The “In My Father’s Footsteps” devotions will return in September of 2019. Enjoy this devotion from the archives!
This devotion was originally published in the middle of Lent 2017.
Here in the middle of Lent we get to the most “Easter” sounding phrase in the entire Book of Job. We will revisit this Easter phrase on … well, you guessed it … Easter!
But it comes practically in the middle of the Book of Job and gives us the first glimpse into the hope of Job.
Amidst all the black despair and death Job has dealt with, he never, ever, loses his hope in his ever-living Redeemer, God Almighty!
That’s a powerful lesson for us. Never, ever, give up hope. No matter how bad things get, you have a Redeemer who lives!
Samuel Medley went through some pretty rough times himself.
He was the son of a teacher but his early education was by his grandfather. Samuel was born in a time when English boys who were not royalty or aristocracy would be “apprenticed” to gain education and a career.
Being an “apprentice” was little better than being an indentured servant or even a slave. Samuel was apprenticed to an oil-man in London who sold lamp oil and paraffin.
Samuel was never interested in this for a career and finally figured out how to get out of this situation after three years. He gained his freedom by enlisting in the Royal Navy.
Four years into his enlistment, he was severely wounded at the battle of Annus Mirabilis of 1759. (Ironically, a young slave named Olaudah Equiano also participated in the battle on the side of England. He would go on to win his freedom and, along with John Newton, would influence William Wilberforce in ending slavery in England.)
Severely wounded, with no prospects for a career, life was as bleak as could be for Samuel.
He was sent back to England to recover. He didn’t know what his future held, or even if he had a future. Then, he happened to pick up one of Isaac Watts’ published sermons.
The great hymn writer and preacher led Samuel to hearing about Jesus Christ and this forever changed Samuel’s life.
It would also touch our lives as well, for Samuel went on to become a preacher and hymn writer himself, eventually penning the words to the hymn “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”
This hymn contains the phrase from the Book of Job. The rest is all pure Easter Gospel!
I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever living Head.
He lives to bless me with His love,
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed,
He lives to help in time of need.
He lives triumphant from the grave,
He lives eternally to save,
He lives all glorious in the sky,
He lives exalted
there on high….
When your Redeemer lives, you will live! There is a plan and purpose for your life in this world and, of course, eternal life awaits you in heaven.
This life may get dark, bleak, downright awful.
But when your Redeemer lives, there is always hope, always purpose, and always light at the end!
Heavenly Father, through your Word I know that my Redeemer lives, and that I will live also! Please give me your Holy Spirit that I may live a life in all glory to your name alone; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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