“I just want people to remember me a hundred years from now,” said screenwriter Rod Serling in 1975. Creator of the TV series The Twilight Zone, Serling wanted people to say of him, “He was a writer.” Most of us can identify with Serling’s desire to leave a legacy—something to give our lives a sense of meaning and permanence.
The story of Job shows us a man struggling with meaning amid life’s fleeting days. In a moment, not just his possessions but those most precious to him, his children, were taken. Then his friends accused him of deserving this fate. Job cried out: “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!” (Job 19:23–24).
Job’s words have been “engraved in rock forever.” We have them in the Bible. Yet Job needed even more meaning in his life than the legacy he’d leave behind. He discovered it in the character of God. “I know that my redeemer lives,” Job declared, “and that in the end he will stand on the earth” (19:25). This knowledge gave him the right longing. “I myself will see him,” Job said. “How my heart yearns within me!” (v. 27).
In the end, Job didn’t find what he expected. He found much more—the Source of all meaning and permanence (42:1–6).
Accused of secret sin that had caused his suffering, Job maintained his innocence. In Job 19:25, he speaks of a Redeemer who will one day vindicate him. The word used here for “Redeemer” frequently refers in the Old Testament to the kinsman-redeemer, the person who defended or avenged the cause of another, or who provided protection or legal aid for close relatives who could not do so for themselves (Leviticus 25:47–55; Ruth 3:9; Proverbs 23:10–11; Jeremiah 50:34). Some see a correlation between the Old Testament kinsman-redeemer and the redemptive ministry of Jesus.