said that, "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:12, 13. {February 27, 1890 EJW, PTUK 74.2}
 
This has been the hope of the church in all ages. But in the midst of his deep affliction, the patriarch Job found comfort in the knowledge that his Redeemer lived and should stand in the latter day upon the earth, and that although worms might devour his body, nevertheless in his flesh he should see God. Job 19:23-27. Again, after speaking of the certainty of death and decay, he asked, "If a man die, shall he live again?" and at once answered his own question, saying, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands." Job 14:14, 15. What this change will be, and when it will take place, we are told by the apostle Paul in the following language: "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. . . . Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1 Cor. 15:51-55. {February 27, 1890 EJW, PTUK 74.3}
  
Job’s hope and that of the Old Testament patriarchs was based on an unshakeable faith in their Redeemer.  Through the sanctuary services, the ten commandments and the old testament scriptures, they knew in whom they believed and could look forward to Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for them as Savior of the world.  Christ used these same scriptures as well to show the apostles the depth of His (and the Father’s) infinite agape love and sacrifice for them and for the world. Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world!
 
As we dwell on and appreciate this sacrifice providing a free gift of salvation for all, our belief changes hearts and through Christ and in Christ we have a righteousness by faith - with both His righteousness and His faith being part of and a result of that free gift.  Thus, it is neither our righteousness nor our faith that we can depend on but, in Christ, we can be covered with His robe of righteousness and rely on the faith of Jesus. 
 
The most precious message brought to us by Waggoner and Jones was needed to refocus God’s last day people on these fundamental truths from scripture representing as EGW says (TM92-98) the everlasting gospel and the third angel’s message in verity which is to be proclaimed to the world with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.
 
With our hearts and minds on Christ and Him crucified along with the new light this message has for God’s last day people, we will at last be unified in truth and the Groom will be able to take His bride home.
 
~John and Monica Campbell